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Live Review: Shockwaves NME Tour at Bristol Academy (Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club, Big Pink and The Drums) – Sunday 14th February 2010

 
By on Monday, 15th February 2010 at 12:18 am
 

NME tours are always a great way to catch tonnes of great new music, and this year’s NME tour is no different, though some of the bands on the 2010 tour have taken longer to appear than in previous years, with The Maccabees now on their second album and Bombay Bicycle Club having been around for over five years.

The Drums were typically energetic to open things up, however didn’t offer much more than when we saw them support Delphic the other week. Their Beach Boys / Cure combo looks like it could well be the anthems of the summer for some.

Second on were London’s Big Pink, fresh from supporting Muse at the end of last year. Whilst I’m sure they’re perfectly competent, their My Bloody Valentine-esque stuff is really not my cup of tea. However, they seemed to suit the Bristol Academy’s setting much more than the O2 arena, this time not hidden behind such a thick wall of smoke. Coming on in just her underwear, their drummer Akiko provided the pounding to accompny Milo Cordell’s beats. Dominoes had everyone’s arms in the air, jumping and chanting along – if only all their songs were as hit-single worthy and not buried away under such thick layers.

Bombay Bicycle Club were the reason we were at the O2 Academy – having recorded been around for half a decade already, recording their album in between A Level exams and having won the prestigious V Festival opening slot, it was time to see if live they could translate the success of their 2009 debut “I had the blues but I shook them loose”. Ambling on stage decidedly unassumingly, they had the benefit of a crowd who knew every word, and were willing to forget that its Sunday night and acting like it was the party to end all parties.

Though their set was very lively, many of their songs have quite a sense of melancholy about them – the sound of 1,200 people all chanting “I’m not home / I’m not home / I’m not ho-ome” was quite something. Closing the set with “What If”, lead singer Jack Steadman dedicated it to “anyone who’s feeling lonely today”. Whilst technically speaking they were playing in a support role to The Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club showed that their years of hard work has done them well, strong pretenders to the crownd, and hopefully future NME tour headliners.

With that, roadies swarmed on the stage revealing The Maccabees backdrop, and before we knew it they arrived, looking rather shocked at the number of people stood cheering for them. Opening with “William Powers”, they set a scintilating pace, having the whole buidling dancing, only pausing for the slower, more Valentines-suitable Toothpaste Kisses. Closing out with the fantastic trio of “No kind words”, “Bag of bones” and “Love you better”, they showed that whilst it’s been six years in the making, they are more than worthy headliners.

After the jump: Photos and the Maccabees setlist.
Continue reading Live Review: Shockwaves NME Tour at Bristol Academy (Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club, Big Pink and The Drums) – Sunday 14th February 2010

 

The Shockwaves NME Awards 2010 – The Nominations

 
By on Tuesday, 26th January 2010 at 4:00 pm
 

Nominations for the 2010 Shockwaves NME Awards were announced last night at a party at the London Tabernacle which featured a performance by the Maccabees, who are up for Best Video for “Can You Give It”. Muse are up for a staggering 7 awards, including Best Band, Best Album and Best Album artwork. Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian have fared the next best, with 6 nominations each, and are both up for Best Band, Best Album and Best Live Band. Lady Gaga makes quite a showing as well: she’s nominated for Best Solo Artist, Best Dancefloor Filler (‘Pokerface’), Villain of the Year, Best AND Worst Dressed and Worst Album.

While some great bands were left out completely, a lot of the categories are packed, and fans will find it hard to choose who to vote for.  One of the toughest categories is Best British Band, which pits Arctic Monkeys against Biffy Clyro, Kasabian, Muse and Oasis. Another tough one is Best Album, which looks very similar to what my top five albums of 2009 would be, if I were forced to choose. Nominations go to Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Humbug,’ Kasabian’s ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum,’ Muse’s ‘The Resistance,’ The Cribs’ ‘Ignore the Ignorant’  and the Horrors’ ‘Primary Colours.’

One new category was added this year. The “Giving It Back Fan Award” was created “to note acts who go the extra yard for their fans.” Going the extra yard seems to equate to giving away free stuff, as Noel Fielding and Kasabian’s free ‘Vlad the Impaler’ video is up against Vampire Weekend (for giving away ‘Horchata’ for free) and Danger Mouse (for leaking ‘Dark Night of the Soul’). Lily Allen is also nominated for her ticket treasure hunts on twitter, as are Arctic Monkeys for their Oxfam golden tickets. While it’s hardly a relevant category, it can only be a good thing if it encourages bands to do more for their fans.

