Witness all the action across the ten dates here
In partnership with TOPMAN
TOPMAN ON TOUR WITH NME is go! The nine-date tour is making its way across England and Scotland right now, treating students to intimate gigs with the likes of Peace, Fickle Friends, Clean Cut Kid, Will Joseph Cook and Devlin. Each night promises to be as rowdy and exciting as the next and we’ve got snaps of all the action as it happens below.
Want to get to one of the other shows on the tour? Check out the dates below:
Nottingham, Trent University (March 14)
Glasgow, University Of Strathclyde (March 17)
Hull, Hull University (March 18)
Leeds, Leeds University Union (March 22)
Sheffield, Sheffield University (March 24)
Canterbury, University Of Kent (March 25)
Manchester, Gorilla (March 29)
Newcastle, O2 Academy (March 30)
Loughborough, Loughborough University (March 31)
Norwich, UEA (April 29)
TOPMAN ON TOUR WITH NME kicked off in Nottingham on March 14, packing Nottingham Trent university with three excellent bands, DJs and some extremely passionate fans.
Students queued around the corner to get in to see Will Joseph Cook, Clean Cut Kid and the return of Birmingham’s Peace, who hadn’t played live in nearly 18 months.
Those who attended the show were rewarded for making the effort with a free £10 TOPMAN gift card, handed out on their way into the venue.
Will Joseph Cook opened the night warming up the crowd with infectious indie-pop, like a The 1975 sugar rush of ‘Sweet Dreamer’ and ‘Treat Me Like A Lover’.
The Kent musician and his band closed their set with the buoyant ‘Biggest Fan’ and recent single ‘Beach (I Wanna Make You Mine)’, leaving the rapidly-filling room enamoured.
Liverpool’s Clean Cut Kid ramped up the energy of the night even more with bassist Saul Godman leaping into the air and jumping into the crowd at any opportunity.
“Can you understand what I’m saying?” jokingly asked frontman Mike Halls after ‘Pick Me Up’, referencing his broad Liverpool accent. The four-piece’s songs didn’t got lost in translation, though, with the audience clapping and dancing along throughout.
Throughout their 45-minute set, the group previewed tracks from their forthcoming debut album ‘Felt’. Two new songs closed their performance – ‘Evelyn’, written about Mike’s wife and band member Evelyn Halls, and former single ‘Vitamin C’.
Peace brought the night to an end as they made their return to the stage after last playing live in October 2015. To say the Nottingham audience were pleased to see them is a slight understatement, as this guy shows…
“It’s good to be back from the dead,” joked frontman Harry Koisser after opener ‘Higher Than The Sun’.
“I spent the last year of my life sat in a wooden chair in a country house with Dominic Boyce, Sam Koisser and Douglas Castle,” he told the crowd later. “It gets lonely out there. This is the perfect way to be greeted back.”
Throughout their hour set, fans made circle pits, crowd surfed and climbed on each other’s shoulders to get a better view.
While the band had suggested beforehand they might test out some new material, the setlist was largely made up of tracks from their first two albums. They also covered Nirvana’s ‘Drain You’, as well as playing ‘1998 (Delicious)’, which featured on 2012’s ‘EP Delicious’.
Their stunning return finished with the near seven-minute long ‘World Pleasure’. After, the band blew kisses to the audience and applauded their energetic response throughout the night.
The fun continued in Glasgow on the second date of the tour (March 17) with these fans making the most of the props and their dabbing skills to get a photo that could help then win a lot of TOPMAN goodies.
Fickle Friends also joined the tour in Scotland’s second city. Singer Natti Shiner attempted to impress the crowd with her Glaswegian accent after opening track ‘
The Brighton five-piece aired the ’80s-tinged synth-pop of new single ‘Hello Hello’ and ‘Velvet’, taken from their 2015 EP of the same name, in their bright and infectious set.
