The Great Escape 2012
- By Adam Holden -
- May 10, 2012
The Great Escape is officially upon us, as the Brighton new music extravaganza today returns for another year and with nearly 200 acts playing across more than 30 venues it’s shaping up to be the most promising festival since its inauguration.
With more acts than ever before, boasting more diversity and musicians from across the world, this is set to be the Greatest Escape since Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough and James Garner tunnelled their way through the Nazi prisoner of war camp.
With fellow street festival the Camden Crawl receiving a less than favourable write up in recent years, TGE seems to have surpassed its one time rival, as budding new bands and musicians join some established artists who are returning to Brighton to give something back to the festival that helped them become ingrained into the music industry.
The Temper Trap being a prime example of this feat, returning this year to headline the festival and bring with them their sweet disposition to the Brighton Dome on Friday 11th May.
“We can't wait to play The Great Escape again - being part of the event in 2009 was incredible and 2012 is going to be even better. We'll be playing songs from our new album, its set to be a very special show,” explained Temper Trap.
S.C.U.M and We are Scientists will join headliners of the festival Maximo Park and The Africa Express Sound System in heading the list of more experienced acts taking the train down to the South Coast this weekend.
For anyone unfamiliar with the African Express Sound System, it is well worth the trip to indulge the collective smorgasbord of musicians. Every critically-acclaimed outing showcases a different set of musicians who are put together for that particular show. This year’s show has brought together Jesse Hacket, musical director and plays keyboard for the Gorillaz, John McClure from Reverend and the Makers, DJ and producer from the Boiler Room - Thristian (bpm), soul singer-song writer Terri Walker along with many other musicians.
Jesse Hackett said “Africa Express has been a truly life changing experience. Since Mali in 2006 it’s had a profound effect on me spiritually and musically. Becoming musical director for the Africa express sound system is an honour..... The Africa Express Sound System is hitting Brighton on the 12th of May for a night of deep African electronic exploration. Featuring master Cuban and Gambian percussionists, a Senegalese kora virtuoso, vocalists from Ghana, Zanzibar and Soweto, the finest producers / DJs and a whole host of amazing UK singers and surprise artists. Expect a joyous spontaneous heavy and mind altering journey into the unknown.”
However, despite the quality the festival now brings, the ethos behind it is still to promote and allow fans to discover new bands that are trying to break into the industry. Since 2006, the festival has helped the likes of Ed Sheeran, the Klaxons, Mystery Jets, War Paint, Metronomy, Laura Marling, The XX and Bombay Bicycle Club become household names.
Like scouring the talented youth football teams of the country for the next Wayne Rooney, music aficionados attempt the same at TGE, however, like searching for the next Rooney, it can prove a robust mission – especially with navigating through the narrow lanes of Brighton searching for the next pub to see a band. And then add some intoxication into the algorithm of musical talent search, and you can see my drift.
But this is part of the fun that goes along with the festival, as not many music festivals have the musical standard that matches Brighton. Whether you’re sitting on the beach waiting for the next band, exploring the bars and venues for more acts, fist-pumping to power ballads at Ultimate Power on Saturday night at Komedia, or even chilling in the sewers with 35 people watching The King Blues play an acoustic set, the festival has so much to offer.
Bands tipped for this year’s Great Escape include Jack White signings The Black Belles, We Are Augustines, The Milk, Peace, The Front Bottoms and Cloud Nothings, although I am sure many more will be uncovered throughout the weekend.
By Adam Holden.
This guest blog complies to Virgin.com terms & conditions.