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Showcasing Scotland at The Great Escape 2019

Published: 11 Apr 2019


Ten rising Scottish music acts are set to perform at Europe’s leading festival of new and emerging music, The Great Escape Festival in Brighton from 9 – 11 May 2019.

The Scottish contingent offers a strong and diverse range of noise-pop, hip-hop, indie, punk, left-field electronic pop and more. Aaron Smith, ALLIGATOR, Cloth, Heavy Rapids, Kobi Onyame, LUCIA, OK Button, Tamzene, The Snuts and Walt Disco will play Showcasing Scotland sets at One Church on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 May, as well as additional gigs across the festival.

From hip-hop to alt-rock this year’s Scottish line-up showcases the strength and diversity of talent across a variety of genres- Jamie Houston, Creative Scotland

Lewis Capaldi will appear at a special sold out Spotlight Show on Thursday 09 May at the Brighton Dome, while The Ninth WaveThe Van T’s and Wuh Oh will feature at festival venues across the weekend.

The Great Escape has forged a considerable reputation as the place to see the festival headliners of the future in intimate settings. The Showcasing Scotland concerts create an important opportunity to present Scotland’s best up-and-coming acts to the bookers, agents, managers, labels, programmers and other key figures in the UK and international industry.

Creative Scotland music specialist, Jamie Houston, said: “As the UK’s largest gathering of music industry, The Great Escape is a taste-making festival attended by music industry delegates from across the globe on the hunt for the next big thing.

“From hip-hop to alt-rock this year’s Scottish line-up showcases the strength and diversity of talent across a variety of genres, all of whom are ready to take the next step in their careers.

“Working with our partners Wide Days, the Scottish showcases and networking reception provide an important opportunity for our home-grown musical talent to gain national and international exposure.  Importantly these opportunities can lead to future income, either through subsequent tour bookings, festival invitations or record-release deals for international markets.”

Scottish Networking Reception

In addition to the two Scottish Showcase concerts, Wide Days and Creative Scotland are hosting a Scottish Networking Reception where fans and festival delegates will be able to meet Scottish industry figures and acts playing at The Showcasing Scotland concerts at One Church on the Thursday and Friday.

"Over the past two years we have hosted two of the busiest receptions at The Great Escape connecting the delegates from around the world with each other, the Scottish music industry and an exquisite mixture of malt whisky, deep fried Mars bars and haggis,”says co-directorof Wide Days, Olaf Furniss.

“We can't wait to return to Brighton next month!"

Showcasing Scotland concerts at One Church will be hosted by the BBC Scotland’s presenter Vic Galloway.

Ahead of the festival, on Wednesday 8 May, rising stars of the Scottish alternative scene Tom McGuire & The Brassholes, Vanives, Carla J. Easton and Marc McGowan will also play at Hope and Ruin - 1-12 Queens Rd, Brighton BN1 3WA.


Thursday 9 May 2019

One Church, Gloucester Pl, Brighton, BN1 4AA


12:45 – Aaron Smith

13:30 – Cloth

14:30 – Walt Disco

15:30 – Heavy Rapids

Friday 10 May 2019

One Church, Gloucester Pl, Brighton, BN1 4AA

12:00 - Tamzene

12:45 – OK Button

13:45 – Lucia

14:30 – Kobi Onyame

15:30 – The Snuts


About the artists

Aaron Smith

Central Scotland singer-songwriter Aaron Smith is one of the most enigmatic artists at the Great Escape. Preserving his online presence for now, he hasn’t uploaded any music to streaming sites, preferring to hone his songwriting craft and stunning falsetto over the last year. He has been working closely with Lewis Capaldi’s manager Scott Kirkwood as well as some of the UK’s leading songwriters and producers, so expect him to emerge a fully-formed artist, and one to watch.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AaronSmithMusic100/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/__Aaron_Smith

Thursday 9 May, 12:45 - One Church

Thursday 9 May, 21:30 - Unitarian Church


With the fuzzed-out swagger of early 90’s, ALLIGATOR have had their track ‘Trickle Down’ feature on the opening theme to the Champions League semi-final, and their epic choruses suggest there may be stadium action further down the line. In the meantime, they’ve just covered thousands of miles on a European tour that finished with a stint supporting Slaves. Frontman James McDonald goes for the direct route, saying he wrote their single ‘Shadow By Your Side’ “because life is all about family and your mates and everything else is just shite”. Surely a great unifier at future ALLIGATOR festival sets.

