The Shockwaves NME Awards Tour kicked off tonight (January 29) at Belfast’s Mandela Hall venue, with a typically incendiary headline performance from The Cribs plus crowd-wowing sets from Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong, Does It Offed You, Yeah? And The Ting Tings.
During The Cribs’ set, singer/guitarist Ryan Jarman leaped into the crowd, where he was mobbed, and had to retrieve his shoes later in the night.
The day had begun with an atmosphere of optimistic anticipation, with members of various bands getting stuck into their lager-dominated riders mid-afternoon.
By early evening most of the four bands, members of which had not met each other before, were mingling and clinking beer bottles between soundchecks.
Lean and Ryan Jarman of The Cribs seemed to bond particularly well, sharing stories about their favourite new bands over beers in the Mandela Hall corridors.
The Ting Tings played the first set of the night, taking the stage at 7:40pm GMT.
The duo weathered a stalled start as guitarist/singer Katie White’s guitar failed to work, launching into new single ‘Great DJ’ soon after the technical issues were sorted.
As is tradition with NME Awards tours, the fans arrived early to catch the openers, with White and drummer Jules De Martino playing to a packed crowd.
One female crowd member went as far as to shout “I love you Katie” loudly between numbers such as ‘Fruit Machine’ and set closer ‘That’s Not My Name’, which was received rapturously by the Belfast crowd.
Does It Offend You, Yeah?, took the stage at 8:30pm GMT, opening with high-octane number ‘Battle Royale’.
By this time the venue was nearly full, with rows of fans dancing manically from the front of the venue, much to the delight of singer/guitarist Morgan Yeah?.
Morgan Yeah? made many forages into the crowd during the set, at one point allowing a female crowd member to sing the chorus to ‘Let’s Make Out’ as he danced.
Yeah? also climbed the ceiling rigging of the venue, characterising a raucously captivating set from the fast-rising dance-rockers.
Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong followed their set, opening with an instrumental number for which Lean remained offstage.
Lean took the stage at the song’s death, dancing and flailing manically before leading the group through a set of fast-paced stompers, including recent single ‘Lucio Starts Fires’.
“It’s the first night of the tour – it’s a bit special,” said Lean, before singing ‘Where Do You Go?’.
“I don’t know if you noticed,” he continued, “but I like to dance. And I like you to dance.”
After playing ‘Teenagers In Love’, which Lean introduced as “a song about fucking,” Lean bashed a tom tom drum repeatedly, inciting mass dancing from the crowd, before he and his band left the stage.
At 10:30pm GMT The Cribs took the stage after mass chanting from the crowd, and launched into ‘Don’t You Wanna Be Relevant’.
The Jarman brothers then played a series of fan favourites such as ‘Mirror Kissers’, ‘Girls Like Mystery’ and ‘Our Bovine Public’.
Ryan Jarman paid a touching tribute to “our best friend”, pointing out a picture of the trio’s dog, Ollie, adorned on the bass drum, leading the crowd through a repeated chant of “Ollie”.
Before playing ‘Another Number’ the crowd sang the song’s riff back to them loudly, then a series of crowd surfers made for the stage during ‘Hey Scenesters!’.
“We’re The Cribs from Wakefield,” Ryan Jarman declared, before playing ‘The Wrong Way To Be’, after which he dived into the crowd, where as usual he was mobbed by fans.
The Cribs played:
‘Don’t You Wanna Be Relevant’
‘Our Bovine Public’
‘Girls Like Mystery’
‘My Life Flashed Before My Eyes’
‘I’m A Realist’
‘I’ve Tried Everything’
‘Get Your Hand Out Of My Grave’
‘The Wrong Way To Be’
The Shockwaves NME Award Tour continues tomorrow night (January 30) in Dublin.
[I]The Shockwaves NME Awards 2008 are coming soon – and it’s time to have your say. Vote now by heading to NME.COM/awardsvote and you could win VIP tickets to the ceremony, which takes place in London on February 28.[/I