The NME Awards 2014 with Austin, Texas got underway at Glasgow’s O2 Academy last night, boasting an incredible line-up of Circa Waves, Royal Blood, Temples and Interpol. NME Radar Favourites Circa Waves were first onstage, taking up the hallowed openers slot previously occupied by Coldplay and Florence And The Machine.
Frontman Kieran Shudall looked chuffed to be part of the show, triumphantly announcing to the crowd: “Welcome to the NME tour, everybody! This is the first night and it’s very exciting for us!”
The quartet’s set was short but buoyantly energetic, with the band tearing through current single ‘Stuck In My Teeth’ as well as a brand new, untitled song.
From ebullient indie-pop to swaggering blues-rock: Brighton duo Royal Blood, aka bassist/singer Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, were next to take to the stage.
“I’d like to introduce you to the rest of the band,” quipped Kerr midway through Royal Blood’s set. “This is Ben.” Still, for just two people, they make a shitload of noise, and their bruising, muscular blues-rock came close to stealing the show outright.
The crowd who seemed largely unfamiliar with them before last night’s show, but storming renditions of tracks such as ‘Figure It Out’ meant that Royal Blood won them over by the end.
Next up Kettering psych-lords Temples, enjoying a quiet moment backstage here before morphing into Lizard Kings for their live show.
Singer James Bagshaw channels his inner shaman onstage in Glasgow, looking suitably blissed-out as he and his bandmates play the finest cuts from debut LP ‘Sun Structures’.
Temples have a quick strum before hitting the stage.
The psychedelic troupe played tracks including ‘Mesmerise’ and their debut single ‘Shelter Song’.
Last night’s headliners, meanwhile, were New Yorkers Interpol. They turned in a career-spanning performance that offered the crowd a few tantalising glimpses at the band’s forthcoming new LP.
The band – backed by bassist Brad Truax and Secret Machines’ Brandon Curtis on keyboards – took to the stage dressed in black suits and powered straight into ‘Say Hello To The Angels’ from their 2001 debut ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’, followed by 2005 single ‘Evil’.
Those eager for a preview of the band’s as-yet-untitled fifth album were not disappointed, either, with three new tracks – ‘My Desire’, ‘Anywhere’ and ‘All The Rage Back Home’ – getting an airing.
The new songs were well-recieved, but it was older cuts like ‘Not Even Jail’ and ‘Obstacle 1’ that drew the biggest cheers, while frontman Paul Banks paused after ‘Narc’ to “thank NME for putting on this cool thing, and you all [the crowd] for being here.” By the time the set came to an end with ‘Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down’, the normally-taciturn band even seemed to crack a smile.