The Great Escape 2012 - Preview (Part Two) Friday

The second part of my preview of The Great Escape focuses on Friday, the second day of the festival. If you land and this page and are interested in reading Thursday's preview, you'll find it here. There are so many amazing acts playing at TGE this year that I could easily have picked over a dozen or so recommendations throughout Friday and even more if I included clashing acts, with half a foot in the real world I've limited myself to seven picks to give me some time to enjoy some sunlight, sleep and perhaps even a little food, I might end up catching more, who knows.. The full line-up can be found on The Great Escape website.

Martha - Facebook
Komedia (Downstairs), Friday 11th May 12.00

A new find for me, part of the reason TGE is as good as it is, is because it leads to the discovery of new talents (some you find before and some you come across ad-hoc through the festival). I've gone through the programmes from past years before and the amount of artists you didn't see because you had no idea who they were but now do and wished you'd been there is incredible, with that in mind I do try and spend some time (there are too many for all) listening to acts I've not heard of before and that was how I came across Guildford singer-songwriter Martha Paton. A few demos on soundcloud highlight a soft, tender voice backed by gentle acoustic guitar plucks, beautiful and enchanting, the perfect start to your musical day.

Unitarian Church, Thursday 10th May 19.30
Latest Music Bar, Friday 11th May 15.00

There are quite a few Brighton acts I'm recommending in this section, the first is Abi Wade, armed with a cello, a percussion box and a seriously powerful voice she creates mysterious, atmospheric and beautiful music that is stark, haunting and wholly captivating, combining her spacious instrumentation to powerful and ethereal effect. I can't think other artists similar to Abi, her style is unique, I think she'll be very much worth your time.

Queens Hotel, Friday 11th May 16.30
The Warren, Friday 11th May 21.15

Rae Morris, a young singer/songwriter with incredible hair and an even more incredible voice has been making waves in 2012 already, a sold out London show at the Slaughtered Lamb and support slots across the country with Noah & The Whale. Take a listen to her music and it's not hard to know why. She possesses a captivating vocal range and with a collection of self-penned songs that has you listening to her every word.

Rae is on her way towards the big time and a show in the basement of a hotel could be about the smallest venue she'll play ever be playing again.

Emma Gatrill - Facebook
The Fishbowl, Friday 11th May 18.45

Another local pick, Emma Gatrill will be playing in the tiny Fishbowl pub near the Queen's Hotel (a tip after my friend made the mistake last year, don't order the Tiger beer!) and is another recent discovery but I find myself overwhelmingly charmed by her beautiful voice and soft, delicate song-craft. After performing with numerous Willkommen collective bands Emma's debut solo album will be released the week after the festival.

"Josephine" is bound to appeal to fans of Joanna Newsom et al, not just because of its harp based instrumentation, Emma's classical arrangements flutter and soar over a truly gorgeous folk lullaby, Emma's set promises to be early evening bliss.

Queens Hotel, Friday 11th May 21.30

I'm intrigued to see Fear of Men again, I've not seen them since last year and the Brighton/London quartet have had a bit of a make-over since then with two new members joining the ranks, their releases thus far have been nothing short of exceptional. 'Ritual Confessions' was one of the best debut 7" of last year (now sold-out so my opinion is not alone) and their demo tapes (similarly unavailable) were nothing short of wonderful.

"Doldrums" while only a demo, is just gorgeous, swirling guitars and precise drums give the platform for Jess's gorgeous vocals to make you go weak at the knees before a fuzzed-up stomping finale hints at the bands live bite. One not to miss.

Queens Hotel, Friday 11th May 22.30

I'm expecting this show to be rammed, the blogging frenzy that followed the release of their debut track 'Eleventh Hour' surely means the Manchester four-piece will be courting interest from numerous A&R guys, expect them to be towards the back of the gig, with us geeky, music addicts enjoy ourselves at the front. The following is what I wrote on my single review, it's why PINS are one of the must see acts of the weekend, a new band for a new music festival.

"The reason why I'm happy to wax lyrical about them off one three minute track is simple, it's a fucking great track that doesn't disappoint any of my sky high expectations. Right from the initial impact of dark, powerful hard-hitting drums and layered guitars whirring ferociously it stirs up something in you, the droning riff hypnotises and doesn't let go, the brooding vocals similarly coerce you, part sugary and part commanding, the video is similarly wonderful, the perfect backdrop for the girls blend of 90's influenced noise-pop and 60's psychedelia. PINS are here to be your new favourite band, they're certainly on my short-list already."

Riki Tiks, Friday 11th May / Saturday 12th May 01.30(am) (Alt Escape)

In what will definitely be my final call of the evening (I'm almost 30 and can't hack late nights anymore), I'll be taking a trip to a venue I've never been to before, Riki Tiks to see south-coast dark electro duo Curxes (and Labyrinth Ear before them with any luck), it will be the first time and I'm going with high expectations, because let's not beat around the bush here, the initial tracks they've shared with planet Earth have been nothing short of awesome.

"Haunted Gold" bites hard, real hard, with monstrous, industrial pop rhythms and pounding metallic beats its twisted terminator guitar is like a futuristic tale of the apocalypse whilst Roberta's commanding vocals cause their own thunderstorm. Likely to send an adrenaline bolt through those, like me, who are nearing the time for their beds, Curxes will be worth staying up for.