One of the most fun parts of the NME awards is the categories that have little or nothing to do with the music. Comedians the Mighty Boosh will fight it out against Kings of Leon, Flight of the Conchords, the Killers and Nirvana for Best DVD. There is only one music-based show nominated for Best TV Show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, which sees competition from True Blood, the Inbetweeners, Peep Show and Skins, which has a soundtrack torn from the pages of NME.  And then, of course, there’s the ever popular Hottest Man and Hottest Woman categories, currently causing arguments between friends across the UK. There are far too many to list, but head on over to NME.com to rate the likes of the Followills, the Jarmans, Lily Allen, Alison Mosshart and Alex Turner on a scale from “Cold Shower” to “Sex on Fire.”

Voting is open now, and the winners will be announced in a ceremony at the 02 Academy Brixton on 24th February 2010.

The full list of nominees is available after the jump.

Continue reading The Shockwaves NME Awards 2010 – The Nominations

 

Shockwaves NME Awards Shows 2010 Announced

 
By on Thursday, 26th November 2009 at 9:00 pm
 

Every year NME takes over London’s best gig venues to put on some of the best names in the world, live. The month of gigs, which takes place every February in the run up to the awards ceremony itself – to be held this year on February 24 at the O2 Academy Brixton. These are just the first names announced – normally the gigs fill the 28 days of February, often with multiple clashes around different venues.

Tickets for these shows go on sale at 9am tomorrow morning (27th February). We’ll add to this list as we hear of more gigs.

Tuesday 2nd February 2010 – Miike Snow at London Scala
Wednesday 3rd February 2010 – Hadouken! at London Scala
Saturday 20th February 2010 – Simian Mobile Disco at London matter (pictured top)
Monday 22nd February 2010 – New Young Pony Club at London Islington Academy
Tuesday 23rd February 2010 – Yeasayer at London Heaven
Tuesday 23rd February 2010 – Girls at London Scala

 

Shockwaves NME Awards Tour / February 2010

 
By on Tuesday, 10th November 2009 at 2:30 pm
 

The Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club, the Big Pink, and the Drums have been named for the lineup of the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2010. The tour runs for a little over a fortnight in February, starting in Newcastle on 4 February 2010.

NME.com reports that general tickets go on sale at 9 AM GMT on Friday 13 November, but it appears that presale tickets are already available through Seetickets. The tour will call at:

Thursday 4th February 2010 – Newcastle O2 Academy
Friday 5th February 2010 – Glasgow Barrowland
Saturday 6th February 2010 – Manchester Academy
Sunday 7th February 2010 – Leeds O2 Academy
Tuesday 9th February 2010 – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday 10th February 2010 – Norwich UEA
Thursday 11th February 2010 – Birmingham O2 Academy
Saturday 13th February 2010 – Cardiff University
Sunday 14th February 2010 – Bristol O2 Academy
Monday 15th February 2010 – Brighton Dome
Tuesday 16th February 2010 – Bournemouth O2 Academy
Thursday 18th February 2010 – Portsmouth Pyramids Centre
Friday 19th February 2010 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Saturday 20th February 2010 – Brixton O2 Academy

 

Live Review: NME Radar tour @ Oxford O2 Academy – 2nd May 2009

 
By on Sunday, 3rd May 2009 at 3:16 am
 

La Roux (live side)It seems you can’t go anywhere these days without La Roux being played or someone proclaiming their love for the duo, or better known to many as simply 21 year old frontwoman Elly Jackson. Catchy, 80’s synth laden mega hits abound – but live can she hack it? She’s currently touring the UK with The Chapman Family, Magistrates and Heartbreak as part of the NME Radar tour.

Sadly we missed the hotly tipped Chapman Family after not getting our heads around the idea of doors at 6:30 and finishing work at 5… Still, the half filled Oxford Academy 2 were well up for Magistrates who ambled on a few minutes after we arrived.

Like Klaxons but fronted by a guy who looked suspiciously like Dr Chase of ‘House’ fame, only the singer really seemed into it – the bassist, drummer and guitarist either need to losen up or get off of whatever fabulous substance they’re on. Producing a brand of perfectly acceptable first album electro pop but nothing amazing, in the long run they may possibly be 2009’s Palladium – some good songs but on balance really rather rubbish.

Next up was European duo Heartbreaks – Freddie Mercury and Mick Hucknell lookalikes, we immediately hated the look of this trio, however they quickly had us coming round with their thumping drums, and amazingly crazy frontman, the Freddie styled, romanian vampire esque Sebastian Muravchix. Struggling at first to get everyone going with their lack of hooks, everyone came around their Justice-lite european charms, resulting in more arms in the air than Magistrates managed. Things are looking good for La Roux if this is what the support bands can do.

