gigs: NME Awards Tour 2015, Newcastle

With the shock departure of The Amazing Snakeheads from the prestigious NME Awards Tour in association with Austen, Texas; it was up to The Wytches to fill the gaping hole, alongside dynamic duo Slaves, the controversial Fat White Family and of course, headliners, Palma Violets, at Newcastle’s O2 Academy, on Saturday 21st February.

With openers The Wytches playing a storming set filled with: fruitful fan favourites (‘Digsaw’, ‘Burn Out The Bruise’); raucous guitar riffs and dreamy shouts from fontman Kristian Bell, the Peterborough three-piece rightfully proved worthy of their place on the bursting bill.

Quickly following The Wytches departure was a sense of overwhelming excitement piercing the atmosphere of Newcastle’s O2 Academy, alluding to only one thing: Kent duo and the hype band of 2015, Slaves, had appeared, ready  to wreak havoc.

Although having previously performed at the BBC 6 Music Festival’s by day event only hours before; Slaves spat fire and emitted an aura of pure, euphoric ecstasy. New single ‘Feed The Mataray’ was delivered with passionate precision, while crowd pleasers, ‘The Hunter’ and defining track ‘Hey’, left the Geordie crowd conjuring the same idea simultaneously: this band are the real-deal.

Following the scintillating performance from  Slaves was a band notorious for live show tomfoolery and perhaps the previously branded ‘sore thumb’ of the NME Awards Tour: The Fat White Family.  If any doubts were arising within the unknowing crowd about the Fat White’s being unable to deliver; a dashing took place instantly, as the enchanting ‘Auto Neutron’ and ‘Is It Raining In Your Mouth?’ whipped up a frenzy.

With ‘I Am Mark E. Smith’ and the championed ‘Touch The Leather’ featuring on the full-loaded set list, the mind-blowing, eccentric Fat White Family changed the game and altered the perspective of those unable to call themselves fans before. Closing on ‘Bomb Disneyland’, the band silently saluted the ideology that perhaps it should have been themselves topping this tours bill.

Following the three world-class acts already having preformed on stage; it was the turn of the newly-sophisticated, big-name headliners Palma Violets to take the reins. Opening with fan favourite ‘Rattlesnake Highway’; Palma’s setlist boasted a cocktail of sleek new tracks (‘Matador’, ‘Scandal’) blended with the archaic anthems that built up their famous fanbase (‘Best Friends’, ‘Tom The Drum’, ‘Johnny Bagga’ Doughnuts’), making the bands headline slot one for the history books.

B-side, ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’ went down as an extremely sweet treat for fans, as well as ‘Step Up For The Cool Cats’ and ‘Chicken Dippers’.  With the excitement of the set coming to a head, signalled with the opening chords of Palma’s crowning moment ‘Best Of Friends’, mouths hit floors and an explosion of blazing joy was emitted from the band.

Although leaving silently and secluded; Palma Violets closed the NME Awards Tour show at Newcastle’s O2 Academy in such style; eye-witnesses may find it near-impossible to recover from the scenes they had the pleasure to endure.

Ella Scott

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