9 acts from 7 countries not to miss at The Great Escape 2019

Kicking off this Thursday in Brighton, England, this year’s Great Escape comes with an added bonus for fans of Australian music: Australia is the focus country for the 2019 festival, with some 30 Aussie artists hitting stages around the coastal city. But it’s not the only country with incredible music to show off. Here’s 9 acts from 7 countries we can’t wait to see this week…

A Swayze and the Ghosts (Australia)

Plenty in Australia may know the name, but you don’t truly know the wonders of this Hobart band until you see them live. Out of an incredible lineup of Australians set to play TGE this year, they sit at the top of the pack for us (though with some 30 incredible acts, that was an impossibly difficult call).

Black Midi (United Kingdom)

One of the talks of SXSW, Black Midi are impressing with a unique sound that everyone who has seen them has struggled to describe; but they can’t stop raving. I haven’t seen him live so I can’t yet add to this discussion, and they barely have anything online yet (they only formed last year), but join me in discovering what all the buzz is about at this year’s festival.

Pongo (Portugal)

This soulful Portugese artist (pictured in the header) has totally blown me away with her debut EP Baia. Artists like this is why the phrase “one to watch” was established, and even if she’s singing in her native tongue, the music is instantly accessible, bringing to mind the likes of M.I.A.

Mother Mother (Canada)

With seven top 10 singles on the alt rock Canadian charts and 42 million streams and counting on digital platforms, Vancouver’s Mother Mother are a household name in their home country, and across wider North America. But they remain an act to discover around a lot of other parts of the world. I’ve always enjoyed the group for their great live shows and ever evolving sound, and if you haven’t had a chance to catch them before, don’t miss this opportunity. And be sure to get your ears around their latest record Dance and Cry.

Finn Andrews (New Zealand)

Given his success in The Veils, it’s hard to call Finn a discovery artist – still, he’s very much working his way back up now that he’s flying solo. His debut solo album One Piece At A Time is out now, and it’s a damn beautiful time.

Drinking Boys and Girls Choir (South Korea)

One of the standouts at SXSW this year (having seen them at our own party no less), was this unassuming South Korean skate punk trio who absolutely rock it live.

Roe (Ireland)

I’ve been raving about this artist for a while now, and after stellar performances at SXSW, it’s definitely time to get behind her. She brings up comparisons to Tash Sultana, writing incredibly catchy tracks and doing it all herself on stage. Fresh from a tour with Snow Patrol, check out this rising star at this year’s Great Escape.

These New South Wales (Australia) and Confidence Man (Australia)

We tried not to include more than one Aussie act in this list, but we couldn’t help ourselves with these two Aussie acts. They are two of the best live acts in the world right now; you’ll rarely have more fun than when you see these acts, who bring equal parts humour and great music to the stage. Don’t miss em.

And TGE isn’t all about discovery. There are plenty of big names playing the festival; like Foals and Friendly Fires, who you’ll catch at Splendour in the Grass this year. And rising success stories like Lewis Capaldi (who played Splendour last year), to name but a few.

For more details about The Great Escape, including details of all our highlighted acts performances, head to greatescapefestival.com. The event runs from the 9th to the 11th of May in Brighton, England.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.