The NME Awards Tour 2014 with Austin, Texas kicked off at Glasgow’s O2 Academy last night with headliners Interpol returning to Scotland for the first time since 2011 and turning in a career-spanning performance that offered the crowd a few tantalising glimpses at the band’s forthcoming new LP.
Playing a near-identical set to their warm-up gig at the Riverside in Newcastle on Sunday (March 16), the stylish New Yorkers – backed by bassist Brad Truax and Secret Machines’ Brandon Curtis on keyboards – took to the stage dressed in black suits and powered straight into ‘Say Hello To The Angels’ from their 2001 debut ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’, followed by 2005 single ‘Evil’.
Those eager for a preview of the band’s as-yet-untitled fifth album were not disappointed, either, with three new tracks – ‘My Desire’, ‘Anywhere’ and ‘All The Rage Back Home’ – getting an airing.
The new songs were well-recieved, but predictably, it was older cuts like ‘Not Even Jail’ and ‘Obstacle 1’ that drew the biggest cheers, while frontman Paul Banks paused after ‘Narc’ to “thank NME for putting on this cool thing, and you all [the crowd] for being here.” By the time the set came to an end with ‘Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down’, the normally-taciturn band even seemed to crack a smile.
Earlier in the night, NME Radar favourites Circa Waves got things underway to a small-but-receptive audience, with frontman Kieran Shudall triumphantly announcing, “Welcome to the NME tour, everybody! This is the first night and it’s very exciting for us!” The quartet’s set was short but buoyantly energetic, with the band tearing through current single ‘Stuck In My Teeth’ as well as a brand new, untitled song.
At the opposite end of the spectrum from Circa Waves’ ebullient indie-pop were Royal Blood, whose bruising, muscular blues-rock came close to stealing the show outright. Opening with ‘Hole’, frontman Mike Kerr may have made light of the their rudimentary bass-and-drums setup (“I’d like to introduce you to the rest of the band,” he quipped, “this is Ben,”) but the Brighton duo made their presence felt, with Kerr indulging in some guitar histrionics during ‘Figure It Out’ and winning over a crowd who seemed largely unfamiliar with them before tonight.
Later on, following the success of their debut album ‘Sun Structures’, which landed at Number Seven in the charts, Kettering quartet Temples took to the stage. Frontman James Bagshaw’s psychedelic troupe coming good with the closing one-two punch of ‘Mesmerise’ and debut single ‘Shelter Song’.
After the gig, Adam Mark, from Northern Ireland, told NME that, “I was mainly here to see Interpol, so obviously I’m a big fan of the old stuff, but I really liked the new songs, too. They bode well for the new album, which I’m looking forward to hearing. I also enjoyed Temples – I’d heard of them before and I recognised a few of the songs, but this was my first time seeing them and I really liked the ’60s, psychedelic thing they have going on.”
‘Say Hello To The Angels’
‘Not Even Jail’
‘The Heinrich Maneuver’
‘All The Rage Back Home’
‘Stella Was a Diver And She Was Always Down’