Spotlit by phone flashes, NOISY singer and rapper Cody Matthews is punching his neon mic into the air with a Cheshire Cat grin plastered across his face. The frontman is generous with hand-clasps and selfies for the fans that have packed out Hoxton venue Colours in east London, and when he leans over the edge of the stage for a breather from the rib-rattling sub-bass of his band’s songs, the front row parts fluidly. “I’m usually far more confident than this,” he tells tonight’s sold-out crowd. “But right now, I’m taken aback. I’m speechless.”
Following a run of summer festivals, this is the Worthing-based trio’s first-ever headline show, and it marks a giddy-making feat for multiple reasons; NOISY recently recovered their stolen equipment, which forced them to miss a nationwide tour supporting You Me At Six last month. But if Matthews is nervous about returning to the stage, this brief – yet much-needed – moment of respite is the only sign. As the whole room hollers in support, he adds: “We’re a fucking family.” His bandmates – guitarist Connor Cheetham and producer/guitarist Spencer Tobias-Williams – offer conspiratorial nods. “Let’s have this.”
Joined by their touring drummer, the stage can barely contain the band, midway through a set that tempers the ecstasy and defiant spirit of a warehouse party with mainstream ambition. Fans bounce and mosh through a mixture of highlights from 2020 EPs ‘Press Space To Play’ and ‘I Wish I Was A…’ along with standalone singles, and unreleased material. “I’m young, I’m dumb, I’m full of it,” Matthews spits on the reloaded chorus of ‘Young Dumb’, as if to state the collective purpose of the hungry, eager rave-heads in front of him outright.
The whole show runs at this same rapid pace. It leaves little room for error, but keeps up effortlessly with the BPM of NOISY’s adrenaline-fuelled back catalogue. An electrifying siren call signals the start of ‘Put A Record On’, before Matthews nails its cocky rap-talk verses. Later, the joy the trio radiate as they jump around during ‘24/7’ is genuinely uplifting.
It makes for the type of night that NOISY sing about: unpredictable, euphoric, perfectly rowdy – even without an encore, to the disappointment of many here this evening. As they close acoustic stomper ‘Rock ‘N Roll Raver’ with an acapella rendition of its chorus, there is a sense of something coming full circle; there in the giant laser beams, and the curve of lights that adorn the arena-ready production, the disbelief in Matthews’ eyes.