O2 Academy Brixton, London, February 23
It’s been emotional. And indeed, floods of feelings are the way in which this year’s NME Awards Tour comes to an end. Firstly the warm and fuzzy kind that Peace’s delicious baggy sonic hugs make us feel. Genuine lighters (not mobile phones, mind – only real fire will do here) are raised aloft for the sweet plastic psych of ‘California Daze’, and ‘Wraith’ causes universal swooning (it evidently gets singer Harrison Koisser in a romantic frame of mind – he’s later to be seen proposing to his girlfriend in the middle of the dancefloor at the aftershow party).
Palma Violets do not drop the good-vibe ball, being a band who generate a sense of electric, messy excitement just by their presence, and that’s even before they crack out the spirit fingers. ‘Tom The Drum’ and ’14’ have a casual class as well as a scrappy immediacy, the wonderfully arrogant sound of a band who know exactly how good (and how hot) they are. Another young man only too aware of his own allure is Miles Kane, owner of the tightest-trousered thighs in the music biz right now. He deploys his massive tunes with cock-of-the-walk confidence, a ‘Rearrange’ here, an ‘Inhaler’ there, before smashing his guitar to smithereens.
The biggest surprise of the night, though, is Django Django. You might not have had them pegged as natural headliners, but their Super Furries-ish indie-funk grooves become great lurching beasts live, ‘Hale Bopp’ and ‘Wor’ causing outbreaks of deliriously shuffly dancing. “We’re going to a place!” declares singer Vincent Neff as they unleash the Arabian adventure that is ‘Skies Over Cairo’. “And it’s over here! And it’s there, and it’s everywhere.” Where? Who cares. As long as this sound keeps ringing in our ears, there’ll be a corner of our hearts that is forever NME Awards Tour…