It has been a while since I went to an NME awards show the last one was in 2001 with Alfie, Starsailor, Amen and JJ72none of whom I can remember hearing lately. So perhaps these gigs are not a sign of things to come, but more a sign of the times. Id seen Glasvegas at Glastonbury last year and thought they were so-so, but knew nothing by the other bands. I therefore listened without prejudice as I joined Simon at a full house at what turned out to be one of the loudest gigs I’ve attended since Leftfield shook the foundations of the same building 14 years ago when it was the T+C.
Florence and the Machines were first up.you dont often see harps on stage do you? Florence has a tremendous presence and can certainly work a crowd – a star in the making! Dressed in a Haight-Ashbury top she could well have come direct from the 60s as apposed to the other 3 bands who were all rooted in the 80s. This shouldnt come as a surprise music tends to get reinvented every 20 years or so. The 50s were big in the 70s (Mud, Rubettes.etc.) The 60 were big in the 80s (Stone Roses, The Smiths) The 70s were big in the 90s (Flared trousers for gods sake!) so it goes that the 80s should be reinvented for the naughties.
White Lies are 4 skinny indie kids who sound like the bastard children of Joy Division and Duran Duran. Hugely enjoyable, even if you could sing ‘Her name is Rio’ along to the odd track….the crowd went nuts when Florence reappeared to sing on one song. With a number one album under their belts it seemed a bit churlish to have them as third billing but when the Friendly Fires came on oh my! you could tell why.
Infused with spirit of Talking Heads and New Order, these guys had me pogo-ing from the first infection beats til the last. When I was 17 I went out with a girl called Celine. When she told her mate shed started going out with me, her mate said Have you seen him dance! No, why? well, I used to dance the way Friendly Fires frontman Ed MacFarlane does always a good way to get a space round you on the dancefloor!
And finally to Glasvegas, or Jesus and Mary Chain Lite as Ive heard them described. They have all the posturing and image and guitar feedback that, 20 years ago I might have fallen, for but there was just a bit too much Wo Ow Ow WoooooooW-ing for my liking. Behind the JAMC feed back there was always a stripped down pop sensibility that I dont got from Glasvegas live perhaps I should give their LP a spin. The other event that may have clouded my judgement was the pint-pot of piss that hit Si and I before they came on. What kind of moron cant make it to the toilet? What kind of arsehole then thinks its fun to throw it at someone else. By the taste of it though mate I think youve got diabetes. Heres hoping you suffer a long painful death with rancid septic ulcers following you to the grave consider yourself cursed.
Bob the Chiropodist