NME Tour 2013 - Cardiff
Occasionally over the past few years, I’ve managed to organise myself sufficiently to purchase a ticket for the Cardiff University Students' Union date on the NME Awards Tour – thus I’ve managed to catch such acts as The Killers, Florence and the Machine and Everything Everything before they became inaccessible to the casual concert-goer. This year, the show came at the end of an intense weekend at a writing workshop, so I was in the mood to celebrate.
I got there in time to catch most of the opening set by Birmingham band Peace; a fuzzy, raucous but disciplined sound, with plenty of catchy guitar licks. Next up were the Parma Violets, who set their stall out by being played on by a Damned song (obviously released long before they were born) – looser and more rambunctious than Peace, with fewer distinctive melodies, but with impressive use of organ, alternately playful and portentous; some amusing interaction with the audience as well. The natural headliner was Miles Kane, which was why it was a surprise when he came on third:- one was instantly impressed by his seemingly effortless swaggering professionalism, and his tunes, especially “Inhaler”, have the epic qualities to back it up. Headlining were Django Django, who made an immediate impression with clever use of video screens at the back of the stage; rather more heavily rhythmic than I’d expected, given the glitchier, electronic nature of their singles as heard on the radio; maybe it was my fatigued state, combined with a couple of glugs of cider (and possibly satanic messages being beamed into my brain via video), but I found them somewhat hypnotic and charming. Didn’t quite top Miles, though.
Maybe the show suffered from a lack of variety (not to mention females), but there was more than enough spirit and inventiveness on show here to suggest that the “indie slump” is truly at an end.