Seasons change, but the best nights out always come back to us here at Dork, Dear Reader. As the buzziest bands and industry whispers sweep Brighton for The Great Escape, the Dork’s Night Out takeover rolls into town, heading to Horatio’s at the end of the pier.
It may be the opening slot, but Slaney Bay carry themselves with the confidence of a band already set to seize those headline billings in years to come. Blending grunge-tinted goggles with an undeniable knack for soaring pop hooks, it’s a fully-formed realisation of every dreamy riff and late-night US college road trip that takes you on a journey impossible to jump off. Their latest single, ‘Move On’, is a real statement of intent. With all the hints and flavours of glorious ambition, as a kickstart to the evening, there’s no cocktail better. We’ll see you back here when they take on the big leagues.
Already making a name for himself across ‘socials’, Victor Ray is a revelation with the sort of universal heart that ties things together. Going from busking to a big deal in no time, his set is an eye-opening peek at a future world he’s forming in spectacular fashion. Likewise, the world of HANNES bubbles and twists in a glorious milkshake of joy. With open and raw lyrics meeting jazzy lo-fi takes on pop, R&B and everything in between – it sets the tone nicely for a night that’s just itching to point to the artist you need to keep an eye on.
Shutting down Brighton Pier. That’s what comes when English Teacher take to the stage, as a go-to sign that things are getting quite big indeed. As crowds manoeuvre to catch a glimpse, the hype is real for a band whose infectious yet punchy sound has become a go-to home for those looking for their next favourite act. The shutdown is justified, with cuts like ‘Song About Love’, ‘R&B’ and ‘Polyawkward’ lighting a fuse again and again. Coming into their own, it’s a set that flies with ambition and takes every step up as a justified reason to take one more. What’s brilliant is that it feels impossible to predict what they will do next. Now that’s a band worth shutting down a pier over.
The rush and crowds only continue to swell when Lime Garden take to the stage to close out the evening. Brimming with the sort of feverish excitement that comes from being one of the best new bands going, their set tonight is an electric disco ball of everything that makes Lime Garden so special. Putting fun front and centre, the likes of ‘Clockwork’, ‘Bitter’ and ‘Marbles’ bounce and thrive like the greatest club in town, while early track ‘Surf N Turf’ is a fizzing punch of sugartastic energy. Distinctly unique and continuing to bubble with potential, it’s a hometown show that signals just how unstoppable they are. For a moment that defines The Great Escape 2023, there’s no need to look any further than this celebratory party at the top of the pier.