The annual array of carnage and killer tunes that is the NME Awards Tour with Austin, Texas kicked off on Thursday (19 February). Here are the best photos from the first night at Sheffield Leadmill. The tour runs until March 4, with a blow-out show at London’s Forum.
Palma Violets, Fat White Family and Slaves kicked off the NME Awards Tour 2015 with Austin, Texas in fashionable style at the Leadmill in Sheffield on Thursday (February 19).
Glasgow garage rockers The Amazing Snakeheads pulled out of the tour at the last minute, due to drummer Scott Duff leaving the band the night before. However, Kent duo Slaves opened the evening with a typically ferocious show. The Wytches have now stepped in to join the tour.
The pair arrived onstage to a blaring Death Grips track and, within minutes, lager was being thrown around as fans moshed to Laurie Vincent’s ruthless guitar, and singer Isaac Holman’s thuggish street poetry and pulverising drums.
Between songs they quizzed the crowd on their favourite biscuits and by new single ‘Feed The Mantaray’, a shirtless Holman was competing for attention with a dancing roadie in a homemade mantaray costume. The singer spent the final track, ‘Hey’, charging through the crowd before throwing his microphone to the ground and stomping backstage.
Slaves recently announced their debut album ‘Are You Satisfied’. During their brutal set they offered early arrivers a fierce sneak preview of the LP, due on June 1.
Fresh from recording the follow-up to 2013 album ‘Champagne Holocaust’ in New York with Sean Lennon, Fat White Family started their set accompanied by a man in military jacket and shades, ranting abstractedly into the mic. Eventually, frontman Lias Saoudi showed up as the band played ‘Auto Neutron’. Soon he was gyrating, headbanging and howling the refrain at the surging crowd.
Fat White Family already have a relationship with Sheffield, having recently teamed up with South Yorkshire electronic experimentalists The Eccentronic Research Council to form Moonlandingz, a semi-fictional band that will be the subject of the ERC’s next album.
By the time Fat White Family had worked their way through the weirdo grooves of ‘Touch The Leather’, their NME Awards Tour set was running over and the sound engineer pulled the plug. “We’ve been cut off,” Saoudi explained as the band tried to play their next song.
Palma Violets opened with ‘On The Beach’ from debut album ‘180’, two years after they played lower down the bill on the NME Awards Tour 2013. Embracing their new position on the top of the bill, the band watched as fans raced to join the melee on the dancefloor as the chords of breakthrough single ‘Best Of Friends’ rang out.
Like all the bands on the bill, Palma Violets have a new album on the way, and last night’s set featured several new songs to tide fans over until the May release of ‘Danger In The Club’.
‘Girl, You Couldn’t Do Much Better On The Beach’ appeared early on in the set, soaked in a sea of swirling keys. The slow, gloomy chords of ‘Matador’ then marked a stark change of pace, before building in speed and intensity. ‘English Tongue’, meanwhile, brimmed took the band in a blues direction.
The new album’s title track went down best with fans – ‘Danger In The Club’ was only unveiled online 48 hours before the show, but Palma Violets’ fans still chanted along to the chorus.