The Great Escape: The 405’s Big Review // Festival Coverage with The 405

Three days of gallivanting around the streets of Brighton, on the face of it sounds like the perfect idea for festival. Hence, over the last few years, The Great Escape has become a staple of the summer festivals, becoming a place where new music sits perfectly alongside sea and sandcastles. That is until you realise that Brighton is a busy and bustling place, where the loud and livid go to get their fix of the nightlife. With the seafront a maze of gash nightclubs and cheap pubs – by night, Brighton flocks full of the faces you try and forget exist in our society. Juxtapose those alongside a heavy dose of music industry busy bodies and you’re mixing a cocktail with the devil.

But it’s not all bad – by day, Brighton glistens, and those same people who fill the nightclubs by night are no more. Replacing them, are millions of kids getting their own fix from the gelato’s and fish and chip shops that cover the high street.

From the shore right up to the station – venues open their doors to us punters, giving us open access to view what Brighton has to offer. From cherished indie stalwarts like the Klaxons and Everything Everything, right down to the steel pans of Fimber Bravo, or funk and soul grooves of Roosevelt, the Great Escape offers a little something for every taste. Gliding from one side of town to the other, and you feel certain calmness as you swing past bands loading in and out of venues. For most of them, it’s back off home after their set. 

Really, the British music press should cherish a chance like the Great Escape. Though the sets might not be of the highest quality you’ll ever see, it’s a perfect opportunity to pick on the acts that will go on to make the summer. The Great Escape offers us a chance to discover brilliant acts away from the world of blogs and soundcloud – as the pen pushers of the industry make way for plain old good music. What many forget while blogging is the importance of live when it comes to breaking a new band. But that’s where the Great Escape establishes its market, by helping us remember live music again. Nothing can beat the sensation of falling upon a great live band, and that’s not something we should forget when it comes to scouting new music. 

Three days of sun-soaked fun, powered by endless cheap pints and salty battered sausages can have its effects on the mind. Brighton starts to feel like home; you start to question why it is you aren’t living here – and why, if it has such a bustling music scene, it isn’t a more prominent part of Britain’s musical economy.

Top Picks:


Greco-Roman’s latest signing, Roosevelt – a man of German descent who merges Italo disco and lo-fi pop in effortless fashion – shone throughout the weekend, first at his set inside the small confines of Audio on Friday night, and later on Saturday morning in the middle of the lanes. Getting audiences grooving with a selection of likeable, and groovy tracks, Roosevelt should be someone we’ll be seeing a lot more of later this summer.


New York boys, Skaters, might only be making their first appearances on UK shores, but the plasma punk inspired four-piece make a sound that brings you back to the summer ‘05. Think Arctic Monkeys at their peak, with the raw live energy of Foals pre-Total Life Forever. Get ready for big choruses and cheeky vocalists. 


There’s something fascinating about bands that take inspiration from post-punk, and draw music further and further into the world of sonic disposition. A maze of guitar pedals, heavy compression and dizzy hedonism helps make up Kins. File next to Do Make Say Think, then sit back, relax, and watch them blow your mind.

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