Given Brighton’s new music showcase The Great Escape is now in its ninth year, the locals have presumably become used to the sight of queues and queues of music fans diligently standing outside every venue in town hoping to catch sight of the next big thing. This year was no different (although, bar a wet Thursday afternoon, the weather was slightly better than usual). Alongside the cream of up-and-coming talent (say hello Formation, LA PRIEST and Spring King) there were shows from more familiar faces in the shape of Southern-fried rockers Alabama Shakes, The Cribs and Django Django.
Paul Weller risked being mobbed by Brighton’s Lego-haired mod faithful to unexpectedly play on Saturday lunchtime, while Q’s stage at St George’s Church was lit up by sets from former Supergrass man Gaz Coombes, space-rock high priestess Jane Weaver and some spellbinding mope-pop from ex-Coral man Bill Ryder Jones.
The undoubted highlight of 2015 though was The Maccabees closing the festival with a surprise late-night set for Q. Marking their 10th anniversary, the band mixed selections from their forthcoming album, Marks To Prove It, with early fan favourites X-Ray and Latchmere, possibly the only jittery indie-pop anthem written in praise of the facilities at a South London leisure centre. Here’s a playlist featuring some of the festival’s many highlights…
Chris Catchpole @ChrisCatchpole (Photography by Oliver Halfin)