Jet/The Stands/The Killers/The Ordinary Boys : London Hammersmith Palais

Nipplegate? Who needs it?...

Nipplegate? Who needs it? Over two weeks the NME Awards shows have given us enough drunken [a]The Thrills[/a], spills, and spontaneous chaos to suggest that in 2004 rock is in its rudest health for a decade, and tonight the b(r)east is yet to come.

Seven fifteen: as booze-weary veterans trudge zombie-like in search of some more bar warfare, an almighty guitar-bombardment starts up. Who cares that [a]The Ordinary Boys[/a] look as though they’ve been plucked by random from the bar at Sussex University? Tonight their bright and brutal three minute assaults pack a mighty clout.

Next up, [a]The Killers[/a]. ‘Are they from Manchester?’ asks a passing indie-siren, eyeing the singer’s Ian Curtis-like fidgeting, but there’s something sleazier and more beguiling going on here. Staring at us with lidless, lizard-like composure, they peer at us like cats into a fishtank, waiting for the right time to strike. “Somebody told me you had a boyfriend” croons singer Brandon Flowers over a tune which sounds like [a]Duran Duran[/a] off-duty in a strip-bar. Turns out they’re from Vegas. Where else?

[a]Stands[/a] are the biggest surprise of the night. Forget the anodyne jangling of recent single ‘Here She Comes Again’, tonight they are the perfect cross between Love and [a]La’s[/a]’s and the crowd, drunk on the prospect of [a]Jet[/a], roar them home.

The best is saved until last. If If the heaving mass of fans on the dancefloor don’t tell you that [a]Jet[/a]have the ability to go supersonic in a way not seen since well, [a]Oasis[/a], then the beaming faces of Liam’n’Noel ensconsed in the VIP section do. “London, make some fuckin’ noise!” screams Nick Cester amidst an encore of ‘That’s Alright Mama’, clearly not content with scenes of carnage only last witnessed in Tiberius’s Rome.

For [a]Jet[/a], life as ruling rock emperors is only just beginning.

Paul Moody