We know a fair bit about Hype, okay Dear Reader? A pretty core part of everything that is Dork. Enter the first-ever Dork Hype List Tour, headlined by one of the most exciting live bands in new music: Priestgate. After plenty of sold-out dates and eye-popping moments already, when the band roll into London with Bleach Lab and Cucamaras, the future proves it’s well and truly here to take over. Take notes while you can.
Openers Cucamaras don’t wait around for polite plaudits. Lighting into a quick-fire set that builds from the foundations of bands such as Do Nothing, Yard Act and Fontaines D.C. but with their own unique voice and twist, it’s a tight explosion you can’t help but be engulfed in. Trading vocals amongst themselves and whipping up a frenzy, there’s already the touch of a band whose moment is coming very soon indeed. ‘Winner’s Chapel’ is a prime example, furious and feverish in equal measure. From tonight’s evidence, they’re a band stamping their authority on the next wave of alternative guitar music.
Bleach Lab manage to do what most bands can only dream of. They transform a room into their own unravelling tapestry of dreamy lifts powered by crushing vulnerability. The fact they are but a few EPs in makes it even more astonishing. Commanding the stage, it’s a lush and spiralling twist that has you transfixed – whether it’s ‘Obviously’ and cuts from latest EP ‘If You Only Feel It Once’ such as ‘Pale Shade Of Blue’ and ‘If You Only Feel It Once’, or stunning early favourite ‘Real Thing’. Raw and all-encompassing, they’re the perfect hot water bottle on the coldest of nights.
When we say Priestgate are the new band you need to see live, we mean it. Heart on their sleeves doesn’t do it justice; it practically pours from every sound and move they make – both thriving in chaos but also reaching for something deeper. Led by the magnetic presence of singer Rob Schofield, their biggest headline moment to date is wrapped in everything that makes them so essential.
The whirling ‘By The Door’ and the dream-punk spins of ‘Bedtime Story’ and ‘Credits’ are but two shades of an ever-evolving force that feels primed to take on the world. Whether it’s scorching across the stage with the direct chomp of ‘Eyes Closed For The Winter’ or the rapturously received punch of early cut ‘Summ(air)’, there’s a passion that simply can’t be refused.
Yet underneath the thrilling flings and flights of a band with the ferocity to knock down buildings is a vital and vulnerable beating pop heart. It’s the tangible core that links everything together, from the show to the songs to the sounds to the stages. New EP ‘One Shade Darker’ showcases that in razor-sharp fashion – the firecracker ‘Some Things Never Change’ and the bop-topped ‘White Shirt’ are effortless in their charm, signalling a band itching to show the world how immediate things are about to get. Yet it’s the unnamed closing track tonight where Priestgate shoot even bigger. A stripped opening stops the packed Colours Hoxton in its tracks before unravelling into a post-rock anthem of the highest order. It’s Priestgate commanding their own story, and what a story it’s set to be.