|Since being founded in 2006, The Great Escape has been firmly established internationally as the leading event for showcasing new music. Taking place in Brighton over 3 days in May, The Great Escape kicks starts the festival season, introducing 15,000 music lovers to the key artists and sounds of the year. With over 300 bands playing in 30 venues over 3 days, The Great Escape is the key date in the music calendar. In addition to pre-publicised performances, impromptu street gigs spring up all over town. The Alternative Escape, numerous club nights, label parties, industry showcases, unique collaborations and outdoor gigs all add to the festivities.
“Think of it as Glastonbury by the sea.” NME
This year four bands and artists from New Zealand will be making the journey to Brighton UK. Lawrence Arabia, Popstrangers, Mel Parsons, and Six60 will be appearing at their own showcases as well as the NZ@The Great Escape party which will be taking place at Haunt on Friday the 17th of May.
Please keep reading for additional information on the artists attending.
As a band, Six60 originally formed in Dunedin in 2008. Pressured into recording a demo EP by friends and family, they sold their music online through their website and setup some fan pages on various online social networks. As word spread about their high-octane live shows, and copies of their songs spread around New Zealand and Australia, they were rewarded with a burgeoning fan base.
Sitting at nearly 130,000 fans on facebook, Six60 also have to their credit, two double platinum singles ‘Rise Up 2.0′ and ‘Don’t Forget Your Roots’, two platinum selling singles ‘Only To Be’ and ‘Forever’ plus a triple platinum Number One self titled debut album. They have toured nationally to sold out crowds for several years now and are now NZ biggest live band – this summer Six60 played to over 15,000 fans in just seven dates and in Australia the band are now selling out 1,500 plus capacity venues. They recently sold out three shows in London where they performed to over 3,000 people.
Blending soul, rock, dubstep and drum and bass, their music is dynamic, versatile and unexpected. Extended singer/songwriter jams incorporate dubstep sections as bridges, hard rocking guitar work duels with robust synthetics and thunderous low end bass over vibrant percussive rhythms, and in both voice and instrumentation infectious melody consistently shines through.
In the USA their latest single ‘Forever’ was featured on an Indie 500 story aired on ESPN and ABC.
“Blending rock with dubstep and other electronic sounds du jour. ‘Forever’ reveals the group’s soulful side and innovative combination of musical styles.”
- RCRD LBL
‘sonic hum of synthetic electro bass, acoustic guitar and soft, fluid vocal….Six60 plan to rock you into a new here and now……’ Brisbane Times
Official Great Escape Showcase: Saturday, May 18th, 9:15pm – Above Audio
After The Great Escape Six60 will be playing the following shows..
May 22nd – London / The Forum
May 24th – Manchester – Dot to Dot Festival
May 25th – Bristol – Dot to Dot Festival
May 26th – Nottingham – Dot to Dot Festival
June 6th – Paradiso – Amsterdam
“As one man findeth shelter under the eaves of his neighbour’s wife, so shall he be plagued by the sparrow. And lo, where fields of wheat once grew lush upon the soil, lies now the infernal desert of the pestilential sparrow.” – Lawrence Arabia, 2011.
Lawrence Arabia is the musical guise of New Zealand artist James Milne.In 2006, Lawrence Arabia released his self titled debut album and the debut album of his band The Reduction Agents, The Dance Reduction Agents. Both albums were nominated for several bNet awards, New Zealand’s public voted alternative radio awards, and Chant Darling won the inaugural Taite Music Prize in 2010.
Milne has been involved in the internationally successful pop group The Brunettes and toured as bass player for American band Okkervil River and toured with Feist and Crowded House. He has also produced music for film and theatre including songs that appeared in Taika Waititi’s flm Eagle vs Shark.
In July 2012, Lawrence Arabia released “The Sparrow”.
The Sparrow is Lawrence Arabia’s third solo album, the evocative follow up to the Taite Music Prize/Silver Scroll winning Chant Darling. Venturing away from the harmony-laden, classic pop production of Chant Darling, The Sparrow is a more measured and minimalist work, drawing particularly on the influence from the symphonic late-sixties work of Scott Walker and Serge Gainsbourg.
“Thinking person’s pop music – finely honed, tightly arranged” – Rolling Stone (AUS), 2012
“Perfectly composed, awash in dreamy psychedelia, sweet harmonies and moody grooves” -NPR (USA) 2012
“Lovely, lushly arranged” – BBC (UK), 2012
“A pointed tribute to a world before the white heat of punk” – MOJO (UK), 2012
“A finely honed paean to the art of the songwriter” – NME (UK), 2012
“Lush, ornate pop of the highest order” -themusic.com.au 2012
“Suave and martini sophisticated” -Pitchfork.com (USA), 2010
“Delicate guitar-pop numbers infused with Sixties nostalgia and dashes of wry humour”- Guardian (UK), 2010
Official Great Escape Showcase: Friday, May 17th, 8:00pm – Komedia Studio Bar – Island Showcase
Prior to The Great Escape Lawrence Arabia will be performing on the following dates:
May 10th – Manchester Deaf Institute
May 11th – Liverpool Kazimier
May 13th – Brighton Audio
May 15th – Sebright Arms London (headline show)
May 16th – Bristol Thekla
Popstrangers is Joel Flyger, Adam Page and David Larson, three native New Zealanders who make “pop” music that’s hard-driving, punk-influenced and sonically inimitable.
