Sound the flugelhorn. Dust off your kiss-me-quick hat. It is finally here. It is finally time to go back to the seaside. It is finally time for The Great Escape 2014.
musicOMH will be there in mind, body and indeed spirit, curating the stage at the Unitarian Church on the Friday evening. There may be laughs. There may be tears. If we find out that Unitarians take communion and manage to locate the wine there could even be a party. But there will definitely be a whole host of excellent artists performing.
If that wasn’t enough, we’ve also gazed at the festival in its entirety and put together a list of the bands we’re most looking forward to seeing over the course of the three days.
Biased we may be, but stupid we are not. Undoubtedly set to be one of the highlights of musicOMH’s Friday night compéring of the Unitarian Church stage, Denmark’s Majke Voss Romme aka Broken Twin is something special.
She writes simply, from the heart and what emerges is stark, unadorned and paced with aching sadness. Given where Romme is from we’re trying to avoid the adjective glacial, lest we appear gauche. But it’s very hard. Glacial. Damn it.
Where and when: Unitarian Church 9th May 2014 9:00pm – 9:30pm
New Age by way of the abattoir, Canadian siblings Doomsquad weave their dark and eclectic sound from half-heard chanting and great swells of bass, from vibrant percussion and great peals of guitar. This is music to get lost in, expansive yet danceable, and an excellent early primer to the variety of musicians that the festival hosts when they play at Thursday lunchtime.
Where and when: Blind Tiger 8th May 2014 12:45pm – 1:15pm & Green Door Store 9th May 2014 11:45pm – 12:15am
This Oxfordshire quartet are only a handful of EPs into their career, but already sound more accomplished than many bands when they split. Recent single Gooey has been ubiquitous, a smooth and understated assemblage of sub-aquatic beats and mellow-high falsetto, and the rest of their material adheres to a similar marriage of pared-back atmospherics and striking, beautiful vocals. As an early-evening interstitial between the walls of guitars and the arms-in-the-air drops these people can’t really be surpassed.
Where and when: Brighton Coalition 9th May 2014 8:15pm – 8:45pm
patten has the same approach to attention as a small mammal. Run from it. Hide in a tree. Eat a few insects. Some of these points may not be grounded in fact.
What is grounded in fact however is, unlike most small mammals, Patten is rather adept at creating music. Electronic music. More specifically, a fractured, shattered fidgety take on electronica, which manages to both baffle and intrigue.
Where and when: Audio 9th May 2014 9:00pm – 9:30pm
Eliza and the Bear
When the five members of Eliza and the Bear formed in 2011 they weren’t looking for anything more than just some fun with friends, some noise and laughter in a practice room between working hours. Three years on and they’ve toured with Paramore, their brass-flecked indie-rock uplifting stadiums of eyelinered teens with massive choruses and charming songwriting, and all before they’ve recorded an album. Catch them in a tiny room before you can’t.
Where and when: Green Door Store 9th May 2014 8:30pm – 9:00pm
Yeah, so the queues are going to stretch eternal for these two, and the tinnitus will likely last for days. Tightly-wound snarls of bass guitar match with pounding drums from this Brighton duo who pick up where Blood Red Shoes get tired, their animalistic rock both minimal and brutal. Arrive early, with earplugs and some sturdy footwear and a decent medical policy.
Where and when: Corn Exchange 9th May 2014 11:00pm – 11:30pm
The Amazing Snakeheads
Where is my knife? Well, it’s in the same place you put your pomade, your finest, shiniest shirt and those slacks with the creases welded down the middle. In terms of the best dressed, and potentially the best armed, performance of the weekend, Glasgow’s The Amazing Snakeheads will take some beating. Visceral, confrontational and vastly exciting, it should be mesmerising stuff.
Where and when: The Hope 9th May 2014 11:15pm – 12:00am
Oh the noise. Make the noise, I live for the noise. Dublin’s Girl Band are noisy, feedback drenched and heavy with distortion. They are vicious and blunt. They sound completely unburdened with niceties. Which is great. Because niceties are well overrated, you sanctimonious sack of unreconstructed excrement, devoid of hope, point and indeed, purpose.
Where and when: The Haunt 10th May 2014 7:45pm – 8:15pm & Audio 10th May 2014 9:45pm – 10:30pm
Bat and Ball
So. Should you find yourself walking the streets of Brighton at 1:30am on Saturday morning, your options narrowing to late night swimming or a fight in a kebab shop, you could do a whole lot worse than checking out Bat and Ball.
Formed around a core of brother and sister duo Chris and Abi Sinclair, they lay to waste the idea that too long in your sibling’s company can only lead to fratricide. Instead, it leads to a place where Lykke Li’s stoic poise in the face of heartbreak is placed in front of beats that were they to be presented to Jamie XX would undoubtedly cause him to exclaim “Cor. Those are some mighty fine beats”.
Where and when: Blind Tiger 10th May 2014 1:30am – 2:00am
Yes. We know. A festival of new music this might be, but no opportunity to see Wild Beasts should be passed up – especially in a room as stunning as the Brighton Dome. New album Present Tense has brought the synths to the fore but the same idiosyncratic approach to songwriting persists, Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming’s skewed narratives and striking falsettos commingling with pared-back guitars and massive bass, at once fragile and hostile and disarmingly beautiful.
Where and when: Brighton Dome 9th May 2014 9:45pm – 10:45pm