NME Awards Tour 2013
Django Django, Miles Kane, Palma Violets and Peace!
O2 Academy Brixton
London-Saturday 23rd February 2013
NME’s annual tour has become an important part of the live music scene over the last few years, so much so that in certain circles it’s awaited each year with baited breath. Louder Than War were present at the London leg of this years tour with both a writer & a photographer.
All photo’s used in this review are © Elspeth Moore & in the name of full disclosure they were taken at an earlier date on the tour in Manchester & not in London.
I’m a terrible person to watch telly with.
As soon as the nation is swooning adjectives about someone’s dark chocolate topped five berry Pavlova that’s been knocked out in half an hour, I’ll be the one walking and pointing briskly past the TV going…Yep “Two Door Cinema club”……, Yep! “Theme park… two hours” ….”Sigor Ros…” and so on and so on …
It’s a type of tourette’s (“Indie tourette’s”) or OCD (I feel it’s important that the viewer should be aware of these details) I suppose, but this is the top of the popless world we live in nowadays. The cat fuckin hates me ….especially when I start recollecting that wet Tuesday evening down the Barfly and how we laughed when the singer of that song fell over at the end of the gig.
Cooking shows with musical accompaniment. Like sports shows with musical accompaniment and adverts for sofas, cars, chewing gum and fizzy drinks. Indie music has taken over the world even though this has absolutely nothing to do with what we’re watching, it’s there, here and everywhere.
So what musical delights will be sound tracking the next Big Brother eviction in six months time?
…well probably a lot of this.
We’re here for the annual NME awards show. Aaaah…. I hear you say …”The NME” … “Britain’s favourite weekly” – second to none…first to none as well as it happens. That “recently divorced wife” of 30 years that some of us had to let go recently (I was a reader…a customer, I miss it…but I’ll get over it) due to their “unreasonable behaviour” in refusing to discuss that touchy subject of ticket touts (Beyonce tickets via their web site for £185.00 if you’re interested?).
It’s nice to go and see the kids now and again and there’s thousands here tonight and all having a very wonderful time despite what they may (or may not) have paid for their tickets – or where they got them from.
There are no awards in sight this evening but four bands we’ve all had our eyes on the past 12 months and four bands that usually are proved to be performing in an upside down fashion when we look back at the hastily purchased posters a year or two later.
I like to call it “Stage two in the Build them up then knock them down process” – a bit like Xfactor qualifying rounds but without the judges and with real people paying real money and showing proper grown up emotion as someone dressed like a Bell boy goes “whoooo ooo ooo ooo” by going “weyyyyy weyyy eeeey eyyyy” in response whilst at the same time in-between visits to the bar they sing and dance along to their favourite tunes they’ve been listening to on their radios recently.
Just as we’ve digested the Scottish Third division football results on this Saturday evening we are introduced to PEACE! These up and coming Brummies have an album coming up soon on one of those BIG MAJOR labels and are…well… they’re ok. Whether that’s enough in this crazy world of “indie music” (see what I did there ..”major label” and the term “Indie” with only a dozen words and a full stop in between). Peace! have a song called “California daze” … its one of the best tunes we hear all evening.
It sounds like The Ruttles.
And a bit like Teenage Fanclub.
The rest of their set has bits in it that I’m sure will be sliced up and used in some of those TV shows I was on about and I’m sure they’ll spend a couple of years playing all the big stages before someone asks them to do a second album and at that point we’ll have our ears firmly pressed against the wall over hearing a conversation that may well go …
“Whaaaaat????” The 1st one has taken 20 bloody years to make…and now we’ve got just 6 soddin’ months to make another one!??????”….
