Heading to any festival requires a bit of planning ahead. Whether that’s browsing the line up eagled eyed and armed with a fluorescent highlighter, scouring Spotify for pre-made playlists or simply picking up a copy of the NME and fingering through in order to find the next best thing- it’s nice to be prepared- especially when it comes to The Great Escape. Largely comprised of new and emerging artists (with a few ‘established’ picks on the lineup)- it means listening ahead, and knowing how and where’ll be best to spend your precious time (special guest Maccabees pun not intended). This year I was extra organised (for once), creating a playlist and doing a wee bit of map-reading before with Joe. I’ve split my picks of the weekend in to two posts (for extra listening)- so stay tuned for numero deux!
Flo was the first act we caught on Thursday, and possibly one of the biggest highlights of the weekend. With her set hosted in the rather magical Unitarian Church- which couldn’t possibly have been more fitting, her set was so ethereal and special you could have heard a pin drop from the second she stepped up to the microphone. Standing on stage like some kind of other wordily (or pre-rapephilite) Joni Mitchell, Flo sang with velvety folk inspired vocals tied with the kind of ageless sound that merges something modern and something of another time, which is pretty beautiful indeed.
Check out Flo here
Having already held a support slot for George Ezra, and played more festivals than I can count on two hands (this probably says it all), Soak is probably only months away from taking over the world- and it’s pretty stunning to know she wasn’t born with a guitar in her hand (she only learnt a few years ago). Filling the gap between folk and alternative, and with rich raspy accented vocals singing of teen angst, sea creatures and growing up- there’s something whimsical in the darkness of her songs and something unforgettable to boot.
Check out Soak here
Having been a bit of a Shamir cheerleader since I first heard ‘I know it’s a good thing’ late last year, forcing it upon friends (‘LISTEN, it’s ‘She wears my favourite colour everyday in her eyes! HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THAT’), last weeks set showed that Shamir is far more than just a pretty brilliant song writer (his album, Ratchet, shows there’s more to his songs than just haters and beats big enough to start a party), but a pretty epic performer too. Bringing a slice of dance pop to an otherwise guitar and folk based evening (never a bad thing in my opinion), Shamir was completely fantastic and rounded up our Friday at the festival perfectly.
Check out Shamir here
Also worth a listen…
All Tvvins, Happyness, Kate Boy, Rat Boy, Pins, Aurora, Rebecca Clements, The Garden, Klaus Johann Grobe, Bully, The Beach, Asylums