The Great Escape 2024: Thursday – Who To See

The Great Escape is now under way, with music kicking off across Brighton. This year’s event has been controversial, with a Barclays partnership sparking calls for a boycott.

DIY punk band The Menstrual Cramps led the way, citing the bank’s involvement in the Israeli arms industry. Supported by the likes of Massive Attack, the boycott has seen more than 120 artists pull out.

For more information on the Bands Boycott Barclays campaign, please visit their social media accounts.

Today – Thursday, May 16th – sees a number of artists playing across Brighton – here are some that are worth catching.

James Massiah  – Revenge, Brighton (7.30pm)

Projecting his vision across genre-bending soundscapes and experimentation, James Massiah is a cult driving force of South London’s underground. Across a breadth of art forms, the poet, DJ and artist establishes a sense of community, whether by organising his regular poetry night, Adult Entertainment, or connecting with new listeners via his monthly NTS show. The current day sees Massiah gear up towards his upcoming EP ‘True Romance’, a vivid, anecdotal illustration of the city’s nocturnal heartbeat. Fusing elements of rap, dancehall, acid, grime and dub, Massiah channels the chaos and charm of his endeavours, spilling free-form verses over a bouncy and diverse production. Get down to the Revenge stage and immerse yourselves in the world of James Massiah. 

Lexa Gates – Alphabet, Brighton (9.15pm)

Hailing from Queens, Lexa Gates lands with a slick, unbothered flair. Championing the sounds of her city, the riser envisions her tough, tongue-in-cheek verses through a fusion of hip-hop, alt-pop and R&B influences. Seeing Lexa’s truths and melodies at their most cutting, latest release ‘Stacys Chips’ spotlights an acute attention to detail, further leaning into the artist’s quirks and charisma. Sporting razor-sharp eyeliner looks and wide-framed glasses, Lexa Gates flows with authenticity, pinpointed as one to watch in the year ahead. 

Bolis Bupul – The Hope And Ruin, Brighton (10.45pm)

On ‘Topical Dancer’, Bolis Pupul and Charlotte Adigéry married the polemical with absurdist future-facing pop. Together they translated their roguish synergy into electric live shows, putting in practice a vision of two bound, impish souls laughing at those of us disinclined. Pupul’s debut solo album ‘Letter To Yu’, released in March this year, is by turn more interior – a crucible of familial loss and cultural dissonance. When Pupul takes to the Brighton stage on Thursday, expect up-tempos wreathed in zippy synthwork like on ‘Frogs’, or the transportive ‘Cosmic Rendez-Vous’, a haunting dispatch from far beyond the veil.

Babymorroco – Patterns, Brighton (11.15pm – DOWNSTAIRS)

London’s certified club-pop extrovert Babymorocco is already an underground sensation, propelled in no small degree by his live shows. Recently supporting COUCOU CHLOE and Dorian Electra on an epic 18-date tour, he veers between late night energy and potent introspection, all delivered with a nudge, a wink, and a blown kiss or two.

Part of the CLASH late-night offering, Babymorocco is the refreshing, unpretentious dose of club-centric fun you need in your life.

Joe & The Shitboys – Waterbear (3.30pm)

Fancy catching the foremost vegan bisexual punk band to have ever sprung forth for the loins of the Faroe Islands? Well, now you can. Joe & The Shitboys are a phenomenal live act, breaking down the barriers between band and audience. Rightly revered by the underground, the group have blossomed into something truly potent – sure, the name itself is eye-grabbing, but the messages underneath are potent, and well worth listening to.

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