Showcasing Scotland at The Great Escape 2018
Creative Scotland will support nine top Scottish acts to perform at two Showcasing Scotland concerts at The Great Escape 2018 – one of the most important platforms for new music in the world attracting over 3,500 key industry figures on the look-out for new talent.
What’s most impressive about The Great Escape 2018’s Scottish contingent isn’t just the quality – though Bossy Love, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, Declan Welsh & The Decadent West, Happy Meals, LUCIA, Rascalton, The Ninth Wave, The Spook School and The Vegan Leather and are all fantastic – but the sheer diversity of sounds and styles on offer.
Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, agrees: “We’ve got incredible musical talent in Scotland, and it would be unfair to keep it just to ourselves. That’s why we’re delighted to partner with The Great Escape and present two Scottish Showcases in Brighton, giving the best of our emerging acts a springboard to launch into the UK, Europe and beyond. There’s an impressive range of styles and genres on offer amongst these nine acts, all of whom are ready to move up to the next level in the industry.”
One of the key international music industry events, taking place in Brighton 17 -19 May, The Great Escape will present indiepop, rock, R&B, hip hop, electronica, and experimental psychedelia – all from just nine incredible Scottish acts on the rise.
Creative Scotland and Born to be Wide will host an international networking reception on Thursday 17th May at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton, at which Scottish music industry delegates and musician will make direct contact with key international music industry figures.
“Wide Days and our Born To Be Wide music-business seminar evenings, have a long track record of bringing the international industry to Scotland,” co-director Born to be Wide saysOlaf Furniss. “Our partnership with Creative Scotland provided a fantastic opportunity to build on this work at one of Europe’s biggest events. There was a genuine interest in and excitement about the Scottish music scene at last year’s reception that attracted over 300 delegates from more than 20 countries.”
Showcasing Scotland concerts, hosted by BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway, will take place on Thursday 17th May (Horatio’s Bar) and Friday 18th May (One Church).
Thursday 17 May (doors 12:00)
Horatio’s Bar, Brighton Pier, Madeira Drive, BN2 1TW
12:15: The Spook School
13:45: The Vegan Leather
15:30: The Ninth Wave
Friday 18 May (doors 12:00)
One Church, Gloucester Pl, Brighton, BN1 4AA
12:30: Declan Welsh and the Decadent West
13:30: Happy Meals
14:30: Bossy Love
15:30: Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5
Showcasing Scotland sets will be additional to the artists’ official Great Escape shows and will offer those attending further opportunities to see Scottish artists at The Great Escape 2018.
The festival will also see performances from other Scottish emerging talent, including West Lothian singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi, Dunfermline indie pop quintet Dancing on Tables, raucous Clackmannanshire gang VIDA, melodic Edinburgh indie rockers Vistas and Glaswegian pop duo Love Sick.
Ahead of the festival, on Wednesday 16th May, rising stars of the Scottish alternative scene WuhOH, Pronto Mama and Man of Moon will also play at Hope and Ruin – 1-12 Queens Rd, Brighton BN1 3WA.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Showcasing Scotland artists performing on Thursday 17th May (Horatio’s Bar) and Friday 18th May (One Church) include:
There aren’t too many mechanical scientists on the bill this year, but then we highly doubt there’s anyone like Glasgow duo Bossy Love anywhere in the UK right now. Singer and aforementioned science whiz Amandah is joined by former Dananananaykroyd drummer John Baillie Jr, and the result is somehow the giddiest, most enjoyable R&B going.
‘Sweat It Out’ and ‘Want Some’ have been some of the highlights of the last few years, while 2017’s ‘Body’ stepped up again with more hip-hop elements. Frankly, when your music’s being raved about every from BBC Radio 1Xtra to The Fader to Gold Flake Paint, you know you must be doing something right. Grab a cup and get down the front.
Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5
Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 will be spreading the ‘Peace, Love & Mustard’ at The Great Escape and connecting with the audiences in their own unique way. Pop surrealists, they might just be the most delightfully ridiculous live music experience of the season! They are the shiny disco ball hat wearing, ultimate genre hopping, twisted festival, live stage machine that puts the emphasis on music, entertaining and laughter. Their live shows have featured crowdsailing in rubber dinghies, inflatable unicorns and flamingos, laughter yoga, hug-offs, dance-offs in a giant bird’s nest, singalongs about dancing in gay discos and being heartbroken by ginger people, line dancing and high 5ing to the beats. Expect the unexpected when The Dijon Family come to town! Having won Best Live Act at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards 2015, Best UK Act at the Pure M (Ireland’s Music, Art & Culture Magazine) Awards 2015, and filling the Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom in 2016, the Colonel and The Dijon 5 are gearing up for a full blown party explosion throughout 2018 from Scotland and England and all the way to Korea for the inaugural DMZ Peace Train Music Festival! What exactly do they sound like? Well, imagine Primal Scream and Happy Mondays had children genetically fused with the DNA of Frank Zappa, Bob Marley, James Brown, George Clinton and Neil Diamond. Boom! We recommend you join the Yellow Movement and find out for yourself. Your Colonel needs you! Peace, Love and Mustard.
Declan Welsh and The Decadent West
Declan Welsh and his troubadour gang have recently performed at the Labour For Socialism event ‘Concert For Corbyn’ in Glasgow, and played in Palestine with an orchestra of child refugees, which gives you an idea of just how committed the young Glaswegian is to effecting change in the world he sees. Described by some as a modern amalgamation of Joe Strummer and Billy Bragg, Welsh certainly isn’t timid in challenging the political status quo himself.
