Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Live Review: An electric and eclectic evening at the NME Awards Tour 2011

The indie kids gather with their thick rimmed lenseless glasses and perfectly quaffed hair. The middle aged men showing an interest in ‘what the kids are listening to these days’ sip their pints by the bar. The teenage girls weld their lips to the face of the nearest boy, never coming up for air. It’s time for the Bournemouth leg of the NME Awards Tour 2011.

To kick off the night, The Vaccines supply some standard indie that gets the crowd bouncing. Their set is distinctly lacking in originality and interaction with the crowd. Front man Justin Young also appears to have come dressed as a maths teacher and belts out tunes that are about as interesting as algebra homework. Although they appear to have saved the best songs for last, it is still a rather disappointing start to the evening.

Jump suit clad Everything Everything really get things started with a spellbinding set in glorious technicolour. The band, who come from all over the UK, jokingly label their sound as ‘Bizzare n’ B’, combining glorious synth, haunting melodies and ludicrous lyrics to form music like no other. Closing the set with the superb ‘Photoshop Handsome’, the lads prove just why they deserved their Best New Band nomination.

There is a sudden dramatic shift as the second half of the night begins. The timid or older members of the crowd take a couple of steps back as Magnetic Man, consisting of producers and DJ’s Benga, Skream and Artwork, launch into some filthy dubstep. The entire room vibrates from the floor upwards as the humungous breakdowns take control of the O2 Academy and things start to get seriously sweaty just in time for headline act, Crystal Castles.

With Alice on crutches because of a broken ankle, her performance is much more subdued than usual, but the same cannot be said for the music. The Canadian electro duo take dance music to a whole new level with perfectly crafted tracks that pulse though every cell in your body. Towards the end of the set it becomes difficult to remember just how then evening started and, after a stomping encore, Alice leaves the stage not only clutching a bottle of whisky, but also the admiration of the crowd.

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