Do you want another one? That was the question spinning across Brighton as The Great Escape whipped through a final day of buzzing new talent being discovered at a festival weekend unlike any other. And well, it’d be rude not to. Everyone’s favourite Dorks teamed up with beloved friends and label legends Chess Club Records down on the seafront for a showcase celebrating a thrilling roster of talent. Is there any other way to close The Great Escape?
Trout opens the night with a dynamic and hypnotic presence that has everyone sliding into The Arch hooked. Ripped raw with explosive edges, that 90s grunge-meets-US alternative vibe is there for all to see with the sort of touches of magic that the likes of Sorry have turned into stunning cuts. Just the beginning with tonight’s show one of her very first, Trout is already a must-listen: watch this space; a future essential voice has entered the chat.
The perfect tonic for any final-night tiredness, SOFY is a future indie-pop superstar in waiting. A triumphant celebration (coming just days after signing a record deal with Chess Club), The Arch is turned into a jubilant house party led by an artist who twists indie-pop into a jukebox of sugar-rushing fun, grounded in tales of modern life. Like going on a night out with your best mate if they could only communicate in indie-pop bangers – it’s a glorious mix of earnestness and dreaming fun in the veins of an Easy Life, Lily Allen or Swim Deep. ‘Egomaniac’ sees crowds getting low (no mean feat on Day 3, btw), ‘Strawberry Milkshake’ is unabashed vibes and the closing punch of ‘Big Talk’ is nothing short of smile-inducing magic. Yet it’s the stripped raw ‘btw’ that cuts through to new levels, with a level of openness that showcases SOFY’s beating heart of pure, honest emotion.
Whipping up a frenzy like it’s nobody’s business, Lip Filler are a sugar-rush jolt that revel in turning things up as far as they can go. Packed onto the stage, they bound with an energy that most bands could only dream of having, calling out that they want to see all the “6 Music dads get lairy”. It’s a glorious meld of ripping licks, infectious grooves, spinning electronics and an all-encompassing show that drags you right to the front of everything they’re doing. Broken guitar strings be damned, Lip Filler leave everything they have on stage, like a box of firecrackers being let off right next to a megaphone. ‘Haircut’ is a ridiculous alt-dance banger, while cuts from their self-titled EP, such as ‘Susie’, are bolting nu-rave stormers. Noting it’s their first-ever show outside of London, this is just the beginning. We’ll see you at the party.
It’s fair to say that we’ve been fans for Coach Party for some time now. With each release, their fizzing rock hooks and unstoppable drive for crunching new steps have become bigger and bolder – taking each stage and opportunity with both hands and refusing to let up. Yet, tonight as they headline the Chess Club x Dork celebrations as one of the final acts of the weekend, there’s a sense in the air of just how big things are getting. Taking to the stage, it’s a grandstand rip through their journey so far while looking ahead to their debut album ‘KILLJOY’. The likes of ‘Can’t Talk, Won’t’, ‘Shit TV’ and ‘Everybody Hates Me’ sound bolder and more unleashed than ever before, and newer cuts ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’ and ‘Micro-Aggression’ light up pogoing crowds and rowdy moshpits. When the slow-burning tones of ‘Sweetheart’ truly let rip, The Arch is left in awe of a band thriving, and as ‘FLAG (Feel Like A Girl)’ closes out proceedings, everyone gathered comes away with the same thought: Coach Party are a bonafide force of nature ready to tear up the scene in front of them. It’s a new era now, guys – and it couldn’t be any better.