Facebook: facebook.com/alligatorgla/

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/4RJypaFwK7GjwnklI9oYs2

Thursday 9 May, 12:00 - One Church

Thursday 9 May, 19:00 - Queen's Hotel 


Glasgow alt-rock trio Cloth hit the ground running this year after being named as one of BBC Radio One DJ Huw Stephens’ ‘Tips for 2019’. The stamp of approval comes after garnering plaudits and airplay from other BBC tastemakers such as Vic Galloway, Steve Lamacq and 6 Music’s Tom Robinson, who described their latest single ‘Old Bear’ as “a new high point from an already exceptional band”. This level of hype doesn’t form in a vacuum – Cloth’s clean, sleek guitar lines are undercut by deft electronic grooves and Rachael Swinton’s dreamy vocal abstractions, evoking the minimalism of The xx through a college rock prism. They’ve promised a debut album in 2019 –surely one of the most eagerly-awaited Scottish records of the year.

Facebook: facebook.com/clothband/

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/3ZKUFIrYS6aAgIxu5AfTX5

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=MgbJ-RDWw2o

Thursday 9 May, 13:30 - One Church

Thursday 9 May, 22:00 - Queen's Hotel

Heavy Rapids

Pogoing in unison with other punk-fuelled acts like IDLES, Shame and Fontaines DC, Glasgow’s Heavy Rapids sneer and snarl like landfill indie never happened, and guitar music’s so-called relevance has never been questioned. From growling proclamations of “This generation’s gone insane” on ‘Crying Shame’ to indulging in a fringe conspiracy theory around the brace position advice on airplanes on ‘Going Down’, Heavy Rapids treat everything as fair game. This is visceral, sloganeering rock’n’roll, running on the fumes of disaffected youth and a pressure cooker vibe that spills into their live shows.

New single 'Infected Nightmares’ was Tune of the Week on BBC Radio 1’s Indie Rock Show, featured as BBC Next Wave artist, and they should be knocking around many top spots in the Great Escape round-ups and reviews.

Website: heavyrapids.co.uk

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/5achdNstEkveBE4ALqydFw

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=Fne7an7xACQ

Thursday 9 May, 15:30 - One Church

Kobi Onyame

Glasgow-based Ghanaian artist Kobi Onyame is one of the most established artists on the Great Escape bill — with three acclaimed albums in the can, and support slots with heavy-hitters such as Kanye West, Wu-Tang Clan and Nas.

Onyame fully embraces the all-access ethos of hip-hop, flipping the sounds rooted in West Africa, London or Glasgow, effortlessly weaving highlife into traces of boom-bap rap, Soul, Afrobeat and UK dub soundsystem culture.

His latest albumGold— which was on the 2018 Scottish Album of the Year shortlist — is his greatest harnessing of Ghanaian sounds yet. Recorded fully on tape, it pulses with a dynamic energy, and the ghetto blaster cassette door clicks add to the block party vibe.

Facebook: facebook.com/kobionyame

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/4k8bdcry46k26fo4WQhLHA

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=0tABTljPZ-g&feature=youtu.be

Friday 10 May, 14:30 - One Church

Saturday 11 May, 21:45 - Latest Music Bar


With the sweetness of bubblegum pop, the easy swagger of classic college rock, Phil Spector's widescreen ambition, and the gritty rumblings of the best riot grrrl and grunge, LUCIA have won the hearts of music-lovers, critics and fellow artists with just a couple of EPs and a few years of relentless touring. This is modern rock n' roll driven by instinct alone. The perfect soundtrack for a teenage dream. LUCIA kick the doors in with brash abandon. Latest single 'Blueheart'– produced by Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele) and mixed by Charlie Holmes and Mark "Spike" Stent (Beyoncé, Arcade Fire) – adds plenty of widescreen colour to a two-finger anthem kicking against a toxic relationship. After ticking off their March 2019 calendar with festival performances at NYC's New Colossus and SXSW in Texas, and gigs in LA, they'll be arriving in Brighton in fighting fit form.