“Happy fucking Paddy’s Day,” Natti told the audience as the group finished things off with the tropical ‘Brooklyn’ and the groove-laden ‘Swim’.
BBC Introducing’s Abbie McCarthy kept the party going afterwards, playing bangers from the likes of The Killers, The Strokes and Jamie T.
Before the music got underway in Hull (March 18), students popped into the local TOPMAN store for a quick haircut.
Will Joseph Cook returned to the tour, teasing his debut album ‘Sweet Dreamer’ with the buoyant pop of ‘Treat Me Like A Lover’ and ‘Girls Like Me’.
The Kent musician drew praise from headliners Fickle Friends, whose singer Natti told the crowd: “I’m a crazy fangirl so I was loving his set.”
The Brighton band weren’t without their own admirers at the show – fans in the front rows sang along to every word of their set with broad smiles on their faces.
TOPMAN ON TOUR WITH NME continued onto Leeds University, where Peace rejoined the bill for another sweaty, euphoric night.
Two lucky students in each city will win a golden ticket entitling them to a free Gig Survival Pack goody bag, VIP queue jump to the evening’s gig for them and three friends and a free round of drinks on TOPMAN. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is pick up a lucky symbol card at TOPMAN and match your symbol at the Student Hub. Other prizes include gift cards, beanies and bags.
Stealing, who are set to play Live At Leeds festival in April, played their first ever gig, warming up the excited crowd with electronic beats and intricate guitar lines.
Will Joseph Cook and his band continued their stellar run on the tour, each track sounding more infectious than the last.
Set highlights included ‘Biggest Fan’, which saw Cook add acoustic guitar licks to his anthemic indie-pop sound.
Peace were the recipients of the biggest reception of the night, however, with fans singing along to every word from opener ‘Higher Than The Sun’.
“What have you been doing for the last year?” asked Harry Koisser, referencing the Birmingham band’s long absence. “This is like being reunited with an old friend, except there’s like 2000 of you.”
“This is a new song,” the frontman teased midway through the set. “Just kidding – it’s ‘California Daze’.”
Fans used the performance as an excuse to create as many circle pits as possible and to climb on each others’ shoulders to show the four-piece their appreciation.
Peace closed out the night with epic second album track ‘World Pleasure’, with bassist Sam Koisser making his way to the front of the stage to bask in the spotlight during his bass solo.
TOPMAN ON TOUR WITH NME continues in Sheffield on Friday (March 24) with Peace, Fickle Friends and Will Joseph Cook.
Over in Sheffield, Will Joseph Cook played his final set of the tour. Leaving on a high, he made one last bid for the TOPMAN ON TOUR WITH NME crowds’ hearts and won.
Fickle Friends, meanwhile, followed Cook and his band with another lively performance that had singer Natti Shiner encouraging fans to dance along to their bright synth-pop.
Their set was so full of party atmosphere, someone even brought a balloon along. Talk about prepared.
This guy showed his allegiance to the Brighton five-piece – and several other bands.
While another student proudly showed off their love of the night’s headliners, Peace.
Over in the photo area, fans got in the mood for a bit of the Brummie band, donning peace sunglasses in the hope of winning a £500 shopping spree at TOPMAN.
Sheffield was also Peace’s last night on the tour, and the four-piece made the most of the opportunity to be reunited with the city’s music fans.
“Does anyone remember laughter? Does anyone remember Dom Boyce?” asked Harry Koisser at one point, while also throwing in an off-setlist rendition of ‘Float Forever’.
The Sheffield crowd kept up the tour’s rowdy atmosphere, with fans losing themselves in the group’s anthemic choruses.
The tour continued in Canterbury on Saturday (March 25), where visitors to the local TOPMAN made the most of free snacks and beer while shopping for new threads.
TOPMAN’s instore DJ was also on hand to soundtrack their purchases with a plethora of indie hits.
In the evening, students at University Of Kent headed down to the SU in their droves to dance the night away.