The Brixton Academy have taken all the good flashing lights out of the cupboard tonight and plugged an extra speaker or two in the sockets that everyone gets the use of. PALMA VIOLETS blast out The Damned’s “New Rose” as an intro and once they start playing you realise that the guitars aren’t that dissimilar to these bands we all fell in love with in the late 70’s however…that bloody organ…..well it does help keep everything together at times I suppose and after a couple of tunes we’re grateful it’s there but the overriding feeling with this band is yes, they’re good…fucking great to be honest…in tune and in time and musically probably better than the Libertines for want of a comparison but why can’t I just go down the pub to watch these? It’s all going off a bit quick for my liking and I’m sure i’ll get another chance in more intimate surroundings one day but progress is progress as they say and what is gained on the swings is lost on the roundabouts and unfortunately I just happen to be on that roundabout that tells me that I should have seen them on that small stage at Bestival last year instead of watching that woman on her invisible bike that day!! (Well it was my birthday!!). It’s easy to knock the NME but they’ve championed this band rather a lot recently (so i’ve been led to believe). They’ve also been on the telly y’know, and there’s a lot of people out there even more excited and currently more knowledgeable about Palma Violets music than me (if only i’d bought all those magazines eh)? Time will surely tell whether these are future festival headliners or simply soundtracks to forthcoming Andrex adverts…..We get a couple of new tunes this evening that makes me believe the former will happen and the toilet paper manufacturers will have to stick with what they have already (Little things by Dave Berry in case you’re wondering).
MILES KANE …well he’s a bit like that bloke that rides a bike and won all those races in the summer.
Except he doesn’t have silly bits of beard hair on his face.
Or a bike.
And Paul Weller’s not standing next to him.
He is a sharp dressed man and has his name up in lights and tonight he looks like (I forgot to take my glasses by the way) he’s dressed a bit like Sting was in Quadrophenia which means he’s actually wearing something he probably doesn’t wear walking ’round Tescos. Which therefore makes him a POPSTAR and we need popstars and we need popstars that go “woooooooh wooooo woah woah!” so we can all go “weee eeee eeyyyy eyyyy eyyy…” and then cheer when he smashes his guitar like that bloke in the WHO used to do.
The boys love Miles Kane and the girls love Miles Kane. Loads of great songs. Loads of hits and a man who will be the first name on the lips of whoever is going to arrange that Oasis reunion when looking to bolster the line up next year*.
Finally, Django Django … a band looking forward for inspiration. A band with some fantastic noises coming from this multinational 4 piece and a band who could easily be labelled the “Sound of Winter” (the summer label has been taken already and is hugely over subscribed). They’re basically an electronic dance, ravey ravey hands in the air outfit that know its rockabilly roots. They wear matching shirts and have big screens behind them and look the headline band that they’re primed to become on a more regular basis. They own what looks like the biggest tambourine ever to grace these shores and they make us all realise that it’s great hearing noises we’ve not really heard recently.
These noises are a bit of a mish mash of all that ravey stuff we used to dance too way past our bedtimes in the 90’s with some good droning synth noises, big slow thumping drum beats, a few sirens and some actual singing over the top with verses and choruses.. the lot!
A good proper band doing good proper stuff and very much included in a percentage of how I’d like to soundtrack 2013. Its new, it’s fresh, and it’s not very rock and roll and it’s not too weird either. Having Django Django headline this is a smart move. I expect these will be firing out this stuff for quite a few more years and any band with a word that you have to say twice in the title is always a good sign. Ask Simon Le Bon – he had the same idea once and we still know what band he was in thirty years later.
Will we know these people in another thirty years from now? In the words that we are now accustomed to …
Ladies and gentlemen you decide…
*There is currently to my knowledge NO Oasis reunion planned. This is how rumours start. It’s a joke. I lied.
If anyone quotes me on this without first getting to the bottom of this page then point at them and laugh.
Any nonsense will soon fade away.
No harm done eh?
All words by Keith Goldhangar & all photo’s © Elspeth Moore. More of Keith’s writing can be found on Louder Than War here. More pics of Django Django, Miles Kane, Palma Violets can be found below.