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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.


Shockwaves NME Awards Shows 2010 Announced

By on Thursday, 26th November 2009 at 9:00 pm

Every year NME takes over London’s best gig venues to put on some of the best names in the world, live. The month of gigs, which takes place every February in the run up to the awards ceremony itself – to be held this year on February 24 at the O2 Academy Brixton. These are just the first names announced – normally the gigs fill the 28 days of February, often with multiple clashes around different venues.

Tickets for these shows go on sale at 9am tomorrow morning (27th February). We’ll add to this list as we hear of more gigs.

Tuesday 2nd February 2010 – Miike Snow at London Scala
Wednesday 3rd February 2010 – Hadouken! at London Scala
Saturday 20th February 2010 – Simian Mobile Disco at London matter (pictured top)
Monday 22nd February 2010 – New Young Pony Club at London Islington Academy
Tuesday 23rd February 2010 – Yeasayer at London Heaven
Tuesday 23rd February 2010 – Girls at London Scala


Shockwaves NME Awards Tour / February 2010

By on Tuesday, 10th November 2009 at 2:30 pm

The Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club, the Big Pink, and the Drums have been named for the lineup of the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2010. The tour runs for a little over a fortnight in February, starting in Newcastle on 4 February 2010. reports that general tickets go on sale at 9 AM GMT on Friday 13 November, but it appears that presale tickets are already available through Seetickets. The tour will call at:

Thursday 4th February 2010 – Newcastle O2 Academy
Friday 5th February 2010 – Glasgow Barrowland
Saturday 6th February 2010 – Manchester Academy
Sunday 7th February 2010 – Leeds O2 Academy
Tuesday 9th February 2010 – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday 10th February 2010 – Norwich UEA
Thursday 11th February 2010 – Birmingham O2 Academy
Saturday 13th February 2010 – Cardiff University
Sunday 14th February 2010 – Bristol O2 Academy
Monday 15th February 2010 – Brighton Dome
Tuesday 16th February 2010 – Bournemouth O2 Academy
Thursday 18th February 2010 – Portsmouth Pyramids Centre
Friday 19th February 2010 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Saturday 20th February 2010 – Brixton O2 Academy


Shockwaves NME Awards Shows / London, Manchester and Glasgow / January and February 2009

By on Tuesday, 2nd December 2008 at 4:20 pm

The sensational Shockwaves NME Awards shows have been announced for next January and February to start off a 2009 in great style. The likes of Franz Ferdinand, The Wombats and Simian Mobile Disco are among this year’s great gigs, with more to be announced shortly.

Franz Ferdinand‘s frontman Alex Kapranos said of their opening night honour: “We’re going to play the gig to celebrate ‘Ulysess’ coming out and Heaven is the best place to go and celebrate. The new songs are the type that should be heard in clubs so we liked the idea of playing a show in one. We want people close to us who are dancing and sweating, that’s the vibe that we want. We definitely don’t want polite theatre shows for this record- we want some excitement!”

Tickets are available exclusively at NME from 9am on Wednesday, 26th November and then go on general sale on Monday 1st December.

UPDATE: More gigs added today (2nd December 2008) – full details below.

Catch the full details of the gigs below:

Tuesday 20th January 2009 – Franz Ferdinand @ London Heaven
Sunday 8th February 2009 – The Gaslight Anthems, Frank Turner and The Polar Bear Club @ London Shepherds Bush Empire
Monday 9th February 2009 – Howling Bells @ London Islington Academy
Tuesday 10th February 2009 – The View @ London Koko
Wednesday 11th February 2009 – Ida Maria @ London Koko
Thursday 12th February 2009 – Ida Maria @ Manchester Club Academy
Thursday 12th February 2009 – Simian Mobile Disco and Chrome Hoof @ London Koko
Friday 13th February 2009 – Ida Maria @ Glasgow Garage
Friday 13th February 2009 – Mystery Jets and Little Boots @ London Shepherds Bush Empire
Sunday 15th February 2009 – Black Lips and Vivian Girls @ London Islington Academy
Monday 16th February 2009 – Secret Machines @ London Islington Academy
Tuesday 17th February 2009 – Iglu and Hartley @ London Islington Academy
Wednesday 18th February 2009 – Black Kids, Boy Crisis, Passion Pit @ London Koko
Wednesday 18th February 2009 – Tricky @ Manchester Club Academy
Wednesday 18th February 2009 – Iglu and Hartley @ Manchester Academy 3
Thursday 19th February 2009 – Tricky @ Glasgow Arches
Thursday 19th February 2009 – Iglu and Hartley @ Glasgow QMU
Thursday 19th February 2009 – Roots Manuva @ London Koko
Friday 20th February 2009 – Tricky @ London Shepherds Bush Empire
Monday 23rd February 2009 – Wombats @ London Shepherds Bush Empire
Tuesday 24th February 2009 – Metronomy @ London Koko
Tuesday 24th February 2009 – Wombats @ Manchester Academy
Thursday 26th February 2009 – Wombats @ Glasgow Barrowlands


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