Live Review: Shockwaves NME Tour at Bristol Academy (Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club, Big Pink and The Drums) – Sunday 14th February 2010

By on Monday, 15th February 2010 at 12:18 am

NME tours are always a great way to catch tonnes of great new music, and this year’s NME tour is no different, though some of the bands on the 2010 tour have taken longer to appear than in previous years, with The Maccabees now on their second album and Bombay Bicycle Club having been around for over five years.

The Drums were typically energetic to open things up, however didn’t offer much more than when we saw them support Delphic the other week. Their Beach Boys / Cure combo looks like it could well be the anthems of the summer for some.

Second on were London’s Big Pink, fresh from supporting Muse at the end of last year. Whilst I’m sure they’re perfectly competent, their My Bloody Valentine-esque stuff is really not my cup of tea. However, they seemed to suit the Bristol Academy’s setting much more than the O2 arena, this time not hidden behind such a thick wall of smoke. Coming on in just her underwear, their drummer Akiko provided the pounding to accompny Milo Cordell’s beats. Dominoes had everyone’s arms in the air, jumping and chanting along – if only all their songs were as hit-single worthy and not buried away under such thick layers.

Bombay Bicycle Club were the reason we were at the O2 Academy – having recorded been around for half a decade already, recording their album in between A Level exams and having won the prestigious V Festival opening slot, it was time to see if live they could translate the success of their 2009 debut “I had the blues but I shook them loose”. Ambling on stage decidedly unassumingly, they had the benefit of a crowd who knew every word, and were willing to forget that its Sunday night and acting like it was the party to end all parties.

Though their set was very lively, many of their songs have quite a sense of melancholy about them – the sound of 1,200 people all chanting “I’m not home / I’m not home / I’m not ho-ome” was quite something. Closing the set with “What If”, lead singer Jack Steadman dedicated it to “anyone who’s feeling lonely today”. Whilst technically speaking they were playing in a support role to The Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club showed that their years of hard work has done them well, strong pretenders to the crownd, and hopefully future NME tour headliners.

With that, roadies swarmed on the stage revealing The Maccabees backdrop, and before we knew it they arrived, looking rather shocked at the number of people stood cheering for them. Opening with “William Powers”, they set a scintilating pace, having the whole buidling dancing, only pausing for the slower, more Valentines-suitable Toothpaste Kisses. Closing out with the fantastic trio of “No kind words”, “Bag of bones” and “Love you better”, they showed that whilst it’s been six years in the making, they are more than worthy headliners.

After the jump: Photos and the Maccabees setlist.

The Maccabees played:

William Powers
One Hand Holding
All in Your Rows
Wall of Arms
Precious Time
Young Lions
Rip it up (Orange Juice cover)
Can you give it?
Toothpaste kisses
First Love
No kind words

Bag of bones
Love you better

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