Facebook: facebook.com/LUCIAmusicx/

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/3hihvmS048d6bb8YlZaTU1

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=KikiqW6dgaQ

Friday 10 May, 13:45 - One Church

Friday 10 May, 19:15 - Coalition

Saturday 11 May, 20:15 - The Old Market

OK Button

The intent behind OK Button’s debut single The Message is as relevant today as Grandmaster Flash’s 1982 single of the same name was against the ravages of drugs in inner city ghettos. The Aberdeen-based ambient dream-pop trio – with a collective CV of work with Morcheeba, Gorillaz, Bombay Bicycle Club and One Eskimo and more – say the song is a “mantra” for tackling anxiety and low self-esteem, as singer Amber Wilson counters, “you motherfuckers won’t bring me down”, amid wispy drones and fragile electronic percussion. They challenge other modern anxieties such as digital detachment and isolation on subsequent singles, with a singular, delicate sonic palette and an assurance that “everything will be OK”. In an era when we’re often advised to press the reset button, we can hit the OK Button instead.

Website: okbuttonmusic.com/

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/7AxSUtuKtKJDgd5onJazg9

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=YQsdH6q2MeE

Friday 10 May, 12:45 - One Church

Saturday 11 May, 20:30 - Fabrica

The Snuts

Just as the cover of an early demo featured a still life watercolour of a sunflower plonked in a bottle of Buckfast, The Snuts are all about keeping you guessing.Their latest single Manhattan Project is another jarring proposition – with its nuclear bomb and WWII imagery casting strange romantic metaphors, carried by explosive, anthemic indie-rock. With triumphant sets last year at TRNSMT and Benicassim – declared the “best guitar band you’ll see” by founder Melvin Benn – The Snuts are a laser-focused, ambitious rock’n’roll band with a sweaty club energy but an eye on the bigger picture.

Website: thesnuts.co.uk/

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/4AzAfQNuAyKOFG4DZMsdAo

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=qy76D70qyOM&feature=youtu.be

Thursday 9 May, 20:30 - The Dive Bar - Beach Site

Friday 10 May, 15:30 - One Church


From the Highland town of Cromarty with a population of less than a thousand, Tamzene wasn't kept a local secret for very long after she was spotted busking in Inverness by bookers from the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival in 2016. She's been booked at the festival every year since, and her most recent single Last Song was featured on 8 Spotify curated playlists including New Music Friday UK and USA. After learning the violin from the age of eight, and picking up the guitar a few years later, Tamzene has shifted from folky singer-songwriter to anthemic torch songs and epic, soulful pop.

Website: tamzene.com/

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/77YCAroJisD7uOECsiPcAL

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=BQC7MQ9qZOc

Thursday 9 May, 14:30 - Queen's Bar

Friday 10 May, 12:00 – One Church

Walt Disco

With a name like Walt Disco and a recent single called My Pop Sensibilities, this Glasgow five-piece revel in the irony and illicit flamboyance of left-field pop music. First bound through a mutual love of Orange Juice, The Associates and Echo & the Bunnymen, musically they elaborate with a Scott Walker-goes-new wave synth stomp and eccentric electronic arrangements. Frontman James Potter channels Jarvis and Bowie’s avant-garde affectations, while everything is tied together with an androgynous Vivienne Westwood aesthetic and some gothic post-punk glamour.

Facebook: facebook.com/waltdisco/

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/5Id5Ig1KgNJoLjLFskZ18I

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=7otEJGeg4bU

Thursday 9 May, 14:30 - One Church

Thursday 9 May, 21:00 - Horatio's

Other Scottish artists officially showcasing at The Great Escape include:

Lewis Capaldi

From first picking up a guitar at the age of nine to singing in pubs when he was 12, Lewis Capaldi was always destined for a life in music. But even the most naive dreamer couldn’t have predicted his stratospheric rise of the Bathgate singer-songwriter. By 2017, Capaldi’s single ‘Bruises’ had become a massive hit on Spotify, hitting 25 million plays in the fastest time ever for an unsigned artist. Since then, he has hit 250 million plays on streaming services despite only releasing nine tracks so far, and has sold out three headline tours. With a packed European festival season ahead, don’t expect things to slow down any time soon.

