The Alternative Escape is to The Great Escape what the Brighton Fringe is to the Brighton Festival. Open access, rather than programmed. However, that doesn’t mean that the quality isn’t there. Indeed, because The Great Escape is relatively restricted in terms of numbers, The Alternative Escape offers great opportunities for labels, management companies, media organisations (such as yours truly), promoters, agencies and the like to organise their own shows, in venues they see fit but still have the benefits of being promoted within The Great Escape publicity machine, via their website and printed programme. Many acts crossover, playing both TGE and TAE within the three days of the event. So, the quality is often very high.
This year, as always, there’s plenty to get your teeth into. Moreover, you don’t have to buy a TGE wristband to go to TAE shows, and most events are free of charge. Just turn up at the door, and check out some new music!
The Black Lion is a key TAE venue (home to last year’s very raucous Shame show, before they went stellar), and this year Bad Vibrations host a matinee show on the Thursday, followed by Kick out The Jams and Benemy presenting a late night showcase with bands such as Sons and False Heads. Impressive PR By The Sea take the reins on Friday afternoon with bands such as the indie-punks Life, while that evening SESAC and Various Artists Management present acts such as Kyan and JW Ridley. MassivePresents will also be host to some great bands such as Fades and Alaskalaska, on Saturday afternoon.
The hard working, new talent scouting label and management company End of the Trail always put on great line-ups at East Street Tap. Running for 11 hours on both the Thursday and Friday, there are 40-odd acts to check out including Polar States, Of Empires, Luvia, Family Jools, and Avalanche Party.
Other TAE venues include Marlborough Theatre, where Kick out The Jams and Sunshine HQ present River Bones, Lucie Barat and Sisteray on Friday afternoon, while The Unwonted Stage presents Sit Down amongst others in the evening.
Mucky Duck pub (Manchester Street) is usually full of quality action. Hand In Hive + The Most Radicalist in association with CALM present an enticing Friday evening bill that includes Sports Team and Swimming Tapes. Then AK/DK and Abi Wade are just two artists that will be performing Saturday afternoon at the same venue.
Shipwright’s Yard, off Middle Street, often has line-ups that equal those of a TGE showcase. This year they have Bella Union signing Amaya Laucircia, buzz band Our Girl, and Madonnatron amongst others, the event kicking off at midday. Meanwhile, London-based music company Killing Moon are back in town again for an all-day showcase at The Hub, including Fizzy Blood, Draper, Now Now, and Hockey Dad.
North Laine Brewhouse opens its doors all three days, with a particularly exciting line-up on Saturday that includes top Brighton acts Strange Cages and Projector.
Shortt’s Bar on St. James’ Street is host to plenty of live action over the three days, including 60s Brit r’n’b band The RPM’s on Saturday afternoon, followed by acts such as Beach Riot and Dirty Orange in the evening. On the Thursday big buzz band The Island Club are lined up to perform alongside Courts and No Hot Ashes.
The Fountain Head pub also opens its doors on Friday afternoon for a Bucks Music Group showcase that includes Brooke Bentham and Coco.
To top it all off, of course, we have Brightonsfinest taking over the wondrous St. Mary’s Church for an all-dayer on the Saturday, with a bill that includes Charles Watson, Her’s, SJ Brett, The Fiction Aisle, Trudy and The Romance, Fur, Wild Front, and headlined by atmospheric dream-rockers Phoria.
For more information and line-ups visit: