The Great Escape 2024: Friday – Who To See

Five essential acts from today's line-up...

The Great Escape is now under way in Brighton. Acts from across the country and beyond have descended on the south coast, taking over virtually every venue in the city.

It hasn’t been without controversy, though. The Great Escape have a partnership with Barclays, a move that has caused considerable unease due to the bank’s ties to the Israeli arms industry. DIY punk band The Menstrual Cramps launched the Bands Boycott Barclays campaign, with around 130 artists pulling out of the campaign.

A number of artists have made the decision to continue with their sets, often using their platform to discuss Palestine, and issues in the Middle East.

Friday – May 17th – brings more music; here’s five sets to look out for.

Bel Cobain 

Poetic, intricate and soothing, the tones of Bel Cobain form part of the UK’s sprawling jazz scene. Across her writing, the soft-spoken songstress muses over her journey growing up in London, echoing the influence of Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Angie Stone and Fela Kuti. Last year’s EP ‘Radical Forgiveness’ saw the artist venture into spirituality, inspired by a series of paranormal experiences felt during a trip to Mexico. Now elevating her craft into more shadowy and introspective realms, the project continues to find new crowds across a string of live dates, now heading down to The Great Escape’s Fabrica stage and The Arch. 

Jawnino

Embracing the grit of grime over rave-tinged soundscapes, Jawnino is steering UK rap into an elusive and creatively defiant space. Flitting between radio freestyles and live appearances, the Wandsworth native first emerged alongside long-term friend and collaborator Babydoom on their 2019 track, ‘Ghost In A Shell’. Since then, the rhymer’s intrigue for world-building has switched into gear, drawing together warped, insular verses that crystallise the city’s nightlife, relationships and turbulence into one. Latest EP ‘40’ ventures into the sounds of jungle, drum n’ bass and synthwave, seeing the rapper experiment with perception, identity and storytelling. A mysterious force to rise from the underground, Jawnino’s live performance unveils yet another dimension to the artist, one that continues to evolve at each and every turn.

HiTech 

Brace yourselves, for King Milo, Milf Melly and 47Chops bring their signature-blend Detroit techno and glitch-rap nocturnes to the seaside resort. A welcome injection of cascading bliss, HiTech’s self-proclaimed “ghetto-tech” set could very well be the pinnacle moment in the festival’s already impressive assembly of ascending electronic acts. Currently embroiled in a legal dispute with their former label, which has kept last year’s masterstroke, ‘Détwat’, off DSPs, HiTech’s TGE debut is one of a handful of festival appearances to experience these lost gems. 

Crystal Murray

Crystal Murray’s liquefied musical aesthetic can’t be easily categorised; in one breath the twenty-three-year-old inhabits the club siren, in another she’s an experimental R&B provocateur a la FKA twigs. Murray’s anticipated debut album, titled ‘Sad Lovers & Giants’, seeks to dial down the murky artifice, mystique and liminal feel of her earlier releases for an emboldened, pop-skewed affirmation of self. Expect the TGE crowd to go apesh*t when Murray’s new wave-inspired invective against predatory men, ‘STARMANIAK’, is unleashed in its pummelling glory with the might of a band.

Corridor

Montreal band Corridor released new album ‘Mimi’ earlier this year, extending their sound ever-outwards in the process. The cute garage-pop songwriting remains, but there’s also a deeper awareness of tone and texture, often veering into the psychedelic. French language pop from our Quebecois cousins, it’s the band’s first album in five years, and we can’t wait to catch them at Brighton’s Green Door Store as part of the weekend-long Canada House takeover.

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