With so much on offer at The Great Escape, planning an itinerary requires military precision and the odd bung to a bouncer so he'll let you jump the queues. There's some incredible up and coming bands playing over the weekend, so here's a selection that really shouldn't be missed.
Their name might conjure up images of earnest math-rock bores who spend most of their time locked in dark bedrooms either fiddling with themselves or with a Commodore 64, but worry not, there are no eight-minute long death-inducing prog dirges here. Instead, they dish out slick, sharp and intense garage-rock-cum-screaming-punk belters. If you like it fast, loud and with an almighty dollop of passion, then
The Computers are for you.
Hannah Cohen is from a family of well-to-do arty types and used to be a New York catwalk model before deciding to give singing a bash. Sounds like it’s going to be fucking painful, eh? Not a bit. The waif-like 25-year-old has just released Child Bride, an album of startlingly beautiful, understated folksy numbers which allow her voice - which flits from seductive whispers to haunting cries – take centre stage. OK, she’s hardly breaking any new musical ground, but she’s bloody wonderful at what she does.
Shaggy hair? Check. Sharp cheekbones? Yep. Moody personas? Aye. Potent tunes laden with heavy, hypnotic rhythms, swirling psychedelia and propulsive bass? Too right. This London five-piece might have had their fair share of hype, but they are also likely to divide opinion like Roy Hodgson smeared in Marmite. File under exhilarating heirs to The Horrors doom pop throne, or tedious drone-rock revisionists. You decide.
Francois and the Atlas Mountains
Forget the club night anthems of Daft Punk or the gleaming disco pop of Air, Francois and the Atlas Mountains are about to become your favourite French band. Not only do they have a charming album (E Volo Love) which is packed with sweet melodies, bilingual vocals and afropop rhythms, but they also put on a jaw-dropping experimental live show jam-packed with electronic wizardry, vocal gymnastics and multiple patterns of percussion.
With their long hair, screeching guitar riffs and screaming vocals, Aussie noiseniks DZ Deathrays are only a bandanna and a pair of stonewashed jeans away from being an adrenaline-fuelled 80s hard rock cliche. Nevertheless, at their head-splitting height, the duo make an engrossing, all-consuming racket. And they put on a blistering live show to boot. Nurofen is advised.
We Are Augustines
Because most of We Are Augustines songs are a cathartic response to the suicides of frontman Billy McCarthy’s brother and mother, you won’t be surprised to discover there’s an absence of major chords and giggles. No matter, because there’s an almighty strength of spirit that runs through the Brooklyn-based band's songs which, in places, clearly owe a debt of gratitude to Bruce Springsteen. That said, The Boss would wholeheartedly approve of the brooding verses, anthemic choruses and raw passion that’s strewn across their musical and emotional minefield. You might need a stiff drink afterwards, mind.
One for the home crowd, this. Brighton’s Regal Safari might have been branded with the vile Chillwave moniker, but don’t let that put you off. They fuse lush electronica with spaced-out beats to make hazy, dreamy soundscapes which should provide the perfect comedown after a day hotfooting it around town watching bands and knocking back copious amounts of ale. It’s a crying shame, then, that they are on at 7.15pm.
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