Scotland at The Great Escape 2021

Scotland at the Great Escape line up

Presented by Wide Days and Creative Scotland

Four Scottish music acts are set to perform at Europe’s leading festival of new and emerging music, The Great Escape Festival from 13 – 14 May 2021.

You can watch register for free to watch  the performances online:

Meet the 2021 showcase acts

Hamish Hawk sits cross legged on a chair in front of a red wall

Hamish Hawk

Vivian Comma paints the Madonna, visibly on the verge of fainting. Christopher Wren walks amongst us once more, forswearing designing cathedrals for singing them. One half of the 1973 Mauritian Badminton Doubles Champions has a perfect serve. The boy who inhabits Track Three of John Lennon’s Imagine repeat-dials, passive-aggressively, to Tiree. A funeral, swinging to the Gay Gordons. A latter-day Paul the Apostle is offended by the sight of Edinburgh Castle – and, infinitesimally worse, can’t finish a beer.

These are the people and places, scenes and scenarios of the songs of Hamish Hawk.

Rich of voice and even richer of imagination, the singer-songwriter from Edinburgh creates musical pen-portraits as vivid in lyric as they are in melody. In all the wholly best ways, these are chamber pop songs that have swallowed both a dictionary and a compendium of modern urban (and island) fairy tales. And, on Heavy Elevator, his first fully-formed album, this prolific artist presents a perfect ten tracks packed with characters, incident, emotion, geographical/artistic references and tunes to hang your coat on. Hawk does all this with considerable wit, inspired by artists like Leonard Cohen, Morrissey (the olden days version), Jarvis Cocker, Randy Newman, and Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields.

‘Call’s To Tiree’ is the follow-up single to ‘Caterpillar’, which is currently B-Listed at BBC 6Music and is on Radio X’s X-Posure playlist. A nervy shiver of monochrome Post Punk-slash-New Wave pop, ‘Caterpillar’ has also received spins BBC London (Gary Crowley), Amazing Radio and BBC Scotland (Roddy Hart/BBC Introducing Scotland, Vic Galloway).

Listen to Hamish Hawk on Spotify | Watch Hamish Hawk on YouTube

Follow Hamish Hawk on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Watch Hamish Hawk on Friday 14, Stage 3, at 18:42

Zoe Graham stands in front of a light brown wall with a leather jacket thrown over one shoulder

Zoe Graham

There is an impressive maturity and attention to detail in Zoe Graham’s music that sets this accomplished young songwriter apart from her peers. On stage, you will find her fleshing out the instrumentation with loop pedals on solo outings, which has seen her share stages across the UK with artists including Kate Nash, Rae Morris, KAWALA, Fatherson and The Proclaimers.

Her recent EP ‘Gradual Move’, mixed by Grammy-award winning Eduardo De La Paz (Arcade Fire, Frightened Rabbit, Rae Morris), fuses warm alt-pop synth tones with timeless songwriting rooted in folk music.

Zoe has been heavily supported by BBC Radio Scotland and Amazing Radio, featured in media outlets from The 405, God is in the TV to Rolling Stone Germany - and appeared on Spotify’s New Music Friday and Fresh Finds playlists.

Listen to Zoe Graham on Spotify | Watch Zoe Graham on YouTube

Follow Zoe Graham on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Watch Zoe Graham on Friday 14, Stage 3, at 18:52

MEMES stand in front of graffiti


MEMES is a duo that formed in Glasgow, UK, in Spring 2019. Their debut single ‘Blah Blah Blah’ earned the band a Steve Lamacq live session on BBC 6 Music and regular radio airplay on BBC and Amazing Radio (from Steve Lamacq, Vic Galloway, Tom Robinson and Charlie Ashcroft).

In 2020, MEMES released their debut EP on Fierce Panda Records; garnering airplay and words from Pitchfork, BBC Radio 1, BBC6 Music, KEXP, Amazing Radio, BBC Radio Scotland and The Skinny.

Despite the UK lockdown, the band have continued to bring their energetic live show to virtual stages worldwide, showcasing at Scotland’s Wide Days convention, SXSW in the US and Germany’s C/O Pop Festival.

Listen to MEMES on Spotify | Watch MEMES on YouTube

Follow MEMES on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Watch MEMES on Friday 14, Stage 3, at 19:01

The four-piece band Swim School stand in front of a dark background

Swim School

Swim School are a four piece band from Edinburgh. Their sound is an amazing combination of indie music from past and present, their sound is the perfect mix of bands like The Cure, Slowdive, Foals & Wolf Alice.

At the start of 2020 swim school had a promising and exciting year planned, they’d just played their first ever headline show in Edinburgh’s Sneaky Pete’s which they sold out months in advance. On top of this, the year before, the band played Scotland’s biggest music festivals TRNSMT, Belladrum & Tenement Trail - as well as supporting The Xcerts on a full UK tour showcasing them to a UK wide audience for the first time.

Their recent release "let me inside your head" has pushed the up-and-coming band into the spotlight even more. The gritty and dark elements of the track resulted in an ecstatic response from press, fans and music lovers as they realised swim school were pushing boundaries and exploring a new sound. "let me inside your head" was featured on 5 Spotify editorial playlists and also allowed the band to feature as cover artists on "Scotify". Their constant development and driven nature shows a promising and exciting future for swim school.

Listen to Swim School on Spotify | Watch Swim School on YouTube

Follow Swim School on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Watch Swim School on Friday 14, Stage 3, at 19:12