The finale of the NME Awards Tour took place at O2 Brixton Academy on Saturday (19th February). The amazing event was headlined by Crystal Castles and supported by Magnetic Man, Everything Everything and The Vaccines.
February saw the Tour take this outstanding line-up round the UK. Gigs took place in Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Leeds, Norwich, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Bournemouth and Brighton before hitting the capital at London’s O2 Brixton Academy.
Opening act, The Vaccines have been hyped by the biggest and brightest in the indie music biz. Even though their debut album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? won’t grace our music collections till the 14th March 2011.
Stand out singles ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’, ‘Blow It Up’ and their released demo ‘If You Wanna’ more than warmed up the crowd. The reaction of the room showed, the premature influence The Vaccines issue from their embryonic state.
Next up was the glorified Mancunian four-piece Everything Everything. Their falsetto voices and garbled lyrics, added to their quirky style was much appreciated by the burgeoning crowd.
The audience moved seamlessly from jumping and foot stomping to dancing to Everything Everything’s set, featuring expected hits from their debut album Man Alive. The biggest crowd pleasers were ‘My KZ, UR BF’ and ‘Photoshop Handsome’ which had their desired effect as Brixton was a mass of jostling fans.
By the time Magnetic Man took the stage it was obvious that the real dancing would begin, as the crowd were well and truly up for it. The dubstep super group is a collaboration between Benga, Artwork and Skream. They did not disappoint as many clothes were quickly peeled off in the mass of bodies.
‘Perfect Stranger’ which usually features Katy B and ‘Fire’ starring the vocals of Ms Dynamite were missing the female singers and were merely replaced by a recording. The crowd seemed to enamoured by the super group to care and songs like ‘I Need Air’ more than made up for their absence. Plus there was an impromptu collaboration with Everything Everything‘s lead singer Jonathan Higgs which was accompanied by raucous applause.
The grand finale came in the form of Canadian, electro-punk crazies Crystal Castles. Although they are not to everyone’s taste they held the attention of Brixton Academy well with a mixture of tracks from both their self titled first album Crystal Castles and their latest offering Crystal Castles (II).
Despite lead singer, Alice Glass’ broken ankle she managed to infuse the gig with as much energy as she usually does, which is saying something. With a strapped leg Miss Glass bounced around the stage, often hopping, with surprising agility.
Crystal Castle classics ‘Love and Caring’ and ‘Alice Practice’ were more than welcome and their new material such as ‘Celestica’ and ‘Baptism’ stood up perfectly next to them.
All in all NME Awards Tour 2011 was well worth the ticket price, with an astounding line up of the freshest talent around. The line up also did not disappoint on variety and performance. Definitely a unique evening and like all NME tours they set the standard of what is to come in the independent music industry.
Did you make it to any of the shows? Who would you want to see most from this line up? Have you seen any of them before? What’s your dream line up? I gotsta know!