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This month, Brighton welcomed about 350 different music acts to The Great Escape Festival and provided the locals as well as the visitors with exciting three days of quality live music of various genres. Venues were packed, atmosphere was buzzing, and even the weather was good despite some rain predictions. Yes, your feet probably hurt by the third day from all the running between the venues while trying to catch all the acts you wanted, but at the same time I bet you'd be happy to go on for another three days. There is nothing like the atmosphere and vibe of such an event as The Great Escape, where music brings people together and everyone is having a damn good time.

Highlights from the festival

Chasing Grace – The duo from Watford played just one show at the festival on Friday and completely dazzled the crowd at The Hope with their graceful voices and melodies. They recently released their first EP which consists of 5 great tracks.

Whales in Cubicles – London based indie rock band brought their raw, honest and guitar packed noise to Prince Albert and Fortune of War and played a few new tracks off their upcoming record (due out later in the year). With a new ambitious single on its way, the only way is up.

Neighbourhood Youth – The Australian indie rock outfit impressed with their astonishing live performance at The Haunt, creating an effective atmospheric sound in the room.

Dean McPhee – The solo electric guitarist brought something unique to the outside crowd at the Festival Hub with his out of this world sounds and remarkable guitar skills.

Palm Reader – Three words: Heavy, loud and intense. Concorde 2’s walls were shaking from the fearless noise this Woking based group provides. This is the type of heavy music that wows more than frightens.

Sharks – It’s always a highlight when these guys come to town. After their recent album release and UK tour, it was good to see Sharks bringing their punk rock extraordinaire to the Great Escape. Some old favourites were played as well as some new tracks from the new album Selfhood.

Title Fight – And the crowd went crazy. Concorde 2 was full of strong admirers of this melodic hardcore group from Pennsylvania and the ones, who weren’t familiar with them before surely weren’t going home unimpressed. This band knows how to provide the audience with a hell of a good time.

On An On – The trio from Chicago/Minneapolis played a very charismatic set after midnight at Coalition. Their captivating sound and soaring vocals seemed to put listeners into somewhat beautiful trance and fitted with the night atmosphere.

No Ceremony/// - This is an electronic music made exactly how it should be. The Manchester based and female fronted trio provided a hypnotic and thrilling atmosphere around the room in Coalition and everyone was moving along their dazzling sound.

Fatherson – This is a Scottish charm at its best. The alternative/indie act from Glasgow already toured with bands such as Frightened Rabbit and Admiral Fallow and with such a collection of stunning melodies and vocals; they are on the right path to greater things.

Eamon McGrath – The Canadian singer/songwriter stopped at the Great Escape while on his European tour and played a great set at the Festival Hub combining an acoustic guitar, harmonica and husky vocals. Definitely one to check out if you like your folk/rock.

Kodaline – The queue outside the Audio was pretty long and not everyone got so lucky to get in and experience a truly special and mesmerizing performance of Kodaline. There is nothing quite like witnessing this Irish band live and the people stood outside the venue knew this. It’s highly predictable that the queues are going to get much longer as the band is set to release their debut album in June and with this kind of musical talent, you better get there early.

Charlie Straight – The Czech Republic based britpop band brought some raw energy to the Festival Hub and in no time, they managed to impress the big outside crowd with their catchy tunes and straight forward likable personality.

The Blackout – Simply said, the Welsh post hardcore treasure destroyed the Concorde 2 on Friday night in the best way possible. The place was packed with their dedicated fans waiting to be fed by the band’s outstanding, crazy and fun filled set. It was a blast from start to finish.

Deep Sea Arcade – The Australian psychedelic indie pop group grabbed the attention at Coalition with their unique style and great melancholic guitar tunes.

The Veils – The special atmosphere at St Mary's Church on Saturday evening only rose with the alluring performance of The Veils, whose ethereal sound only doubled in this kind of place and setting. The loud cheers echoed through the church after the show and the front man Finn Andrews had to come out and play one more acoustic track closing this memorable show.

Tribes – Seeing Tribes live is always a must. The good feel, energy and happiness these guys transfer onto people with their music is not easy to find. The Old Ship Paganini Ballroom was packed on late Saturday night and not only all the favourites from the first album were played, we also heard a bunch of new tracks from the band’s recent record, which sounded truly rocking. What better way to finish off the festival.

Review/photos by Eva Jostakova

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