The ten artists you can't miss at The Great Escape

We’re about 48 hours from everything kicking off at the annual music festival and conference held in Brighton, England, The Great Escape (TGE), which we’re excited to be bringing you live and direct coverage from for the first time since 2012. Like similar events – SXSW, the recent Canadian Music Week or BigSound closer to home, there are too many bands to try and catch. In the case of TGE, we’re talking hundreds. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been pouring through the list and trying to pick out the bands worth your time. Some we’ve seen before and can vouch for their excellence, and others we’ll be planning to experience for the first time at the festival. And whether you’re there or not, these are the artists you should listen to, artists you should see and experience for yourself (presented here in no particular order).

Keston Cobblers Club (UK)

Don’t be fooled by the rather confusing album number. This isn’t some weird rave record – this is a Edward Sharpe meets Typhoon meets Bear’s Den wonderful pile of musical goodness. And then other material screams Beirut.


SPIEGELTENT – 16th May 2015 – 10:30pm – 11:00pm

Alabama Shakes (USA)

Well, this one is a no brainer. Have you heard the new record? So impressive. A must see live band – though as they were when I was last there in 2012, they’ll be one of the hottest tickets in town and have been upgraded to “headliners” in between drinks!


Showcasing at The Brighton Dome on 15th May at 9.45pm.

The Riptide Movement (Ireland)

Huge in Ireland (#1 record and all), there seems to be a great buzz around this outfit. I think we all need to see what gets the Irish excited about them…


PRINCE ALBERT – 15th May 2015 – 1:30pm – 2:00pm
PRINCE ALBERT – 16th May 2015 – 8:45pm – 9:15pm

Little May (Australia)

One of the finest groups coming out of Australia right now. Not to be missed. Watch them perform a special AU session here:


THE HAUNT – 14th May 2015 – 9:15pm – 9:45pm

Al Bairre (South Africa)

Some exciting Django Django vibes here – it’s how they were described to me, and certainly it’s hard to hear anything else now when I listen to them. But a lot of fun. Will be keen to check them out, and rumour has it is a phenomenal live experience.


KOMEDIA STUDIO – 16th May 2015 – 9:30pm – 10:00pm
PRINCE ALBERT – 16th May 2015 – 2:30pm – 3:00pm

Hein Cooper (Australia)

He was named one of my highlight artists from Canadian Music Week, so it’s impossible not to include him here. Please refer to that article for the reasons why… Or just listen to him here and decide for yourself!


SPIEGELPUB (HUB STAGE) – 16th May 2015 – 2:00pm – 2:30pm

Hannah Lou Clark (UK)

Having only released her debut EP Silent Type at the end of last year (following the end of her previous project Foe), Hannah has already proven herself to be an artist to watch with a natural knack at writing some stand out music and an intoxicating voice.


Catch her at The Old Market on 16th May at 8.30pm

Single Mothers (Canada)

Fans of early Trail of Dead (and anything in the realms of punk and rock music) shouldn’t miss this loud, energetic and tight group out of London, Ontario.


They’ll be playing The Hub on 16th May at 10.30pm

Saskwatch (Australia)

This funky, soulful and fun as all fuck group have been doing the rounds in Australia for years now, picking up huge acclaim along the way. Now that it’s your turn in the UK, it’s an experience you don’t want to turn down…


SPIEGELTENT – 15th May 2015 – 10:30pm – 11:00pm
CONCORDE 2 – 16th May 2015 – 1:35pm – 2:00pm

Vok (Iceland)

Formed in 2013 as part of an annual band contest, this Icelandic Electro Pop act (pictured at the top of this article) have gone on to record and release their EP, Tension through the Icelandic label Record Records. You can check out their wistful electronics and moving vocals below, and/or at their scheduled events!


14th May – The Royal Albion Hotel (Bar Rogue) – 8.30pm
15th May – Brighthelm Centre 11.30pm – Midnight
16th May – Patterns – Upstairs 12.30pm – 1.00pm

Other honourable mentions to our list include Asylums (UK), The Cribs (UK), SAFIA (Australia), HIGHS (Canada), Holy Holy (Australia), Bad//Dreems (Australia), Broods (NZ), Cairo (Canada), Charlotte OC (UK), Redder (Finland) and too many others to name. So we’ll just stick with these for now…

Stay tuned to the AU for all the coverage from The Great Escape you could possibly need (bookmark our hub HERE). The event runs in Brighton, England, from Thursday May 14th until Saturday May 16th. They’ve sold out of festival passes but more details are available here on other options:

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.