On their way in, they posed with inflatable instruments and crossed their fingers they would win the £500 shopping spree.
Then it was onto the dancefloor for a night of DJ sets. First up, NME’s Rhian Daly entertained early arrivals with a set of indie bangers.
BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens took over later, with the likes of Skepta and Icona Pop going down extremely well with the audience.
With drinks flowing and bodies moving, the SU was full of happy punters.
Finally BBC Introducing’s Abbie McCarthy closed out proceedings in her home county, sending those present home with big grins on their faces.
Into its final week, TOPMAN ON TOUR WITH NME headed back up north to Gorilla in Manchester to welcome some new acts to the line-up.
Liverpool’s Paris Youth Foundation kicked things off with driving indie, including the bold ‘Lost Cause’ and rousing closer ‘Missing The Mark’.
Dagenham grime veteran Devlin performed later, playing tracks from his recent album ‘The Devil In’ as well as a few old favourites.
“Where are my cutters?” he asked the lively crowd at one point, before continuing the set, rapping into fans’ phones and bounding about the stage.
‘Let It Go’ and ‘Runaway’, both from Devlin’s 2010 album ‘Bud, Sweat And Beers’, received huge responses from the audience. After the latter, Devlin thanked the crowd for making the night so fun for him.
Before he closed the set out for good, his DJ left him to spit some bars a capella, much to the delight of the crowd.
Newcastle was the penultimate location for TOPMAN ON TOUR WITH NME, with three acts taking over the O2 Academy.
Kent’s The Bay Rays brought strutting indie to the north east with a set that included recent loping single ‘Satisfaction’.
Local trio SoShe switched things up with their R&B-tinged pop songs, like the smooth ‘Yours Tonight’.
Devlin headlined again, with his DJ leading the crowd in a chant that spelt out the grime star’s name, between getting the audience to jump to tracks like ‘Corned Beef City’ and ‘Life’.
“You lot are the most respectful audience I’ve ever had,” Devlin told the crowd. “I usually get shit thrown at me.” He later ended the set by turning down one fan’s offer of a free shot and thanking those present profusely. Devlin will bring TOPMAN ON TOUR WITH NME to a close in Loughborough tonight (March 31).
Friday night and the TOPMAN ON TOUR WITH NME roars up to Loughborough University Students Union, and what a night was had…
Loughborough was out to party hard, preferably in ridiculous comedy sunglasses.
“Let’s go out with a bang,” said Natassja Shiner as the sunny, soulful synthpop of ‘Hello Hello’ and ‘Brooklyn’ lit up the packed, bang-up-for-it room.
Natassja was handed an inflatable guitar within seconds and made a valiant effort to ‘play’ it along to their chart-bound sizzle-pop, laughing “you guys are rowdy.”
They got rowdier still to the grime-heavy between-act DJ set from BBC Introducing’s Abbie McCarthy.
Headliner Devlin’s deep-bass whoomps and attack dog rhymes went down a storm too, as he rapped over Jimi Hendrix samples and classic gospel soul.
Buzzing from what he colourfully described as “an absolute bollockfest” (which from the look of it was a very good thing), he worked the crowd to a frenzy, and a late-night DJ set of stone cold indie monsters from NME’s Mark Beaumont rounded off the evening in suitably epic fashion. Stay crazy, Loughborough…
The final night of TOPMAN ON TOUR WITH NME got underway at Norwich’s East Anglia University, with Radio X DJ Jack Saunders on warm-up duties.
Another set of fans smile for the camera in the hopes of winning a £500 shopping spree at TOPMAN.
“Wallet? Check. Phone? Check. Keys? Check. Breastplate armour and ceremonial sword for knighting strangers? Check.”
Opening his set with ’50 Grand’ from new album ‘The Devil In’, the EAU crowd gave Devlin a raucous welcome.
Devlin meets his public.
Jack Saunders rounded the TOPMAN ON TOUR WITH NME off with another brilliant DJ set.