Since being founded in 2006, The Great Escape has been firmly established internationally as the leading event for showcasing new music. Taking place in Brighton over 3 days in May, The Great Escape kicks starts the festival season, introducing 15,000 music lovers to the key artists and sounds of the year. With over 300 bands playing in 30 venues over 3 days, The Great Escape is the key date in the music calendar. In addition to pre-publicised performances, impromptu Street gigs spring up all over town. The Alternative Escape, numerous club nights, label parties, industry showcases, unique collaborations and outdoor gigs all add to the festivities.
“Think of it as Glastonbury by the sea.” NME
This year four bands and artists from New Zealand will be making the journey to Brighton UK. Lawrence Arabia, Popstrangers, Mel Parsons, and Six60 will be appearing at their own showcases as well as the NZ@The Great Escape party which will be taking place at Haunt on Friday the 17th of May.
Blending soul, rock, dubstep and drum and bass, Six60’s music is dynamic, versatile and unexpected.
Sitting at over 150,000 fans on Facebook, the band have to their credit, one triple platinum single ‘Don’t Forget Your Roots’, one double platinum single ‘Rise Up 2.0’, two platinum singles ‘Only To Be’ and ‘Forever’ and a gold single ‘Lost’ all this from their #1 triple platinum debut album, which is still in the NZ Top Twenty 16 months after release. At the 2012 NZ Music Awards they were the big winners on the night with 6 awards including Best Group, Single of the Year, Peoples Choice and Highest Selling Album
Live is where they are in their element – only this summer they played to over 16,500 fans in just 7 dates. Six60 have built a strong audience overseas – without a single or album release they recently sold out 3 shows in London to over 3,000 people, 2500 people on their first Europe tour, and sold out 5 of their 9 shows in USA/Canada. In Australia they are now playing 1,500 – 2,000 plus venue
Their first foray into the USA saw their single ‘Forever’ used on an Indie 500 story screened on ESPN and ABC and their music played on over 120 College Radio stations. In January ESPN used ‘Run For It’ on many sports shows.
“As one man findeth shelter under the eaves of his neighbour’s wife, so shall he be plagued by the sparrow. And lo, where fields of wheat once grew lush upon the soil, lies now the infernal desert of the pestilential sparrow.” – Lawrence Arabia, 2011.
Lawrence Arabia is the musical guise of New Zealand artist James Milne. In 2006, Lawrence Arabia released his self titled debut album and the debut album of his band The Reduction Agents, The Dance Reduction Agents. Both albums were nominated for several bNet awards, New Zealand’s public voted alternative radio awards, and his second album Chant Darling won the inaugural Taite Music Prize in 2010.
In July 2012, Lawrence Arabia released “The Sparrow”.
The Sparrow is Lawrence Arabia’s third solo album, the evocative follow up to the Taite Music Prize/Silver Scroll winning Chant Darling. Venturing away from the harmony-laden, classic pop production of Chant Darling, The Sparrow is a more measured and minimalist work, drawing particularly on the influence from the symphonic late-sixties work of Scott Walker and Serge Gainsbourg.
“Thinking person’s pop music – finely honed, tightly arranged” – Rolling Stone (AUS)
“Perfectly composed, awash in dreamy psychedelia, sweet harmonies and moody grooves” -NPR (USA)
“Lovely, lushly arranged” – BBC (UK)
Popstrangers is Joel Flyger, Adam Page and David Larson, three native New Zealanders who make “pop” music that’s hard-driving, punk-influenced and sonically inimitable.
The band formed in 2009, after the three members connected over their shared histories of bad day jobs, stints in other bands and most importantly, their desire to create music with like-minded people. With a name conceived last-minute before their first official show, Popstrangers’ ambitions have grown since their days of playing local gigs around Auckland. They have developed a strong following in their native New Zealand for their heavy but accessible sound, and are set to export their noisy melodies to the rest of the world. Popstrangers released two well-received EPs and their first full-length is due early next year.
The band has spent the last few years honing their dynamic live show on extensive tours of New Zealand and Australia, which included the Big Day Out and Rhythm and Vines festivals. In addition to playing CMJ, Popstrangers has supported MGMT and Crocodiles on their NZ tours. Recently, the band scored a nomination for the Critics Choice Award at the 2011 NZ Music Awards.
Well recognised as one of New Zealand’s rising songwriting stars, Mel Parsons is a modern folk artist on the rise. Following the success of her debut record ‘Over My Shoulder’ in 2009, the Kiwi singer/songwriter and two time Tui-award finalist for Folk Album of the Year recently released her sophomore album ‘Red Grey Blue’ to widespread critical acclaim.
After a growing up in the remote rural west coast of NZ’s South Island, the established touring artist has spent the past 10 years in the city and on the road, gleaning material from life, love and loss. Parsons’ experiences translate to song in a true, bare and at times heartbreaking manner, weaved together with an infectious optimism and ever-memorable lyrics
‘Red Grey Blue’ has been called “one of New Zealand’s finest releases”, and has so far spent 16 weeks in the NZ independent album charts. Parsons is signed to Australian-based publisher Native Tongue, and has released both of her records in NZ on Border Music & DRM.
Armed with instant sing-along choruses, and a unique sensibility to melody and harmony, Parsons draws on the folk tradition of telling stories, and blends it with pop hooks. In her element onstage, Parsons is know for ‘pin-drop’ performances, drawing in her audiences and keeping them all night with a dynamic live show.
With home as a hotel room and a suitcase, Parsons built up her fan base the old fashioned way, winning over audiences on the live circuit. 2013 sees another busy year for the singer, with tours in Australia, UK, Ireland, Germany, and her native New Zealand.
Also making an appearance at The Great Escape 2013 are Unknown Mortal Orchestra and The Veils.
Friday 17th of May, 12pm – 4pm. The Haunt, 10 Pool Valley, Brighton
12.15pm – Lawrence Arabi
1.15pm – Six60
2.15pm – Mel Parson
3.15pm – Popstrangers