Review: NME Awards Tour, Rock City
PALE boys with guitars seems to be a theme of this year's NME shindig and openers Peace are unashamedly jangly and unsurprisingly bracketed with bands like The Maccabees and Two Door Cinema Club.
I'd add The Soup Dragons when they went baggy.
Current single, Wraith, is fairly tuneful but surely it's too early to burden them with the 'future of indie' tag just because they flop a fringe our way.
Another band saddled with endless accolades despite barely being out of short trousers (and I'm delighted to see the drummer still wears them) are Palma Violets. The weight of expectation seems not to have overly affected bassist, singer and professional gurner Chilli though, who manages to pogo his way through a set beset by technical difficulties and a few musical ones, too.
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They think they're doing The Libertines when at times it's more Status Quo but the impeccable Best of Friends is an undoubted highlight of the night.
So the kids are all right but Miles Kane swaggers on stage as if to say, 'move along little boys, time for the grown-ups'. And yet, he'd make a brilliant children's entertainer. He has a cheery smile, maintains eye-contact with his charges throughout and has perfected the whole call and response thing with party pleaser Rearrange.
The bloke in front of me tweets, "Rock City has just become Vibe City." Bless.
I last saw Django Django filling the Bodega with tambourines, coconuts and happy clappy melodies. They do much the same here and it scales up encouragingly well.
The Acid House smiley faces that serve as a backdrop suggest they'd be fine playing open fields too, and you can easily imagine infectious anthems like Default scoring a few festivals this summer.
The headliner wins it this year, says I.