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Live Review: NME Shockwaves Tour Featuring Crystal Castles, Magnetic Man, Everything Everything and the Vaccines at Norwich UEA – 11th February 2011

By on Monday, 21st February 2011 at 2:00 pm

Words by Natalie Stas

This year’s NME tour showed a refreshing move away from the guitar anthems of last years purist indie-rock, leaving avid gig-goers not knowing what to expect from the seemingly miss-matched line up. The all-encompassing mix began with surf pop from the Vaccines, followed by the energetic buzzing beats of Everything Everything, who effortlessly built the crowd for heavyweight electronic giants Magnetic Man and euphoric headliners Crystal Castles (pictured above).

Show opener the Vaccines entered the stage with subdued presence and blasted through an indeterminate set of bothersome tracks, with no particular highlights other than the slight feel-good-factor of upcoming album track ‘Blow it Up’. With a beige attitude to performance, muted dynamics and a string of endless rambling lyrics, it was clear why their sound has previously been described as ‘gap year music’. It almost seemed ironic that the Vaccines were representing new music of 2011.

The crowd waited eagerly for the upbeat indie funk of Manchester’s latest talent Everything Everything to lift spirits and ignite belief in all things NME. Fully clad in matching boiler suits, the band grabbed attention immediately with their sharp appearance, and had the harmonies to match. The crowd finally started singing along to endearing whistling of ‘Schoolin’ and danced to the popular ‘Photoshop Handsome’. But perhaps influenced by their nonsensical choice of costume, the band seemed to plough through the set in a blue-collar fashion – steady with no particular highlights, but predictably entertaining throughout.

Dubstep trio Magnetic Man were next to perform, and having spent most of last year basking in critical acclaim, the crowd were fully in expectation of something spectacular. And truly spectacular it was. Blasting straight into their set with the infamous ‘MAD’, the crowd combusted to dubstep at its most infectious. This tune will no doubt be the soundtrack to many a festival this summer. Benga, Skream, Artwork and MC Sgt. Pokes are known to produce dubstep at every end of the spectrum, and it was hard to anticipate where they would take the set after this. But the electric excitement of chart favourites ‘I Need Air’ drilled a tangible aggression into the crowd as mosh pits become frantic with the rapture. As Skream’s surreal experimental electronica took hold with the pneumatic sounds of ‘Anthemic’ and enchanting strings of ‘Flying in Tokyo’, it all seemed to make perfect sense.

The crowd clawed their air as new-retro duo Crystal Castles entered the stage. Alice Glass (despite being on crutches) adopted her awkwardly stylish posture whilst Kath remained the hooded figure in the shadows – both moods blurring into strobe-lit, perfectly crafted electronica. Glass, full of her trademark guttural rage, barked her way though through crowd favourite ‘Crimewave’ and onto a similarly elated ‘Baptism’ but peaked as the electro-clash of fizzing synths and live drum beats radiated through the hypnotic ‘Empathy’. Their fusion of euphoria and ferocity made for compelling viewing, thankfully offering everyone the raw, frenzied ending to the night they had hoped for.


Preview: Coachella 2011

By on Friday, 28th January 2011 at 11:00 am

Coachella, America’s second music festival of the year (after Ultra in Miami in March), will be taking place 15-17 April 2011 this year in its usual spot in Indio, California. The line-up was announced last week, with mixed reactions from fans and music reviewers alike. The headliners will be Kings of Leon (Friday the 15th of April), Arcade Fire (Saturday the 16th, pictured above), and Kanye West and the Strokes (Sunday the 17th).

Far more interesting are some of the bands in smaller type. Take for example the reunited Suede (well, the second incarnation of the Britpop group, anyway) and the return of Duran Duran, minus Andy Taylor. Then consider the acts that are well known in the UK but will be debuting (if I’m not mistaken) in the States, at most definitely in front of their largest American audiences to date: Magnetic Man and Beardyman on Friday; Scissor Sisters and the Joy Formidable on Saturday; and Tinie Tempah, Plan B on Sunday.

Tickets for the 3-day event cost $281 (approximately £178 at the time of this writing) before shipping and handling, and includes a $3 charity fee and a $9 facility fee. For more information on tickets, visit the official Coachella Web site. For the complete line-up, you can read the official Coachella line-up poster.


NME Awards Tour / February 2011

By on Tuesday, 9th November 2010 at 8:50 pm

The line-up for the NME Awards Tour 2011 have been announced. The tour starts up in February 2011 and will feature Crystal Castles, Magnetic Man, Everything Everything (pictured above) and the Vaccines. NME presale starts at 9 AM GMT tomorrow (Wednesday 10 November), with regular tickets on sale Friday (12 November) at 9 AM. The tour will call at:

Thursday 3rd February 2010 – Glasgow O2 Academy
Friday 4th February 2010 – Manchester Academy
Monday 7th February 2010 – Newcastle O2 Academy
Tuesday 8th February 2010 – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday 9th February 2010 – Leeds O2 Academy
Friday 11th February 2010 – Norwich UEA
Saturday 12th February 2010 – Birmingham O2 Academy
Sunday 13th February 2010 – Cardiff University Great Hall
Tuesday 15th February 2010 – Bristol O2 Academy
Wednesday 16th February 2010 – Bournemouth O2 Academy
Thursday 17th February 2010 – Brighton Dome
Saturday 19th February 2010 – London O2 Academy Brixton


This Week’s Gonzo – Graham Coxon, Magnetic Man, the Vaccines and more come by

By on Thursday, 21st October 2010 at 2:00 pm

This Friday’s new episode of MTV Gonzo promises to be a treat with some amazing guests. Graham Coxon, former (and perhaps continuing?) guitarist of seminal Britpop band Blur but now a solo artist in his own right, stops in for a visit with Alexa Chung, participating in an activity I’d never think of in a million years. The two personalities sketch each other!

Hot off the electronic scene, the talented chaps of dubstep act Magnetic Man also visit the Gonzo set. When confronted by the prospect of being up against Cliff Richard on the UK singles chart, band member Artwork proclaims, “Cliff Richard, I’ve got nothing against him I just want to beat him (in the charts)”. Not to be outdone, his bandmate Skream comments, “I just want to beat him up”. Yikes.

Recent blogosphere darlings the Vaccines come by to introduce themselves to the MTV-watching public. Judging from the hype surrounding their first single released this summer, ‘If You Wanna’, you’d be advised to keep an eye on this London quartet. If you’re looking for tips from your favourite stars, Gonzo has you covered as well. The Midnight Beast offer their unique point of view on boybands, and Kele Okereke recommends a new band. And if that weren’t enough, the show will also premiere a brand new promo video from My Chemical Romance. Whew!

Watch this week’s MTV Gonzo tomorrow night, Friday, at 7 pm on MTV Rocks, with a repeat at 9 pm on MTV.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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