Anna Calvi, Grouplove and Big Deal are all on the road for the Emerge NME Radar Tour and they hit Thelka in Bristol last week. We’ve got all of the pictures here and you can read our review in this week’s NME – the one with The Libs boys on the cover.
Anna Calvi plays in Bristol Thekla. She was featured as a Radar Band Of The Week back in April 2010, where we learned that she’s one of only three female solo artists to be taken on by Domino in their 17-year history. “When I have my guitar I feel very powerful,” she told NME. “I’m very much me, but it’s a part of me I can’t really get in touch with unless I’m onstage.”
On a tour that’s previously showcased the likes of Hurts, Crystal Castles, Bloc Party, Friendly Fires and The Killers, headliner Calvi, Grouplove and Big Deal are following in some mighty big footsteps. The audience at Thekla were in for a good night.
NME ranked Grouplove as one of the best new bands of 2010: “Think a cross between National Lampoon’s European vacation, Summer Lovers and your favourite Yankee mall rat flick from the John Major years.”
Anna Calvi battled through an arm injury to help kick off the Emerge NME Radar Tour alongside Grouplove and Big Deal. The acts played at the Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms on the Sunday (May 1) then at the Bristol Thekla (May 2).
Before Calvi’s headline slot Bristol boy/girl electric folk duo Big Deal opened the gig. The pair played songs including ‘Swoon’, ‘Homework’ and ‘Chair’.
Grouplove turned in an energetic performance of their Arcade Fire-meets-The Flaming Lips Los Angeles pop, with the band leaping around from the off and backing singer Hannah Cooper donning a mask and hooded cloak for current single ‘Colours’.
Anna Calvi’s headline set opened with a virtuoso guitar instrumental reminiscent of a classical symphony. Her set veered between sumptuous theatrical pomp, such as ‘Blackout’ and ‘Suzanne And I’, and seditious country darkness with hints of PJ Harvey and The Bad Seeds such as ‘No More Words’ and ‘I’ll Be Your Man’.
After the gig Grouplove singer Christian Zucconi hinted at possible tour collaborations. “It’s been going great,” he said. “It’s gonna get better and better as the tour goes on. We like touring out of the United States, getting on the road is awesome. We haven’t discussed [any onstage collaborations] yet but we’re all open to stuff. Maybe we’ll jump onstage, it’d be fun to sing with Anna.”
Grouplove mess around before their show at Bristol Thekla. To download a free EP with tracks from all of the bands on the Emerge NME Radar Tour – including ‘Surrender’ by Anna Calvi and ‘Locked Up’ by Big Deal – click here.
Big Deal play the likes of ‘Chair’, ‘Swoon’ and ‘Locked Up’ with their part acoustic/part electric guitar set up. The lo-fi, folksters hit Bristol Thekla along with the likes of Grouplove and Anna Calvi.
Playing ‘Itchin’ On A Photograph’, ‘Gold Coast’ and ‘Naked Kids’ – Grouplove fill the tiny stage at Bristol Thekla for the Emerge NME Radar Tour.
Big Deal hang out backstage before they play Bristol Thekla for the Emerge NME Radar Tour. The effortlessly cool pair impressed the audience with their shoe gaze-pop.
Grouplove play in Bristol. NME’s Mark Beaumont said they were “shameless in their sunny summery ‘vibes'” and “suave and seditious in their celebratory sounds”. Read the full review in this week’s NME
Anna Cavli performs at Bristol Thekla. Catch the last dates of the tour at Cambridge Junction (May 14), Norwich Waterfront (15), Oxford O2 Academy2 (16) and London’s KOKO (17). Go here for tickets.