The Thrills, Interpol and The Datsuns get a hero's welcome on the last night of the tour, while The Polyphonic Spree spread the love!

The NME AWARDS TOUR came to a spectacular end at LONDON ASTORIA last night (February 9), with a cracking set from The Thrills, Interpol proving they’re one of the finest bands on the road right now, full-on Polyphonic Spree insanity and outrageous rock-god posturing from headliners The Datsuns.

The 2003 tour has called at 12 venues and covered more than a thousand miles since setting off at Glasgow Barrowland on January 26, where Radio 1 DJ Colin Murray invaded the stage dressed as a giant parrot. Dolf De Datsun earned his rock credentials trashing his bass at Birmingham Academy two days later and hurling the bits into the audience, while Interpol were elevated to heart-throb status, with black-clad girls and stylish young men across the country united in new-found adoration. The Thrills made a splash and earned their badges as the NME Awards swim team, pledging to go for a plunge every day while on the road.

After two weeks of raising merry hell around the country, the bands finally pulled up at the Astoria last night, where Polyphonic Spree stole the show in front of one of the hottest, most sardine-packed audiences the venue has seen.

First they joined chirpy Dubliners The Thrills on stage, with Tim De Laughter and son plus various happy-clappers lending a hand as they opened the show, then later invading the stage again during The Datsuns.

The audience was packed with robe-wearing faithful, and De Laughter’s troupe gave one of their wildest peformances yet.

After the show, the party continued at the Columbia Hotel, with the bands and friends taking over entirely, partying till dawn.

Although the tour is now over, there are still plenty of gigs left on the NME Awards bill. Tonight (February 10), Saves The Day, Hell Is For Heroes, Bellrays and The Star Spangles play the Astoria, tomorrow it’s the turn of The Basement, The Sleepy Jackson and Kings of Leon at The Garage, and on Wednesday it’s back to Astoria for The Hiss, The Sights, Detroit Cobras and Libertines.

The NME Awards themselves are being held at Po Na Na in Hammersmith on Thursday (February 13), and the fun continues with Nas at Astoria on Friday, and last but by no means least, the rescheduled [a][/a] show at the Astoria on February 24.