PLATF9RM's 9 Best Brighton Bands To See At The Great Escape

The Great Escape is the starter gun for the UK festival season, as Brighton becomes inundated with musos and industry beard-scratchers keen to say that they’ve seen the next hot thing.
There’s thousands of shows and it’s tough wading through the endless Tame Impala-inspirednu-psych bands, so here’s nine local acts that’ll bring a great show


ADAL styles himself as the ‘king collaborator’ and his Soundcloud is littered with cuts featuring new singers like Freja, Innocent and Lendahl. Tying it all together is his sultry production, which recalls 90s RnB but with finger-pointy 80s synths. Don’t forget your shoulder pads.

Playing Friday, 14.50 @ The Richmond

Rag n' Bone Man

You’ll likely be familiar with Rag n’ Bone Man aka Rory Graham aka ‘that guy with the ‘Human’ song’. Already the winner of two Brit Awards, he’s a local hero so expect a fevered atmosphere or his Spotlight show at the Brighton Dome.

Saturday, 21.00 @ Brighton Dome Concert Hall

The Magic Gang

Despite being categorized by the wider world as a ‘new’ band, The Magic Gang have spent the last two years forging a dedicated fanbase in the city. It’s not hard to see why- they’ve nailed the market in harmony-rich slacker pop anthems.

Friday, 23.15 @ Horatio’s
Saturday, 22.15 @ Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar

Abattoir Blues

Abattoir Blues might share their name with a Nick Cave album, but musically they’re a much rawer proposition than that most famous of Brighton residents. Somewhere between grunge, psych and garage-rock it’s richly melodic once you get past the shouting and feedback.

Friday, 19.15 @ Horatio’s
Saturday 20.45 @ Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar

Dream Wife

Dream Wife are formed of three girls who met studying art in Brighton; they originally formed a fake band for an art project, but people dug their riot grrl-pop so much it became a band proper. They’re ace.

Friday, 2300 @ Wagner Hall
Saturday 2130 @ Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar

Fickle Friends

Recently signed to Polydor Records, Fickle Friends make tight, shimmery pop that will see them described as a ‘perfect festival afternoon band’ for their entire career. Channeling the spirit of an emo - Alphabeat, they’ll be dishing out popgasms galore at The East Wing.

Thursday, 23.15 @ The East Wing

Blood Red Shoes

In Great Escape terms, Blood Red Shoes are leathery, war-wise veterans of the music biz, with four albums released since 2008. Fans of The Dead Weather, The Kills and Queens Of The Stone Age will get all their rawk nipples tweaked.

Saturday, 23.00 @ The Old Market

Common Tongue 

Composed of five local lads, Common Tongue make an idiosyncratic blend of electro - tinged folk. Their older songs lean towards that earnest folky twang, whilst recent tunes like ‘New Moon’ have seen them expand their sonic palette into a juddery, Villagers-esque direction.

Friday, 19.15 @ Cafe Plenty

Rose Elinor Dougall

Rose is something akin to Brighton royalty, having been a member of the Phil Spector - influenced indie demi - legends, The Pipettes. These days she’s going it alone and hasn’t lost her talent for a sugary pop tune, though recent album Stellular is heavier on the synths.

Friday, 16.50 @ Shipwright’s Yard

The Great Escape Festival starts 18th May - See you down the front!