NME Awards Tour at Rock City
The NME tour hit Nottingham on Sunday. Four bands, one night, it was pretty good.
Circa Waves kicked off the NME Tour off with a fast-paced set which earned an enthusiastic reception from the gathered crowd. Whilst playing their first couple of songs, ‘Catch My Breath’ and ‘Shooting Star’ to a half-full room, their infectiously upbeat music drew in any outside stragglers in time for them to play their new single ‘Stuck In My Teeth’ to a packed-out main floor and balcony.
Circa Waves have a refreshing sound that seems to be bringing something back to the table. It was satisfying to hear some unwaveringly bright indie-pop with punchy lyrics.
Next up were Royal Blood, a duo from Brighton who switched up the pace with their brasher, unrelenting rock. Between the two of them, they make a pretty ferocious yet solid live sound.
Up next were Temples, who brought their dreamy, psychedelic rock offering to stage along with an enviable wardrobe and some undeniably impressive hairstyles.
The four-piece from Kettering played a couple of their more well-known songs such as the aptly-named ‘Mesmerise’ and ‘Keep in the Dark’ as well as B-side ‘Ankh’, and their upcoming release, ‘Move With The Season’. Their sparkling live sound borders on hypnotic, and the crowd seemed sad to see them go as they concluded their set with ‘Shelter Song’.
Collectively, the three bands set the bar high for both the quality and the sheer variety of new music that 2014 looks set offer.
Yet as Interpol took the stage, the mood in the room went like a light switch from anticipation to nostalgia as the band delivered some of their early/mid Noughties’ hits.
Not to suggest that this was some kind of step down: if Circa Waves, Royal Blood and Temples are the cool new kids at school, then Interpol are their effortlessly cooler older brothers.
The band delivered a storming set in their consistent post-punk style, playing older favourites ‘Obstacle 1’ and ‘Slow Hands’ and obliging the crowd with a short but sweet encore of ‘Leif Erikson’ and ‘Stella Was A Diver and She Was Always Down’.
If bringing Interpol to the tour this year was partly a move by NME to boost ticket sales by appealing to a wider demographic then fair play: the gig was a diverse mix of genre, experience and pace that didn’t just please the indie kids throwing themselves about at the front, but the dads, uncles and inappropriately drunk aunties at the back, too.