Europe’s biggest showcase of new music and unsigned talent is here again. The artists have been booked – all 400+ of them – and the line-up announced, sounding the countdown to another highly-anticipated instalment of The Great Escape in our lovely city, Brighton.
As always, BIMM will be out in full force at TGE with an extensive roster of new and exciting musicians, all of whom have been hand-picked from our diverse network of BIMM colleges.
The BIMM musicians will be joining the likes of Slaves, Rejjie Snow, Rag’N’Bone Man and a host of other hotly-tipped artists from across the globe at a selection of 35 venues across Brighton, at both our Official Showcase (The Hope and Ruin on Thursday 18 May) and the Alternative Escape (The Hub on Saturday 20 May) trail.
So, without further ado, we give you our rundown of every BIMM artist and band to feature at this year’s event, as well as previous instalments of The Great Escape, along with a little info about what you can expect from each in terms of sound and style:
Wild Front (Official Showcase Thursday 18 May 2017 at The Hope and Ruin)
Riding the current indie pop revival is BIMM Brighton’s very own Wild Front, who have been impressing festival crowds with their dreamy soundscapes and ambient synths.
Hailing from nearby Southampton, the band will strike a chord with fans of Peace, Washed Out, and Two Door Cinema Club – check out new tracks ‘Her’ and ‘Views’.
Comparisons aside, the group are shaping a future for themselves and have certainly benefitted from having the creative freedom to self-produce in their own studio.
Wild Front will play The Hope & Ruin at 3:15 pm on Thursday 18 May.
Penelope Isles (Alternative Escape Saturday 20 May 2017)
Bolstering BIMM Brighton’s assault of great bands are Penelope Isles who bring them an exhilarating blend of indie and psych fuzz.
Arresting and original, the group’s blend of jangly melodies and compelling lyrics have earned them praise from DIY, The Line of Best Fit, Wax Music and more.
“Their tracks are like your favourite sweets with shards of broken glass embedded in them,” reads the Isle of Man’s bio — an adage that certainly fits the bill.
Check out their latest record ‘Cut Your Hair’ and make your way to The Hub on Saturday 20 May.
Frank & Beans (Alternative Escape 2017)
Call it thunder punk; call it anti-punk, it really doesn’t matter to Northern Ireland’s Frank & Beans – a riff-heavy two-piece with plenty to shout about.
With a similar set-up to Royal Blood and Drenge, Frank & Beans are another band proving that you can make just as much noise with two people as you can five.
The BIMM Brighton band have been gaining a reputation to be reckoned with, having become a familiar fixture on the city’s burgeoning music scene.
As always, we’re expecting big things from their Alternative Escape debut which will take place at The Hub on Saturday 20 May.
Hava (Alternative Escape 2017)
New kids on the block Hava have set tongues wagging around Brighton, following a host of shows and no less than three BIMM Showcases.
With this in mind, it makes perfect sense than the BIMM Brighton group make their debut at TGE’s Alternative Escape in May.
The band have cultivated and developed their unique sound in recent years, with influences ranging from trip-hop pioneers, Portishead to rock gods, Led Zeppelin.
Save the date in your diary: Hava will hit The Hub on Saturday 20 May.
No Violet (Alternative Escape 2017)
Over to the West Country now and BIMM Bristol’s No Violet, another must-see feature on this year’s Alternative Escape line-up.
Fusing alt-rock with grunge, the Bristol-born four-piece have crafted their sound from a blend of fuzzy guitars, pulsating drums and visceral vocals.
Represented by renowned international booking agents, Electric Harmony, No Violet are going places at a pace that most new bands can only dream of.
Catch them at The Hub on Saturday 20 May.
DITZ (Alternative Escape 2017)
Ferocious and sinister, DITZ bid to be the loudest band at The Great Escape is looking stronger by the day if their recent string of chaotic live shows is anything to go by.
With a sound firmly cemented in noise rock, they are a world apart from the jingly-jangly indie sound of some of their BIMM Brighton counterparts.
Described as sardonic and hailed by the music press as a band intent on wrecking your ear drums, DITZ are a band that commands attention and gets it.
Catch them along with other BIMM acts at The Hub on Saturday 20 May.
Junodef (Alternative Escape 2017)
Haunting and unconventional, Swedish alt-rockers Junodef are set to make their first ever appearance at The Great Escape.
Hailing from BIMM London, the atmospheric four-piece – who sing in both English and Swedish – will bring their downtempo blend of indie and shoegaze to Brighton’s shores next month.
Incidentally, their appearance at TGE will coincide with the release of their highly-anticipated new album ‘Ocean’, which is set for a May 20th release.
Junodef will be at The Hub on Saturday 20 May
Maria Kelly (Official Showcase 2017)
Singer-songwriter Maria Kelly’s star continues to shine brightly after a string of breathtaking and ‘bare-boned’ live performances across the UK and Ireland.
Hailed by the music press and named on The Irish Times list of ‘50 people to watch in 2017’, Maria Kelly will fly the good flag for BIMM Dublin when at this year’s TGE.
Maria Kelly’s tales of heartbreak are delivered delicately and with ‘pin-drop’ vocal precision, which will no doubt provide a drop of serenity amid the chaos.
A promising fixture on this year’s line-up, expect a few sneak peaks from Maria’s highly-anticipated debut EP.
See Maria Kelly at The Hope & Ruin at 1:45 pm on Thursday 18 May.
Fur (Alternative Escape 2016 and 2017)
Returning to the Alternative Escape after a hugely successful 2016 is indie rock’s answer to everything, BIMM Brighton’s FUR.
The four-piece combine infectious, laid-back grooves, guitar riffs and brilliant lyricism for a sound that’s reminiscent of Heavenly bands TOY and Hooton Tennis Club.
We’re expecting big things of Fur following last year’s antics, which saw a devoted crowd turn out for what was one of the Alternative Escape’s most memorable sets.
Fur will be playing at The Hub on Saturday 20 May.
We also had to mention some of the BIMM artists who have appeared at TGE in previous years that you may want to check out:
Mother Me (Alternative Escape 2016)
Describing themselves as the love children of Morrissey and The Cure’s Robert Smith, Mother Me’s exquisite mix of alt-folk and indie is as unique as it is captivating.
Inspired by Alt-J, Radiohead and Grizzly Bear, Mother Me have taken the combination of moody lyrics with hauntingly beautiful guitar playing to great effect.
The band have continued to impress over the last 12 months, following their spectacular debut at last year’s Alternative Escape. Watch this space.
If proof was needed that ‘mosh-inducing rock and roll’ isn’t dead, simply take one listen to former BIMM Brighton students, The Rocking Horse Club.
The band brought last year’s Alternative Escape to its knees with a surging set of high energy rock and roll tracks, including hits from their debut EP We’ve Been The Rocking Horse Club. The hype surrounding this band has been well-deserved, earning them regular gigs and coveted festival slots across the UK and beyond. Missed last year’s event?
Catch The Rocking Horse Club on their mini UK tour this summer, which kicks off in Brighton on June Saturday 24 at the Green Door Store.