We Are S.M.E

[REVIEW] NME Awards Tour @ Brixton 20/2/11 by wearesme

SME were very kindly invited down to Brixton Academy for the NME Awards Tour on Saturday evening by our friends at Get Involved. The lineup looked pretty impressive; The Vaccines, Everything Everything, Magnetic Man and Crystal Castles all in one evening? It was like Christmas come early!

The Awards Tour began all the way up in Glasgow at the beginning of the month and this, the biggest show of them all, would bring it to a close.

We were sure to arrive early because The Vaccines were up first, and following our interview with Freddie from the band, we couldn’t wait to seeing the band live for the first time.
They certainly didn’t disappoint; their up beat rock n roll sound had the main floor bouncing, especially during their brilliant debut single Post Break-Up Sex and the frantic 1 minute 20 seconds long Wreckin’ Bar, which will forever be a fan favourite. The band also performed their next single ‘If You Wanna’ which is due for release in March.

Their sets remain fairly short, at roughly the half hour mark; but in this short time they bring with them brilliant positive energy and upbeat, feel good tracks which leave you in great spirits. Having now seen them live, it is easy to see why they are tipped to be a band that will play a major part in guitar music’s resurgence in 2011.

Second on stage were Everything Everything. This being the second time we had seen them live; SME knew what to expect. As ever they sounded note perfect, however once again failed to impress. Their electro-pop beats, namely Photoshop Handsome and My KZ Your BF had the majority bopping along, however SME feel they lack stage presence and energy.

The same certainly can’t be said for the trio of Benga, Skream and Artwork; collectively known as Magnetic Man who from experience put on an incredible show and leave you pleading for your bed.

Taking to the stage with their hype man MC Dread they set up in a 3-0-1 formation and proceeded to take the roof off the Academy; the building is falling apart as it is, the last thing it needed was these boys turning up with they’re ridiculous bass, but SME weren’t complaining! To quote Skepta; you could feel the “bassline in your nostril”.

They built up tension, opening with their self-titled debut album’s opener, Flying Into Tokyo and followed it with both I Need Air and Fire, which drew a massive reaction. Skank faces were well and truly on and sweaty crowd surfers began to appear from all angles.

As they began to play the hypnotic ‘Getting Nowhere’, Dread announced that they had a special guest they wanted to bring to the stage. Much to our disappointment it wasn’t the Legend that is John, it was in fact the lead singer of Everything Everything. It’s safe to say that his performance wasn’t quite in the same league as that of Mr.Legend, however it would take a lot to ruin such a beautiful song.

Closing with Perfect Stranger and MC Dread hollering “Brixton are you ready!?” before the drop, they went out with a bang. It’s hard to believe that their debut album was only released four months ago and the trio are now tearing up one of London’s biggest venues. Take a sweaty bow gents.

Finally, it was the turn of Crystal Castles to round off both the night and the whole tour. Before they made their way on stage a lonesome figure grabbed hold of the microphone and proclaimed “Alice from the band has unfortunately broken her ankle, the doctors have told them to cancel the show” there were a few gasps from the crowd but the man continued; “but she told them ‘F**K YOU!”.

The crowd roared and the Castles stepped up, or hobbled on, to take their positions. They opened with Fainting Spells which immediately triggered a mosh pit amongst the hardcore fans at the front. From the first song it was evident that Alice’s broken ankle certainly wasn’t going to stop her going out without a bang, as she proceeded to mount speakers and jump around the stage as if she had 3 fully functioning limbs, not 1.

They continued to reel off a number of tracks, taken from albums both old and new. Reckless and Celestica had the room erupting and Alice couldn’t contain herself any more; diving into the crowd for a spot of surfing. Giving Alice a crutch is evidently as effective as putting a Lion on a leash. Had he been present, the look on her doctors face would have been priceless!

The band went out in style, closing with Untrust Us and the firing of 2 massive confetti cannons which left the Academy in a black haze. What a night!


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