Website: lewiscapaldi.com/

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/4GNC7GD6oZMSxPGyXy4MNB

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=HbKnEQdCjGg

Thursday 9 May, Spotlight show - Brighton Dome

The Ninth Wave

Naming your band after an iconic 19th century Russian marine painting or a Kate Bush song adds a certain level of aloofness, but The Ninth Wave wear it well. Channelling the gothic corners of 80s shoegaze, post-punk and noise-pop, The Glasgow duo add a theatricality and drama to a scene that’s often stifled by same-same indie-rock acts. The band were tipped early by the likes of Radio One’s Jack Saunders, Phil Taggart and Huw Stephens; Radio X’s John Kennedy and BBC Radio Scotland's Vic Galloway, on the back of dark epics like ‘A New Kind of Ego’ and ‘Half Pure’. Having just returned from SXSW, expect the praise to continue with their debut album INFANCY, released in two parts – with the first half due just in time for The Great Escape.

Website: theninthwave.online/

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/7AAthfOGfAvVy4NWGJDiCP

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=pHzeYc8uNeA

Friday 10 May, 23:15 - The Walrus

Saturday 11 May, 13:30 - Komedia Studio Bar

The Van T's

The Van T's create a noise-pop racket that filters lush vocal harmonies through jagged 90s alt-rock distortion. Formed of twin sisters Hannah and Chloe Thompson, bassist Joanne Forbes and drummer Shaun Hood; the four-piece have been drip-feeding explosive hook-laden singles and EPs such as 'Suis-Je Cool?' and 'Fresh Meat', scoring high-profile slots at festivals such as TRNSMT and T in the Park, and winning Best Live Act at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards in 2017.

Facebook: facebook.com/TheVanTs/

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/6DHkGAqwV3RPeYpkYFdggL

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=rnVyiXoescs&feature=youtu.be

Thursday 9 May, 13:30 - Queen's Bar

Wuh Oh

The Wuh Oh project is a hyper-modern clash of jubilant energy, off-kilter melodies and irrepressible pop. Ferguson has crammed a great deal of experience into his short musical evolution. Plucked from his Myspace aged 15, his music was previewed alongside a personal interview on Radio 1’s Annie Mac show. Within a week of self releasing his first EP he had an invitation to play a support slot at Glasgow's King Tut’s. Making an ambitious jump, Wuh Oh released his next material on taste-making Canadian imprint Secret Songs racking up significant streams for both his singles ‘Wolverines’ and ‘Hairstyle’. Debut album is due to come later in 2019!

Facebook: facebook.com/wuhohmusic/

Music: open.spotify.com/artist/48AHKCezlxWjPfE4FLf0b8

Thursday 9 May, 13:30 - Marine Rooms  

Notes to Editors

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com. Follow us on Twitter @creativescots, Facebook www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland and Instagram www.instagram.com/creativescots.

Wide Days was launched in 2010 and is hosted every April in Edinburgh by Wide Events CIC (formerly Born To Be Wide CIC). It attracts key music industry players from the UK, Europe and North America and in 2018 drew 350 registered delegates with a further 800 registrations for the evening showcases snapped up by members of the public.  In 2014 it was named Best Networking Event at the Yearly Music Convention Awards, was runner up in the same category in 2015 and was also nominated for Best Convention Venue in 2016.

Wide Events CIC has its origins in the Born To Be Wide evenings which was launched in 2004 as a social night for people in the Edinburgh music scene and still hosts seminar and networking events in Central Scotland. Throughout the year the company stages music business seminars, showcases and the Off The Record youth events, as well as bespoke panels for other organisations.  In 2017 and 2018 it has also hosted the Scottish reception at The Great Escape in partnership with Creative Scotland. For further information about Wide Days please visit widedays.com. You can find Wide Days on Twitter twitter.com/widedaysand Facebook facebook.com/widedays.

For further information about The Great Escapeplease visit greatescapefestival.com.Follow the festival on Twitter @thegreatescape #TGEScot and on Facebook facebook.com/greatescapefestival/.