Review: NME Awards Tour 2013

NARC. Issue #82, March 2013

NME Awards Tour: Django Django, Miles Kane, Palma Violets, Peace
@ O2 Academy, Newcastle (07.02.13)

With a mixed offering of the hyped, the blogged and Miles Kane, the good folk at NME kicked off their annual showcase in Newcastle once more back in early February. In previous years the tour has helped to launch artists such as Coldplay, Florence and The Machine and Arctic Monkeys to (arguably) legendary status, and with guitar bands taking the forefront this year without a token dash of Magnetic Man or Azealia Banks of yore, perhaps we'll be seeing 2013 as a year for the indie rock set-up.

Opening the tour was Peace, a Birmingham four-piece with vivacious summery anthems undoubtedly set to become a vital soundtrack for any dreamy montage this festival season. South London's Palma Violets followed, making up with their energy and catchy riffs what they lacked in originality, taking more than a hint of inspiration from The Clash and The Libertines in their sound and stage presence.

A sea of primarily Paul Weller haircuts muscled their way to the front for Miles Kane: Last Shadow Puppet and lad-rock hero. Resembling a double-leather-wearing excitable baby monkey, he sailed through crowd-pleasing hits 'Inhaler' and 'Rearrange' with more of an endearing charm than his usual likenesses of the Gallaghers and pal Alex Turner.

The anticipated act of the night was the Mercury Prize-nominated headliners Django Django, emerging to a Kraftwerk-reminiscent stage set-up in self-designed matching shirts. Their stunningly tight dweeb-barbershop harmonies complemented beachy guitar riffs and dramatic African inspired synth effects, 'Default' stepping up as the song of the night.