The Maccabees, JME and Skepta round off final day of The Great Escape

Swim Deep, Slaves and The Cribs also played the final day of the event

The Maccabees played a packed one hour set to round off the final night of Brighton’s The Great Escape last night (May 16).

Playing a midnight show at The Corn Exchange that was announced last minute the day before, the band took the opportunity to play new track ‘Something Like Happiness’ alongside other cuts from their forthcoming fourth album and a selection of old favourites.

Opening with ‘Wall of Arms’, the quintet played a rousing and well received selection of fan favourites including ‘Feel To Follow’, ‘Young Lions’ and ‘Love You Better’ before singer Orlando Weeks declared, “We’re getting there; we’re finding out feet. This is a new song” and played new track ‘Kamakura’.

‘Something Like Happiness’ followed – one of the first times the band have played the new album and live – while Weeks then went on to explain the significance of the picture adorning their backdrop.

“The Faraday memorial is something we’ve walked past for years and it took for someone to send us a photo to realise it was something that was key to the new record,” he said. “That made us think about old records we’d passed aside, so this next one’s about a swimming pool.” They then went onto play old debut album track ‘Latchmere’ before continuing with ‘Precious Time’ from the same era. Guitarist Felix White encouraged the crowd to sing along to ‘Can You Give It’ before playing two more tracks from the new record – single ‘Marks To Prove It’ and ‘Spit It Out’.

Finishing with a run of established favourites, they rounded off with ‘No Kind Words’, ‘Grew Up At Midnight’ and ‘Pelican’, with glitter cannons going off at the end of the set.

The Maccabees played:

‘Wall Of Arms’
‘Feel To Follow’
‘Young Lions’
‘Love You Better’
‘Kamakura’
‘Something Like Happiness’
‘Latchmere’
‘Precious Time’
‘Can You Give It’
‘Marks To Prove If’
‘Spit It Out’
‘X Ray’
‘No Kind Words’
‘Grew Up At Midnight’
‘Pelican’

JME and Skepta’s joint headline show saw a passionate and animated crowd take over Brighton Dome Concert Hall following support from fellow grime acts Stormzy and Ghetts. Packed tight and constantly mobile, fans at ground level surged forward from their seats to join the standing area and formed a giant moshpit, while many balcony ticket-holders stood on chairs.

After the DJ teased the opening note of ‘That’s Not Me’, Skepta swaggered onstage dressed baseball-cap-to-trainers in black, with thousands of fans shouting along the song’s chorus. JME joined him to swap bars soon after, and the pair – co-founders of the Boy Better Know label with Wiley – launched into a set of their solo hits and, on songs like the mayhem-inducing ‘German Whip’, originally by Meridian Dan, their collaborations as featured artists.

The duo were joined by fellow BBK members Jammer and Shorty, who hyped the crowd during Skepta’s ‘Duppy’ and BBK classic ‘Too Many Man’, before Skepta’s riotous ‘Shutdown’ closed the set. Afterwards, both rappers jumped off-stage to shake the audience’s hands, as balcony-members stamped on their seats for more.

Earlier that night, Swim Deep played tracks from their forthcoming second album alongside ones from debut ‘Where The Heaven Are We’ at The Corn Exchange. Showcasing a more dance-orientated, experimental side, the new tracks – including recent single ‘To My Brother’ and ‘One Great Song And I Could Change The World’ – featured psychedelic backgrounds as the band flitted between synths and guitars, while old favourites ‘Honey’ and ‘She Changes The Weather’ were also well received.

Slaves had the crowd at capacity at the same venue earlier in the evening, proving one of the busiest acts all weekend for their 7pm set. Tearing through the likes of ‘The Hunter’ and ‘Cheer Up London’, singer Isaac Holman and guitarist Laurie Vincent finished by stage diving into the crowd during closer ‘Hey’ and getting the crowd to hold them both up by he ankles so they were standing fully upright in the throng.

Elsewhere, meanwhile, The Cribs played a packed headline set at Concorde 2, running through tracks from new album ‘For All My Sisters’ alongside singalong versions of old classics ‘Men’s Needs’, ‘Mirror Kissers’ and ‘Another Number’.

NME Radar’s Matt Wilkinson has recommended which acts to catch at the festival and those that everyone will be talking about afterwards, including Tobias Jesso Jr, The Magic Gang, Novelist and Georgia. Read the full list here.