NME Awards Tour 2015


The NME awards tour has seen some huge names over the years. From Coldpay to Arctic Monkeys, they’ve had them all. It’s a tour that guarantees a great headliner and some brilliant up and coming bands. However this year, I feel that the NME have divulged into the punk direction a bit too much. The tour just doesn’t seem to have that shimmering appeal it once had. Palma Violets are a good band and no doubt the other three (The Wytches, Slaves and Fat White Family) have started to become successful but they are by no means huge.

The Wytches kick off the evening. Not many people are here apart from a few teenyboppers down the front doing what they do. To me, they just sound like a collection of noise. There was too much distortion and feedback leading to the lead singer having no effect at all. I can’t really get the fact that this band is only here because The Amazing Snakeheads dropped out (and then announced their split).

Slaves arrive next on stage.  Slaves have had huge amounts of plaudits since ‘Hey’ and it’s easy to see why.  Even the concept of having a lead singing drummer wins me over. They’re something different and it’s so refreshing to see a band rip up the rulebook once in a while. Isaac Holman (lead singer) owns the stage. It seems like he’s been doing it years, a real talent. Most of their work is riff-driven and it works so well as a two-piece. ‘Hey’ and ‘Feed The Mantaray’ sends the crowd into havoc. A real show stopping performance from a band that should be watched very closely.

A couple to the left of me have enjoyed the set so much that they have been thrown out for what can only be described as horrific indecent exposure. They shouldn’t worry; they aren’t really missing anything when it comes to the Fat White Family. Again, they are a band that just do not do it for me. They’ve been pretty keen in the past to badmouth successful bands yet haven’t really backed up their own credibility with their music. The crowd seem to enjoy them though. A big section of the crowd show appreciation for songs such as ‘Touch The Leather’ and ‘Is It Raining In Your Mouth’. I just cannot seem to appreciate a band where the synthesist is adamant on jamming his keys into the synth.

Palma Violets are closing the show with the longest set. Even the promise of a usually crazy performance from Chilli Johnson (bass) can’t seem to stimulate me after seeing two mediocre bands. A changed setlist from previous shows in the week sees ‘Best Of Friends’ get the biggest reaction. It’s the best I’ve seen the crowd all night, which does not say much.

I leave the Ritz feeling that the only band that really stood out for me was Slaves who showed countless amounts of stage presence and energy. The rest were, well, piss poor. I was surprised with Palma Violets as every time I had seen them they had bossed it. I get the impression NME are going down that route of being different for difference sake which is a real shame.

Some photos from the night can be found on the Silent Radio Instagram here

Matthew Cooper

University of Chester Music Journalism Student / Drummer Guitarist and Synthesist / Gig Goer