The annual four-way rock-off has become a legendary starting block for bands on the cusp of greatness, and this year promises to be the most exciting yet. Throughout January and February the bands will tear across the UK in the run-up to the Shockwaves NME Awards extravaganza on February 17. And for all four bands involved, the dates will be their biggest so far.
The Killers singer Brandon Flowers told NME.COM: “We’re excited. It’s just unbelievable, last year at the awards show we were up on the balcony watching, and to go from that to headlining the tour before the awards show is pretty remarkable for us.”
For the Las Vegas outfit, closing the NME tour has an extra special significance, Flowers explained: “NME has always been a big deal in my house because my older brother always had it pinned up to the wall. With Morrissey and The Cure. To be a part of it in this big of a way is incredible.”
However, the most pressure may turn out to be for Leeds’ Franz Ferdinand, who occupy the coveted opening slot. Last year, The Thrills stole the show despite playing first, and in previous years, Coldplay, Starsailor, [/a] and [a] have all gone onto greatness after opening the show.
However, singing drummer Nick Hodgeson was undaunted by the challenge. He said: “It’s exciting more than anything. It’d be terrible though wouldn’t it, if we were the band that didn’t work! We’ve been asked to do it though, that’s the best bit about it because whoever asked us must have had some faith in us to fill those shoes.”
The Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2005 will call at:
Northumbria University (January 19)
Glasgow Academy (20-21)
Nottingham Rock City (23)
Birmingham Academy (24)
Liverpool University (25)
Leeds University (27)
Manchester Academy (28-29)
Norwich UEA (31)
Bristol Academy (February 1)
Brighton Dome (2)
Cambridge Corn Exchange (4)
Southampton Guildhall (5)
Cardiff University (6)
London Brixton Academy (9)
For ticket availability, [url=]click here or call the NME Ticketline on 0870 1 663 663.
For more on the tour, see this week’s NME which is out now in London and nationwide Wednesday.