She ambled on at 9:20 and did not disappoint. Plunging straight into quicksand it was easy to see that she isn’t jaded yet – still relishing every moment on stage. When someone throws underwear on stage (“and not a boy’s!” she gasped), Elly turns it into a recurring theme of the night, showing that she’s able to hold the crowd in the palm of her hand after so few shows. We were treated to a number of new songs from her forthcoming self titled album, with plenty of between song banter from Elly.

Quite honestly, her hair was amazing. Something that Shockwaves would be in awe at, it fitted in perfectly with Elly’s “budget trousers made for me by a friend”, which were pretty amazing. Asking for the lighters out for “As if by Magic” (“don’t worry, I’ll only take major offence if you don’t have a lighter!), by the halfway mark of the show everyone was in love with La Roux’ anthems. Closing out with the amazing Bulletproof, there was never any question of there being an encore – leaving out “In for the Kill” was just not going to be possible, such was the noise.

There’s no denying that La Roux is going to be a huge star this year, but if you have some spare time definately check out Magistrates and Heartbreak.

After the jump: La Roux’s setlist and photos.
Continue reading Live Review: NME Radar tour @ Oxford O2 Academy – 2nd May 2009

 

Rock the Vote with the NME Awards: Part 2

 
By on Thursday, 19th February 2009 at 10:50 am
 

So it’s that time of year again, the NME awards are fast approaching, the tours almost over, this year Glasvegas and White Lies headlined to bring back post punk, supported by Friendly Fires and Florence. The tour seems to have gone down well, but now all eyes are on the awards, a short week away… I bring you part two of who I think should win…

The Ting TingsBest Track -This award goes straight to MGMT (pictured top). The Ting Tings (pictured right) and Kings of Leon provided us with musical sex with their efforts and Shadow Puppets songwriting was far superior to the other contenders, but on a whole the synth-pop ‘Time to Pretend’ was an instant classic and there’s no question who deserves this the most.

Best Video – Come on! Who doesn’t like seeing a load of wanabee Noel and Liams from around the world?? Of the selection Oasis walk away with the prize. It’s one of the less respected awards but hey, a prize is a prize right.. (NOTE: expect shocking results, last year Justice’s brilliant video for D.A.N.C.E. lost out to the Monkeys studio vid – Teddy Picker, a true WTF moment..)

Best Live EventReading – based on line up alone..

Best TV Show – The Mighty Boosh would seem favourites though they haven’t actually put anything out this year.. Skins would’ve been alright if it was last years series, this year our screens were graced with the same old thing marketed as a ‘new breed.’ It’s getting better though, and Effy being sex-on-legs keeps up watching.. Before I go to far on a tangent, this one is up to whoever…

Best FilmThe Dark Knight. Easily beats the rest, there’s no need to even look at the other contenders..

FoalsBest DVD -This one’s easy too.. the Rolling Stones continue in their pathetic attempt to hold on to their former glory.. washed up and washed out they need to stop trying.. Arctic Monkeys scoop this one, their film actually made it into Vue so it must have done something right, plus it came with an uber trendy free poster..

Best Website -Seeing as we didn’t quite gather enough votes to be in the running, I’ll have to go Last.fm..

Best Band Blog – No Lily Allen?? WTF! If we have to chose from the rest then Foals (pictured left)with the tour shenanigans and free downloads walk away with this one..

Best Album ArtworkThe Killers

Best Dancefloor FillerDizzee & Calvin

Best VenueAstoria

Hero of the  Year – Let’s say Obama, purely because I think he’s a sincere guy, though if he screws up don’t point to this as us jumping on the badwagon..

Villain of the YearJohn McCain, not because he ran against our hero, but because he’s a stupid bible bashing  idiot.. the man is a grade A fool and was better off out of the race in my much insignificant opinion.. he’s an absolute twat, and the most deserving wanker for this award.. (Where is Boris Johnson?? the man’s a tool, and now I can’t drink on the tube – not that I (or anyone else) ever did…)

Best DressedNoel Feilding.. Sorry Alexa .x.

Worst DressedJohhny Borell – purely because he needs to be given an award with ‘worst’ at the front..

Worst AlbumJonas Brothers, I don’t even have to listen to it, these guys are a disgrace to music and need to take their disney-emo-wankshit and flush it down the corporate toilet, we can’t wait to see these guys crash’n’burn..

Worst Band -We’re spoilt for choice, do we chose the ‘gender-confused-but-not-enough-balls-to-become-a-tranny’ Tokio Hotel, emo-pin ups Fall Out Boy or the revolting Jonas Bros. it’s up to which one makes you churn the most..

Sexiest Man – In my heterosexual opinion – Miles Kane..

Sexiest Woman – Tbh I’m not a fan of any of them.. some of them (no names) look too much like men to do anything for me..

The NME awards are around the corner, if you want to have your say head on over to the nominations page and cast your votes now! Voting closes at 4pm today (19th February)

 
 
 

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TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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