Fortunately, he’s also got the songs to back it up. Recent tracks like ‘Nazi Boys’ and ‘Shiny Toys’ exhibit an indie rock band already reaching for stadium anthems, while ‘Useless’ showcases an emotional ballast to back it all up. Whether Welsh can change the world remains to be seen, but as a dynamic and ambitious songwriter, he’s throwing everything into it right now.
The duo describe themselves as “GLASGOW LOVE PARTY UTOPIA CRYSTAL SALUTATION CULT”, which seems pretty self-explanatory. If you’re still in the dark, though, your best bet is to catch them live, where the juxtaposition of Suzanne Rodden’s mostly French vocals and Lewis Cook’s woozy electronica really come to life.
Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony Volumes Don’t just take our word for it, though – as well as garnering press in FACT, The Quietus, The Skinny, and more, they’ve already supported huge acts like the Flaming Lips and Liars. Their latest release IV – VI (So Low/Optimo) has a more spiritual and boldly experimental edge, so expect the unexpected.
LUCIA may well have been spotted busking on the streets of Glasgow back when she was finding her feet as a young singer-songwriter, but she’s fully electric now. Reimagining a 90s in which Longpigs headlined Knebworth, or a 00s defined by Best Coast, Lucia Fontaine is nonetheless carving her own future as a modern rock icon.
“You can write a great song without it having to be really complicated,” the artist recently told The Skinny, and while that may belie the layers of garage-pop genius that run through ‘Best Boy’ and new track ‘Melted Ice Cream’, it’s true that LUCIA’s music strips each element down to the core. Clash, DIY, and The Line of Best Fit are all on board too, and we expect there’ll be plenty more praise to come as her dazzling live show continues on the road.
Anyone who’s even momentarily believed that Carl Barat, Pete Doherty, or even Miles Kane might prove to be the saviour of British guitar music, look no further. Combining the raw energy of youth with the kind of guitar riffs that once adorned the NME’s pages each week, it’s no surprise the Glasgow lads have already sold out King Tut’s and Sneaky Pete’s, with an April slot supporting breakthrough punk noiseniks IDLES likely to go the same way.
The four-piece have chocked up 30k Spotify plays for new single ‘Told You So’ – and counting. If the ‘Lust’ video is anything to go by, they’ll be coming to a sweaty indie night near you very soon.
The Spook School
In a million ways, The Spook School are already stars. Could It Be Different? received critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, and it’s easy to see why: at a watershed moment in the history of queer, trans and gender non-binary discourse, the Edinburgh quartet are not only presenting serious issues, but doing so in a way that sounds utterly joyous.
An indiepop band, vaguely in the C86 sense of the term, the usual comparisons to the likes of the Shop Assistants are never far away. But their sound is no nostalgic throwback; like labelmates Martha and touring pals Diet Cig, The Spook School make modern, ramshackle guitar music that remains thrillingly married to the present – even if it casts the occasional cheeky wink back at the past. With glowing reviews rolling in from Clash, Drowned in Sound, and The Line of Best Fit, the future looks rosy too.
The Ninth Wave
If we’re talking big moods, how about jet black? The Ninth Wave’s name may excite fans of Kate Bush or mid-19th century Russian art, but the songs are gathering a reputation all their own; the band already count Radio 1’s Phil Taggart, Huw Stephens, Radio X’s John Kennedy, BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway, i-D, and DIY among their fans.
Taking their cue from the darker fringes of 80s rock and pop, the Glasgow four-piece occasionally sound like two exciting bands in one. Latest single ‘New Kind of Ego’ is led by Haydn Park’s impassioned vocal performance; elsewhere Elina Lin leads the pack, as on the catchy ‘Liars’. With choruses scaling into Tears For Fears levels of art-pop melodrama, and several festival appearances booked this summer, The Ninth Wave look unstoppable now.
The Vegan Leather
Representing Paisley, The Vegan Leather are approximately 8% leather, 0% vegan, and at least 92% rapturous electronic pleasure. Sharing a nerds-on-the-dancefloor aesthetic – musically, of course – with the likes of Hot Chip and Metronomy, the band have been throwing shapes since 2014.
Since then they’ve released an EP (2015’s This House), watched their hypnotic track ‘Days Go By’ amass 14k views on YouTube, played a variety of shows and festivals including T in the Park, and continued to release a string of belters, running the gamut from disco to art-pop in the process. If they can carry that kind of energy into a debut LP later in the year, we’ll certainly be dancing our socks off.
Other Scottish artists officially showcasing at The Great Escape include:
Dancing on Tables
Dancing on Tables are a five-piece indie-pop band from Dunfermline, a small town right outside of Edinburgh. Formed whilst still at `school, the band have spent their teenage years earning plaudits for their ‘dreamy melodies wrapped up in luring harmonies’, with their recent ‘Don’t Stop’ EP receiving national UK radio air play. Their engaging performances and dynamic personalities have been seen at several UK festivals in the last few years. Their music could be described as the perfect marriage of skilful Lennon and McCartney inspired songwriting, combined with the energy from the Libertines.
When Lewis Capaldi first picked up a guitar at the age of nine, few could have anticipated the beautiful things he’d do with it next. The young man from Bathgate began his career singing in pubs at the age of 12, and by the time his 2017 single ‘Bruises’ had hit Spotify, it became the fastest ever unsigned artist to reach 25 million plays on the platform.
In fact, support slots accommodating the likes of Rag’n’Bone Man, Sam Smith and Kodaline were just the tip of an iceberg. After 40 million global streams for his debut EP Bloom, produced by long-time Frank Ocean collaborator and Grammy winner Malay, the world is Capaldi’s oyster.