It’s that time of year again for the NME tour to hit the road. As diverse as ever with the likes of Azealia Banks, and Metronomy filling the ranks.
First up is rising Hip Hop star Azealia who is probably as bemused at topping the annual Cool List of an Indie magazine as it’s readers were.
It soon becomes apparant that the hip Leeds audience are not quite comfortable being told by a young female rapper to “make some fucking noise!” but eventually they succumb.
Azealia puts on an energetic show, spitting her often crude lyrics over pulsating electro beats, she is probably the most exciting thing the young backcombed girls down the front have ever seen.
Viral hit ‘212’ see’s the crowd explode, it seems everyone loves the fantastically filthy lyrics – you should see her merchandise – and as the end of the track segues into a brief cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ everyone is won over.
A perfect warm up act 8/10
Starting well with an intense, brooding shoegaze sound Tribes are a more traditional band for this touring roadshow and their set fills the Indie Rock quota nicely, lead singer Johnny Lloyd even appears to be wearing one of Nicky Wires old blouses.
‘Girlfriend’ has shades of ‘House Of Love’ and the track is well received by the ever increasing throng.
Tribes lose the shoegaze feel and their mid set songs are reminiscent of a harder Lemonheads, if any interest is lost it is quickly regained with their last few numbers where they appear to be channeling ‘Generation Terrorist’ era Manic Street Preachers, recent single ‘Sappho’ sounding particularly vital.
A scramble into the audience by Johnny at the end of the set endears Tribes to the mosh pit 7/10
First act of the night to get a truly rapturous response is recent withguitars interviewee’s Metronomy and deservedly so. Metronomy’s album ‘The English Riviera’ was definitely one of the highlights of last year but seeing these songs live is a revelation. Having previously seen the early incantation of the band, it’s obvious how the addition of Gbenga Adelekan on bass and drummer Anna Prior has enhanced their sound especially as a live act.
Metronomy have played many gigs and it’s evident tonight, tight and energised they proficiently mix songs from ‘The English Riviera’ along side material from their back catalogue with frontman Joseph Mount seamlessly switching from synths to guitar.
Stand out tracks include ‘She Wants’ it’s dark dance vibe seeming particular funky live and ‘The Look’ a song so text book perfect it generates a huge response from everyone in the Leeds venue.
As the bands trademark live show illuminates the stage, synchronised to the beats it only adds to the fun. 9/10
Two Door Cinema Club may have a name so strange it’s actually genius but it would appear everyone is geared up to see them as the venue suddenly seems filled to the rafters with punters descending everywhere.
Musically reminiscent of Snow Patrol on GBH ( I mean that complimentary ) to the uninitiated quite a lot of the songs sound similar with the same sample used on a few tracks or maybe I’m wrong as the doe eyed fans haven’t noticed, such is their euphoric state of hands aloft bliss.
Single ‘What You Know’ causes screams of delirium and by now the whole of the O2 Academy resembles some banging rave, I feel as if I have been force fed rohypnol and come round on the set of Skins.
Two Door Cinema Club are exceedingly good at what they do and have certainly crossed over into a more mainstream level of success, whether or not they are true ambassadors of a new Indie culture is not up for debate tonight.
In Leeds right now, on this stage they are the biggest thing ever and are certainly bringing down the house.
A hugely popular choice for headliners by the NME 8/10
Words: Jamie Gambino
Photography: Phill Hutchinson