The Great Escape 2017: 10 Scottish bands to see
Ahead of The Great Escape in Brighton next week, we look at ten of the Scottish acts to catch at the festival
It could be argued the The Great Escape festival, taking place in Brighton next week (18-20 May), is the most important new music festival and conference platform in the world; there is certainly no debating its status within the UK scene.
More than 3,500 music industry delegates from around the globe will be in attendance, representing a career-altering opportunity for musicians and with over 400 artists showcasing, we're highlighting 10 of the top Scottish acts performing. Creative Scotland present an official Great Escape showcase this year, and we've also picked out a couple of artists who have been booked elsewhere on the programme; it’s an exciting and eclectic representation of a very healthy Scottish music scene.
Edinburgh singer-songwriter Callum Beattie released his debut EP We Are The Stars via 3Beat / Universal in March and the title song has already been played over one million times. With major label backing, a producer like Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Paolo Nutini), and an exceptional ability to write catchy, hit songs, Beattie looks poised to make an impact.
Callum Beattie plays at 1pm on Thursday at One Church, and at 2.45pm on Friday at Jubilee Square.
Talented 19-year-old singer-songwriter and producer, Be Charlotte (aka Charlotte Brimner) is one of the best known break-out artists Scotland has produced recently. Despite her tender years, she has toured the UK, USA and South East Asia, played international showcase events including Eurosonic and SxSW, picked up numerous awards and also developed her own musical instrument. Live, she sings, beat-boxes, raps and has been played on BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music, as well as a live session on BBC Radio Scotland.
Be Charlotte plays at 3.30pm on Thursday at Brighthelm Centre, at 9.30pm at The Hope & Ruin and on Saturday at 1.15pm at Komedia Studio.
Edinburgh ‘tropical-pop’ quartet Indigo Velvet have been tipped by a host of industry taste-makers including BBC Scotland's Vic Galloway, attracting a growing following for their "upbeat, playful, irrepressibly bright compositions".
Indigo Velvet play Beyond Retro on Friday at 5.10pm (as part of the Alternative Great Escape Festival).
The most established band of the bunch, The LaFontaines have an impressive CV. Their debut album, Class charted at number 10 in Scotland (and the top 100 in the UK), they’ve sold-out shows at Glasgow’s The Barrowlands and ABC, won an award for Best Live Act and toured extensively across the UK, Europe and USA. They’ve played New York’s Central Park, some of the UK’s biggest festivals, and secured main stage appearances at T In The Park and Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.
The LaFontaines play at 1.30pm on Thursday at Brighthelm Centre, and again at 10.15pm at Latest Music Bar.
Consisting of brother duo Stevie and Al Jukes from Wishaw, Saint PHNX boast a talent for penning anthemic, sing-a-long, electro rock songs (think along the lines of Kasabian). Support from BBC Introducing, Q Magazine, Tenement TV, Clash and an impressive 6 million streams via Spotify indicates Saint PHNX are on course for big things.
Saint PHNX play at 10.15pm on Thursday at Green Door Store and 1.15pm on Friday at Brighthelm Centre.
Originating in London in the early 2000s, grime is on the up-and-up thanks to the recent mainstream success of artists like Stormzy, Lady Leshurr and Skepta. 19-year-old Paisley native rapper and emcee Shogun is being tipped as one of the genre's brightest stars and we’re looking forward to witnessing his intelligent, politically-charged social commentary in a live setting. His latest YouTube videos have clocked-up nearly 3 million views and he was featured in a BBC documentary as one of the UK’s best new artists.
Shogun plays at 2.15pm on Friday at Brighthelm Centre, and again (downstairs) at Patterns at 6.15pm.
Glasgow quartet Spinning Coin create a ramshackle, indie-pop sound with scuzzy guitars and dreamy melodies. Signed to Domino offshoot Geographic Music, the band is scheduled to release their debut album (recorded with Edwyn Collins) on the imprint later this year. They have performed in session with BBC Radio 6 Music’s Marc Riley and were selected to showcase at SxSW.
Spinning Coin play at 3.15pm on Friday at Brighthelm Centre, and again at 9.30pm at Jubilee Square.
All-girl quartet from Glasgow, TeenCanteen create catchy three-minute pop songs, complete with synths, multi-part harmonies and a post-punk twist. They’ve played festivals like Kendal Calling, Festival No. 6, T in The Park, Electric Fields and received radio support from 6 Music. Their debut album Say It All With A Kiss was released via innovative subscription record label Last Night From Glasgow in 2016.
TeenCanteen play at 12.15pm on Friday at Brighthelm Centre and at 2.30pm on Saturday at Jubilee Square.
The Van T's
Glasgow-based surf-pop/grunge quartet The Van T’s were formed by twin sisters Hannah and Chloe Van Thomson in 2013. They’ve enjoyed airplay from Huw Stephens and Vic Galloway via BBC Introducing, been championed by publications like Noisey, Consequence of Sound, Clash and played festivals including Stag & Dagger, T In The Park, Electric Fields and Twisterella.
The Van T’s play at 2.30pm on Thursday at Brighthelm Centre, and again at 7.15pm at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar.
Hailing from Clackmannanshire near Stirling, Emme Woods sings with a distinctive, gravelly, blues-inflected voice that belies her 21 years. Her music has featured on the soundtrack for the film The Space Between, been played on Amazing Radio and BBC Radio Scotland, and Woods and her six-piece band performed a mesmerising set at Edinburgh music industry conference Wide Days last month.
Emme Woods plays at 12.30pm on Thursday at Brighthelm Centre, 7.00pm at Marine Room, Harbour and 10.15pm at Jubilee Square.
Derick Mackinnon is the co-author of The Scotsman's Under The Radar column, and the manager of Indigo Velvet