9 Brighton Bands You Need To See At The Great Escape

It’s festival season and there’s girls with guitars and boys with synths on every corner. Many of them come from our own city, but trying to navigate your way around the line-ups for The Great Escape or The Alternative Escape is a fool’s errand. So we’ve done it for you! Here’s the best of Brighton playing this year’s festival.


Phoria - St. Mary's Church, Kemptown
Saturday 19 May

Phoria are headlining the bill at Brightonsfinest’s Saturday showcase at St Mary’s Church and their music – which veers from soulful, slightly jittery electro-pop to Keaton Henson-esque, burst-your-heart acoustic laments – should find its spiritual home in such grand surroundings.


Gaffa Tape Sandy - Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
Thursday 17 May – 9.30 PM - Saturday 19 May - 1.30 PM

Local trio Gaffa Tape Sandy are in the midst of an almighty festival run that’ll take them to Truck, Latitude and Iceland Airwaves. They’re proprietors of a hooky kind of garage-pop that reminds us a bit of the noughties; 2016’s ‘Smart Dressed Guy’ is famed for getting everyone leaping around like its last orders at the Hawley Arms.

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FUR - St Mary's Church, Kemptown
Saturday 19 May - 6.30 PM

FUR’s Facebook page lists Maroon 5 as the solitary artist they ‘like’; thankfully, that proves a misnomer as the band are much more indebted to classic English 60s rock than dreadful Cali pop. Think The Kinks, early Beatles and sad songs with jangle-groove (‘joove’?) written by guys wearing corduroy and Breton caps.


Of Empires

The Revelator – Friday 12 May - 9 PM

Shortts Bar - Saturday 19 May - 10.35 PM

Of Empires deal a mean hand in psychedelic rock and roll, indisposed with surf licks and an occasional pout of moody glam. They’re actually releasing their new song ‘Suzie’ the day of the show and it’s a psych-pop stomper for fans of The Doors, The Animals and The Last Shadow Puppets.


Hanya - Cafe Plenty
Saturday 19 May

A bit shoegazey, a bit psychy and not shy of a Wolf Alice-esque yelp, two-piece Hanya are singer/guitarist Hev and drummer Jack. They were previously known as Post-Heather but the first singles under their new guise – ‘Airplane’ and ‘Stone’ – hover happily in that space between sleepy and sludgy.


Our Girl

Our Girl have had a busy year. Supporting fellow Brighton alumni Magic Gang on tour and going out with Pale Waves on DIY’s Class of 2018 tour. Now they’re back on home turf with their agave-sweet garage anthems.


Dream Wife- Beach Club
Thursday 17 May - 8.45 PM

Dream Wife are one of Brighton’s biggest success stories of the last year, with their power-pop punk getting regular spins on 6Music. They’ve got a famous story of inception: forming the band for an art project then realizing it was so rad that they just had to carry on. ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ is platinum-certified, got-one-of-those-records-in-a-picture-frame banger.


Night House - Cafe Plenty
Friday 18 May – 6 PM

Night House lead singer Nick Williams has one of those falsettos that’ll make you shiver like someone’s dripping Calippo juice down your back. His band combine two musical worlds – folk and electronica – that don’t always twin well unless your name’s Justin Vernon, but it’s dreadfully pretty and they’re playing at PLATF9RM fave Cafe Plenty so soak up the beer with one of their insanely big sausage rolls.


ADAL - Seven Stars
Thursday 17 May - 8 PM

ADAL’s music could be classified as future-pop but it harks longingly back, with mournful 80s synths and smoove 90s production that tickle the hot spot between moody and shirts-off-banger. He had a hit earlier in the year with ‘Synthesize’ (a collaboration with Alexanderson) and is one of those artists that could explode with a summer jam and be banging out your gym's speakers within a month.