The band formed in 2009, after the three members connected over their shared histories of bad day jobs, stints in other bands and most importantly, their desire to create music with like-minded people. With a name conceived last-minute before their first official show, Popstrangers’ ambitions have grown since their days of playing local gigs around Auckland. They have developed a strong following in their native New Zealand for their heavy but accessible sound, and are set to export their noisy melodies to the rest of the world. Popstrangers released two well-received EPs and their first full-length is due early next year.
The band has spent the last few years honing their dynamic live show on extensive tours of New Zealand and Australia, which included the Big Day Out and Rhythm and Vines festivals. In addition to playing CMJ, Popstrangers has supported MGMT and Crocodiles on their NZ tours. Recently, the band scored a nomination for the Critics Choice Award at the 2011 NZ Music Awards.
Official Great Escape Showcase: Friday, May 17th, 7:45pm – Coalition presented by the Fly
In addition to The Great Escape shows Popstrangers will be playing the following shows..
May 16th – Old Blue Last – London
May 30th – Think Tank – Newcastle
May 31st – Nice N Sleazys – Glasgow
June 1st – Chameleon – Nottingham
June 2nd – Hare & Hounds – Birmingham
June 4th – Cargo – London
Well recognised as one of New Zealand’s rising songwriting stars, Mel Parsons is a modern folk artist on the rise. Following the success of her debut record ‘Over My Shoulder’ in 2009, the Kiwi singer/songwriter and two time Tui-award finalist for Folk Album of the Year recently released her sophomore album ‘Red Grey Blue’ to widespread critical acclaim.
After a growing up in the remote rural west coast of NZ’s South Island, the established touring artist has spent the past 10 years in the city and on the road, gleaning material from life, love and loss. Parsons’ experiences translate to song in a true, bare and at times heartbreaking manner, weaved together with an infectious optimism and ever-memorable lyrics.
‘Red Grey Blue’ has been called “one of New Zealand’s finest releases”*, and has so far spent 16 weeks in the NZ independent album charts. Parsons is signed to Australian-based publisher Native Tongue, and has released both of her records in NZ on Border Music & DRM.
Armed with instant sing-along choruses, and a unique sensibility to melody and harmony, Parsons draws on the folk tradition of telling stories, and blends it with pop hooks. In her element onstage, Parsons is know for ‘pin-drop’ performances, drawing in her audiences and keeping them all night with a dynamic live show.
With home as a hotel room and a suitcase, Parsons built up her fan base the old fashioned way, winning over audiences on the live circuit. 2013 sees another busy year for the singer, with tours in Australia, UK, Ireland, Germany, and her native New Zealand.
Official Great Escape Showcase: Saturday, May 18th, Komedia Studio Bar
After The Great Escape Mel Parsons will be playing the following shows..
Mon 20th May – Dublin Castle
94 Parkway, Camden
Doors open 7:45pm | Mel onstage 8:15 – 8:45pm
Tues 21st May – Buffalo Bar
259 Upper Street, London, N1 1RU
Doors 8pm | Mel onstage 9pm – 9:45pm
Tickets & info: http://www.clubfandango.co.uk/gig.php?id=2819
Also in the UK this month are The Phoenix Foundation…
May 9th – Oran Mor – Glasgow, United Kingdom (w/ Lawrence Arabia)
May 10th – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, United Kingdom (w/ Lawrence Arabia)
May 11th – Kasimier -Liverpool, United Kingdom (w/ Lawrence Arabia)
May 13th – Audio Brighton – United Kingdom (w/ Lawrence Arabia)
May 14th – Electric Ballroom – London, United Kingdom
May 16th – Thekla – Bristol, United Kingdom (w/ Lawrence Arabia)
May 17th – Temple, The Institute Birmingham, United Kingdom
May 20th – Bi Nuu – Berlin, Germany
May 21st – Prinzenbar – Hamburg, Germany
May 24th – Papiersaal – Zurich, Switzerland (w/ Mesparrow)
May 25th – London Calling – Amsterdam, Netherlands (w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra)
May 26th – Botanique Sint-Joost-Ten-Node, Belgium (w/ Beach Fossils)
May 28th – L’Espace B – Paris, France