Wednesday 30 April 2014

The Great Escape 2014 - Northern Irish Contingent

The Great Escape is an annual new music festival based in Brighton. From 8th-10th May, over 400 bands and artists from all over the world will be playing in over 30 venues to the thousands of people who will be descending on the seaside city. 

The Great Escape is a festival that I have been following for many years, and I am absolutely delighted that for the first time, I will be crossing the Irish Sea to attend the festival. After all, it's not often that you get the opportunity to literally drown in sound. 

With so many new and emerging artists due to play, it will be a struggle deciding exactly who to go and see. With this in mind, and keeping in mind one of this blog's musical loves, I have put together this quick guide to every single artist from Northern Ireland (or with an NI connection) who will be performing at the festival this year. Many of them will be playing at more than once, so if you're interested in hearing as many of the most exciting emerging artists from here, then you have no excuse not to take them all in.

Or you could ignore this entire post and go to see Wild Beasts & Kaiser Chiefs instead. The choice is up to you, which is why TGE is so wonderful.

A Plastic Rose

Venue - (a) Blind Tiger

(b) Festival Hub Stage (Spiegelpub)

Date/Time - (a) Thursday 8th May - 11:00pm
(b) Friday 9th May - 5:30pm

Why do I care?
Since relocating from NI to Nottingham, the alt-rock band have gone from strength to strength with singles such as "This Side Of Winter" and "Someone's Daughter", both of which have enjoyed extensive play on Radio 1. With album #2 a few months away, it's the perfect time to see the band before they become ubiquitous.

Ballet School 

Venue - (a) Brighton Coalition

(b) Green Door Store
(c) Green Door Store

Date/Time - (a) Thursday 8th May - 8:15pm
(b) Thursday 8th May 2014 - 12:30pm
(c) Friday 9th May 2014 - 3:30pm

Why do I care?
The Berlin-based trio are led by Belfast lass Rosie Blair, and their dreamy-pop creations led to them being picked up for release by Bella Union, home of Fleet Foxes and Cashier No.9 amongst others. Their E.P "Boys Again" has some great tracks, and it feels like they are on the verge of becoming alternate favourites.

The Clameens

Venue - Sticky Mike's Frog Bar

Date/Time - Saturday 10th May - 12.45am

Why do I care?
The Derry band have won over many people with their spunky, youthful take on indie-rock, and as they continue to grow in stature and confidence, they are only going to get better.

Go Wolf

Venue - Festival Hub Stage (Spiegelpub)

Date/Time - Friday 9th May - 1:15pm

Why do I care?
The band have started to build up quite a bit of blog love for their dance-friendly indie-rock music, and with them still riding the waves of a prominent feature in a Kitsuné compilation album, expect them to be a pretty popular draw.

Little Matador

Venue - The East Wing

Date/Time - Thursday 8th May - 8:30pm

Why do I care?
This supergroup, led by Nathan Connolly, have just released their fantastic debut album, so expect to see the crowds singing along to every single one of the band's rocking tunes on Thursday evening.

Ryan Vail

Venue - Queen's Hotel

Date/Time - Saturday 10th May - 9:15pm

Why do I care?
This electronic duo (for Ryan Vail is a duo, although confusingly enough 1/2 of the duo is called Ryan Vail) make highly intricate, intelligent dance music, the sort of music that should make your head move just as much as your body. Well, they do say that the brain is a muscle.


Venue - Blind Tiger

Date/Time - Thursday 8th May - 7:15pm

Why do I care?
The country-cum-folk rock siblings have taken a real leap forward since the release of "World Don't Shine" and "Where The Wild Are" in the past few months, and with a punchy new sound at their disposal, you would be a fool to miss out on them.


Venue - Green Door Store

Date/Time - Saturday 10th May - 11:30pm

Why do I care?
Until recently, UNKNWN was known as UNKNWN because he was, indeed, unknown. This has now changed, due of a) UNKNWN revealing his true identity to be Chris Hanna, and b) the addition of Gemma Dunleavy as a member of the project. But that's just superfluous background, what is important is their music, which is dark but melodic dub-based music, which has seen them win worldwide attention.

The Wonder Villains

Venue - Blind Tiger

Date/Time - Sunday 11th May - 12:00am

Why do I care?
Because they are fun and awesome. Don't think I can elaborate any more than that.

Northern Irish Showcase - In association with Generator NI

Venue - Prince Albert

Date - Friday 9th May

Artists/Stage Times -

The Clameens - 12:30pm
Go Wolf - 1:15pm
The Wonder Villains - 2:00pm
Ryan Vail - 2:45pm
UNKNWN - 3:30pm

Why do I care?
Because you can enjoy five of Northern Ireland's finest musical prospects, one after another, without having to leave the bar. How could you not enjoy that?

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