Topman NME New Music Tour kicks off in Cardiff

Flaming drumsticks galore at Rumble Strips and co launch tour

The Topman NME New Music Tour kicked off in Cardiff tonight (May 17).

The gig, featuring rising stars The Rumble Strips, Pull Tiger Tail, Little Ones and Blood Red Shoes, injected a touch of glamour into the austere surroundings of the Welsh capital’s historic Coal Exchange venue.

Headliners The Rumble Strips performed a 40-minute set, featuring their trademark horns and harmonies, to a crowd singing back every line, despite the band not having released an album yet.

The audience were highly vocal in their appreciation for songs including ‘Motorcycle’, ‘Creole’ and ‘London’, and frontman Charlie Waller was visibly delighted with the reaction.

Earlier in the evening, Pull Tiger Tail energetically pumped out their electro-indie tunes, including ‘Hurricanes’ and opener ‘Mr. 100%’, despite being jokingly heckled by Steven Ansell from Blood Red Shoes.

The band, adorned in pink paper hearts, even introduced ‘I Call It IT’ with a cry of “Eins, zwei, drei, tanzen”, in tribute to Urkaine’s recent transvestite-eld Eurovision entry ‘Dancing Lasha Tumbai’.

Before Pull Tiger Tail’s performance, Californian quirk-pop troupe The Little Ones brought their instrument-swapping, percussion-laden show to Wales for the very first time.

The five-piece got most of the crowd dancing to their melodic and upbeat tunes, including single ‘Lovers Who Uncover’, with singer Edward Reyes even promising he’d join in if the crowd started breakdancing, declaring: “Now is your time to freak out! I want to see some breakdancing, I’ll come down there with you if you do!”

Blood Red Shoes opened the tour, with singer Laura-Mary Carter sporting a brand new Telecaster and drummer Steven Ansell entering with flaming drumsticks held aloft.

Launching straight into new song ‘I Wish I Was Someone Better’, the Brighton duo swiftly warmed up the initially reserved crowd of early birds with their garage-grunge.

Commenting on the wood panelling of the Coal Exchange, Steven told the crowd: “It looks like we’re playing in the Houses Of Parliament, but we can still have a good time!”

The Topman NME New Music Tour calls at the following venues:

Northampton Roadmenders (May 18)

Sheffield Plug (19)

Middlesbrough Empire (21)

Glasgow Arches (22)

Edinburgh Liquid Rooms (23)

Manchester Club Academy (24)

Nottingham Rescue Rooms (26)

Birmingham Academy 2 (28)

London KOKO (29)

Brighton Concorde 2 (30)

Norwich Waterfront (31)

To check ticket availability and view full listings, go to NME.COM/Gigs.

For more news, blogs and pictures from the Topman NME New Music Tour go to the special index on NME.COM now.