White Lies kick off Shockwaves NME Awards Big Gig 2009

Band watched by Robert Smith as proceedings get underway at O2 Arena

White Lies have kicked off the NME Big Gig 2009, playing first on at the London O2 Arena tonight (February 26).

The band were first on a bill that features Crystal Castles, Franz Ferdinand and this year’s Godlike Geniuses The Cure.

After being introduced by the evening’s host Zane Lowe the band, all clad head to toe in black, played songs from their debut album ‘To Lose My Life..’ including ‘Death’ and opener and new single ‘Farewell To The Fairground’.

“I’d like to take this chance to say that it’s an honour to play with The Cure,” frontman Harry McVeigh told the crowd midway through the set, as The Cure‘s frontman Robert Smith watched from the wings. McVeigh added: “It means a lot to us.”

He later added: “We’re as excited about watching The Cure as you are. We’ll be right down there with you.”

White Lies played:

‘Fairwell To The Fairground’

‘To Lose My Life..’

‘A Place To Hide’

‘Unfinished Business’

‘Fifty On Our Foreheads’

‘The Price Of Love’


Speaking to NME.COM just after his band’s show, McVeigh was ecstatic to hear that Smith had seen the band. “It’s amazing that he was watching,” he said. “If I’d known that I would have been really excited and tried to put on the best show ever. It would have been even better!

Speaking about playing stadiums, he added: “It’s daunting, it’s hard work, it’s so different to playing small venues. But we’re getting used to it. We have an amazing sound guy so that’s probably 80 percent to do with it – not to do with us!

“We’ll stick around and watch all the bands now. We were with Crystal Castles at the [Shockwaves NME] Awards last night (February 25). It was messy.”

For complete coverage from this year’s Shockwaves NME Awards, including news, photo galleries, video interviews and live blogs straight from the ceremony at the O2 Academy Brixton, head to our awards index at NME.COM/awards now.

There will also be a highlights show on Channel 4 on Friday (February 27) at 7.30pm (GMT) and on Saturday (28) at 10.55am. NME TV will also have highlights and interviews from the awards, head to NME.COM/nmetv for the full schedule.

Meanwhile, get this week’s issue of NME – on UK newsstands now – for an exclusive covers CD featuring this year’s Godlike Geniuses, The Cure. The awards review issue itself will be on the shelves from next Wednesday (March 4), boasting exclusive interviews, photos and more.

Plus NME Radio is broadcasting highlights of this year’s awards – tune in via Sky Channel 0184, Virgin Media 975, Freesat 727 or NME.COM/radio.