The Great Escape is now well under way, with Clash writers and photographers exploring what Brighton has to offer.
Here's a few top picks from Day One...
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Blackwaters (Picked by Alex Thomson)
Blackwaters are part of the post-jeans generation; an indie band at a time indie music is struggling to keep its footing, reimagined in the Technicolour of working men’s clubs. They’re the defined, authentic and contemporary retelling of punk vinyls cut from charity shops. They’ve a sense of innocence about that. As though they’d just finished school, heard a bunch of Undertones records and without hesitation jumped at becoming one of the most important bands of an era.
If anybody was going to take on the guitar-phobia of 2017’s music industry, floating a spanner into the works and keeping the young ‘uns on a romantic six string path in the way The Libertines did back in 2002, it’s possibly going to be these 17-year-olds.
Their standout track ‘Fuck Yeah’ is primeval. The vocals rattle over the song’s distant groove. It could be The Fall if not for the energy it purrs.
With their stance and song bank – ‘Fuck Yeah’, but also ‘Down’ and ‘Jarr’ed Up Generation’ - you can see two paths in front of them. One being the eight-legged outsiders, grumbling in late night whiskey bars – boozing, schmoozing. The other is diving from festival main stages. If you’d heard a Subways demo ten years ago, or held a copy of Pete and Carl’s ‘Legs XI’ tape you’d know the dots to draw from guerrilla to headliner. They’ve already got the crayons in hand to do it too.
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Liv Dawson (As picked by Shannon Cotton)
Soaking up the wet weather over at the VEVO DSCVR stage, Liv Dawson may well be one of the only acts we'd be happy to stand around in the pouring rain for. Introduced by Radio 1 DJ Phil Taggart, the singer played an acoustic set for the media platform at Wagner Hall. The stripped back set doesn't veer too far away from her natural comfort zone, but it allows her angelic voice to shine at the forefront of the performance.
This is evident no more so than on recent single 'Searching'. The Disclosure-produced track is relieved of its pounding synths and paves the way for Liv's eloquent lyricism. Mesmerising and enchanting the musicians captures the very essence of The Great Escape as her rising ascent is sure to blossom even further at a lightening speed.
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Redfaces (As picked by Shannon Cotton)
Sheffield upstarts Redfaces' tectonic on stage presence rippled through our very own Clash Showcase at The East Wing on Thursday evening. With a stadium sound well on the way to being nailed they present a fusion of deep grooving basslines and contagious frantic riffs.
New single 'Wise Up' is a perfect example, making you feel like you know the song already before it even ends. Track 'Kerosene' harks back to the mid-noughties golden age of indie with insatiable guitars but is brought up to date with the bands evident youthfulness. 'Katie Come Home' showcases another sonic strand from the four-piece as they prove they're not just breakneck speed indie rock 'n' roll.
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Hare Squead (As picked by Robin Murray)
The Irish hip-hop crew have made some serious waves over the last 12 months, with crunching rap melter 'Herside Story' marking the arrival of a potent new voice. The group's live show have surged forward alongside their streaming figures - nuts have been tightened, bolts have been strengthened, building into an incredibly potent rap package.
Prowling the stage with impeccably stylish menace, Hare Squead's charisma is matched by their new material, which locks into place incredibly naturally. Whisper it, but this lot are fast evolving into something special.
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Miles From Kinshasa (As picked by Robin Murray)
Miles From Kinshasa doesn't play live very often, making his show at The Arch something of an event. The room is packed, the Funktion One system fires up, affording the fastidious London-based artist the aural quality he desires. Flanked by two musicians clad in red, terrorist style balaclavas, it's a set that veers from sumptuous soul to unrelenting menace. A very intriguing show from an artist only just coming into view.
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