Squid, Wooze and Walt Disco impress on the second day by the beach

For day two of The Great Escape, the sun came out to loiter - and so did the queues. If you got in to see at least a few of the bands you wanted to catch, you smashed it. Bonus points if you caught Squid, The Murder Capital or Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, who all had queues going round the candy-coloured houses. Team Gigwise were on our feet for you again, checking out all the new music you could wish to behold - and more. Here is our assessment of day two’s showcase…


If the hype around these Brighton upstarts needed any further verification, the bustling queue around the corner of the venue should settle any doubt. Hideout makes for an intimate affair with the band, the arched roof of Hideout closing in around us and drawing us closer to the tiny stage. Switching effortlessly between instruments, Squid’s set is almost like a game of musical chairs. Their intoxicating blend of jaunty, angular post-punk and psyched out-math pop is delivered with such intensity and musicianship; each one of them is dripping with sweat, both from the effort and passion they’re putting into their performance and partly due to the accumulative body heat in the room. Wonky guitars compete with the trumpets and swelling percussion, creating a tension that they build to breaking point before they kick into jazz-punk inspired interludes, making a captivating live presence. Unreleased track ‘Rodeo’ is a surefire highlight of the set: they sure know how to build intensity, with the rapt audience lapping up every single note of the trumpet and every strum of the guitar. Squid are a truly formidable live force, so miss them at your peril. (EC)


Back in October, these off-kilter heroes were the stars of our Blogtober showcase at The Finsbury. Cut to day two of The Great Escape, and there’s a line outside Coalition the size of the crush we have on Wooze (it’s big.) As much a show as it is a gig, Wooze employ mind-boggling visuals - including upside-down guitar-playing with their teeth. Sonically, their set is part oompa loompa, part early Beatles, and 100% radioactive. (JA)


As the name suggests, this band really is all about vocalist Lucia Fairfull. Her songwriting combines post-punk and desert rock with hints of softer summertime indie, and the melodies are catchy enough to stick. Powerful to a fault, Fairfull leads her band with all the charisma and command of a true rock impresario. (JA)

Pip Blom

If you ever needed your faith reignited in music, Pip Blom are the band to see. It’s impossible not to feel buoyed by their infectious energy and cheeky grins at each other. Pip’s Courtney Barnett-esque drawl, earworm-choruses and knack for storytelling combined with rumbling basslines makes for an intoxicating live proposition. Sounding fuller and heavier than on record, the set is guitar dominated, simple indie pop riffs but with bite. The drummer’s electric energy exudes out into the crowd, while Pip’s handle on her fretboard is so intuitive that it looks as if she emerged from the womb clutching her guitar. (EC)

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs

We’ll have whatever Pigsx7 are having. Even if it’s just adrenaline, these apocalyptic-psych-rockers are really pushing the limits (and the sound barrier) with their nightmarish brilliance. A short set packed tight with a couple of their explosive songs, there’s a fair few “fuck yeah” moments to be had, plenty of perspiration, and one guitarist who looks like he’s handling a live croc rather than an instrument. Catharsis at its most inebriated. (JA)

Walt Disco

A beautifully androgynous treat for your eyes, Walt Disco are a shimmering, warbling, glittering, angular, 80s New Romantic wet dream. They’re lustful, theatrical and thrive on unpredictability; frontman James Potter stalks around the stage and lurches into the crowd, swinging off monitors and getting up close and personal with those lucky enough to be in the front row. Their sound is increasingly more angsty and riff-driven; it has a certain urgency and post-punk bite, driven by the fresh faced Finlay McCarthy who seethes and writhes around the stage with his jaw clenched, willing people to come closer. You cannot peel your eyes away from every member of Walt Disco - this Glasgow quintet have an exciting few months ahead, that’s for sure…(EC)

Italia 90

Have we stepped into a tardis and gone back to 1978? Nope, we’ve just headed into the Haunt to see Italia 90. It’s pissed off post punk from the 70s reincarnate, given a vital update. The frontman stalks around the stage kitted out in full skin head gear, white trousers, braces, DMs - the lot. It’s a sweaty, stormy affair - they’re further proof that DIY music is indeed as alive and pissed off as ever. Their politically charged lyrics are delivered with such fervour and passion, they spit out the lyrics to ‘Competition’, with a white knuckle grip on the mic and a glare into the crowd. They’re brilliantly defiant and confident: introducing an old track, the frontman says “The fact we still play this one is a measure of its quality”. And boy was he right. Fan favourite ‘New Factory’ ignites a surge of energy up front, making for a triumphant and sweaty end of the set. (EC)

Photo: Luke Hannaford