So the NME Awards Tour rolls into town once again. As a man for whom the NME was once a highlight of my week, I retain an affection for the brand, despite not having reading it regularly for well over twenty years. The Awards tour evokes the variety bills of the 1960s. Well sort of. There’s no magicians or comedians to augment the beat combos, but the punter does get four bands on one bill, doing shorter sets, and so gets a snap shot of who is doing for the NME (or is it their readers?).
First up were Peace. This was my first exposure to them, and on first hearing it seemed to be the most generic landfill indie imaginable delivered with something approaching boredom.
Second we had Palma Violets - another generic band with little to offer that we haven’t seen many, many times before, however they did deliver their tunes with a bit of brim and brio, and they have at least one anthemic tune “Best of Friends”, and I suspect there’s probably a few more in there too. I’ll give their album a listen on the strength of this set.
Miles Kane came next. All I know about him is that he was one half of The Last Shadow Poets (a collaboration with yer man from the Arctic Monkeys) that I didn’t pay much attention to though heard good things about it. He certainly knows how to rock a crowd. High energy pop tunes that were laden with hooks. It’s really not my sort of thing. A bit too obvious and (that word again) generic but he is good at what he does and he went down very well.
Finally, it’s Django time. Yes, Django Django are back in Brighton. Last time out I had to sell my ticket having also bought a ticket to see Public Enemy on the same night. They really were a breath of fresh air. Their particular fusion of dance, post-punk, angular pop, and funk is wonderful. The eclectic set slowly built. The lights and images worked brilliantly. It was just over far too quick. For the first time I felt excited and inspired to dance. For me they bring a bit of the same originality as Talking Heads did all those years ago. A great end to a mixed bag of a night.