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The Great Escape 2012: Editors Picks

May 10, 2012

Posted on The 405

Gang Colours

The 405 have been following Will Ozanne’s Gang Colours closely since the release of the violently monikered EP, In Your Gut Like A Knife, last summer. Recently the chap from Southampton released full-length debut album The Keychain Collection on Brownswood Recordings, to positive appraise.

It’s the kind of album that rewards enormously on repeated listens, the reflective soundscapes burying deep into the skin, and cut-up homages to garage swirl smoothy through the bloodstream. The result is rather Beautiful stuff, like if Mount Kimbie went into ballad territory – but with a very definite Gang Colours personal grace to proceedings. [Listen]

Forest Swords

Oh Forest Swords, where have you been? The solo project from Liverpool-based Matthew Barnes has been quiet of recent, following the release of 2010’s gorgeous and beguiling LP Dagger Paths. Beguiling in that a myriad of differing styles are sewn into each other; Barnes’ passion and knowledge for techno, drone and even R&B coming to the fore.

Gorgeous in that the way the aforementioned genres are masterfully woven; resulting in a sparse, yet bold dream-state. It’ll be fascinating to see how it will play out in a live setting at gone midnight on the final day of The Great Escape; anything from a melancholic nightcap to a techno dub-filled set seems like a possibility. [Listen]

Regal Safari

It’s obviously important to treat your ears well during a live musical experience; but what about your eyes, what to do with those squidgy photosensitive organs? Regal Safari have solved this problem by providing visual stimuli in the form of video projections that compliment their sound – forming a crucial part of the band. It’s better than staring at the backlit straggly hair from the tall chap in front of you anywhoo.

The ears part is well-covered too – the talented Brighton duo exuding a warm ambient vibrance, with some lush beats traversing into your soul. It could lazily be described as chill-wave, but there’s a lot more going on here; a dark undercurrent and exquisite arrangement, yet with a lucid air to proceedings. Go and download their debut six-track EP before the show. [Listen]


Virals is the nom de plume of Shaun Hencher (he of Lovvers fame), where he has been creating some exciting tunes in a pub since late 2010. Fans of Lovvers will no doubt enjoy the sounds of Virals, though, they are very different entities; gone is the frenetic noise-fest, to be replaced with a more pop-orientated, melodic air.

To date only one release is available – the double A-side of ‘Magic Happens’ and ‘Comes the Night’ on the marvellous Sexbeat. But fear not; their debut EP will be out the very week of The Great Escape, titled ‘Coming Up With The Sun’ via Tough Love Records. Lets hope the sun rears its big orange face to compliment the sun-kissed vibes Virals ooze in abundance. [Listen]

Perfume Genius

Seattle resident Mike Hadreas, as Perfume Genius, recently (and now somewhat infamously) had his video for ‘Hood’ banned by YouTube; under the pretence that they thought families wouldn’t be able to hack the sight of two people of the same sex, ya know, actually hugging each other. However, one traditionally socially conservative group seemingly does not have a problem with Perfume Genius, as he will be performing at The Great Escape in a Church.

It promises to be a superb choice of venue, the delicate vocals of Hadreas will surely sound heavenly reverbing around the walls of the Unitarian Church. The deeply personal, emotional themes of albums Put Your Back N 2 It and Learning in this setting could be something of a moment. See you in the front pew. [Listen]

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