There’s something thrilling about watching Sunderland scamps The Futureheads open this rescheduled NME Awards bash. It’s debateable whether it’s because they represent everything glorious about the magic of rock ‘n’ roll – radiating sex, sass and style in an exuberant bundle of art punk joy – or because of the excitement in seeing a band poised tentatively on the threshold of greatness. One thing is certain: 2003 will undoubtedly be their year. Likewise Scot rock mentalists Aerogramme are simply wonderful tonight, their (torture) chamber scuzzracket sounding truly EVIL. NME cackles and raises its goblet of blood skywards. Extreme noise terror. The merest of blips comes in the shape of Mancunian mumblists I Am Kloot. Perhaps it’s the expectancy of the devoted Coopers throng but their whimsical charm seems somewhat diluted.
As The Cooper Temple Clause scurry stagebound and the aforementioned devotees go ABSOLUTELY FUCKING POSTAL, NME can’t prevent a hard on of joy rising within its pants. So much bullshit rhetoric has been spouted about this six-headed beast of rock chaos that the simple facts of the matter need to be spelled out. Regardless of haircuts, the cut of their threads, or the dizzy abandonment of their persona, this is a band that BLEED rock n roll. ‘Film Maker’ sounds twisted and disturbing, whilst ‘Panzer Attack’ is a visceral headfuck of beats and bleeps. At the front a young girl is on both knees praying skywards. Another is crying tears of joy. It’s been that kind of night. Coopermania indeed.