NME Awards Tour 2013 at the O2 Academy Bournemouth (20/2/2012)


The reaction to the news that Miles Kane was not going to be playing the Bournemouth date of this years NME Awards Tour because he was ill (assumedly he tried SO hard to be Paul Weller that he burst a blood vessel or something), was that of frustration rather than disappointment. The lineup was already random; for a show that last year hosted Two Door Cinema Club and Metronomy, the choice to feature arty Django Django, marmite rockers Palma Violets and pyschadelic types Peace, was an interesting one. Kane’s withdrawal was another blow to a show that had already created a residing ‘meh’ amongst the general public upon its announcement. The low expectations the night held gave it the advantage of being able to easily surprise its Southern audience.

Once inside the venue, the general sense of underwhelming that the gig carried continued. To say it hadn’t sold out would be an understatement: there was enough room to swing a cat, they hadn’t bothered to open the upstairs bit in a bid to make it look busy, and to be honest, the audience looked bored. With our expectations low, we stood and waited for Peace to come on.

Perhaps one benefit of Kane’s withdrawal was that it gave the other acts an extended set length, meaning we were treated to a longer set from Peace, the most exciting band in the current British music scene. They stormed through a set featuring new songs (one of which had a refrain  ‘I wanna get messy with you’) and old, with ‘Wraith’ and fan favourite ‘1998’ being particular highlights. Despite playing that dreaded first slot, the band managed to grab the small crowd’s interest brilliantly.

Next up were Palma Violets, NME’s latest inexplicable passion. The band had everything; attitude, shouting and a Libertines-esque nonchalant sound, but their set still managed to be about as enjoyable as skinning your own leg. They really managed to create the impression that they thought they were ‘this generations Strokes’ or something; sorry lads, you’re no generations nothing. One can only hope that they will join Viva Brother on the ‘shit bands that NME hyped then ditched after realizing their influence over music isn’t strong enough to polish a turd’ bandwagon. ASAP.

Django Django were the last up, and what a treat their set really was. Playing mostly from their debut, the band’s unique, danceable, mental, incredidible sound really transferred well to the stage. During their set, my earlier concerns over the emptiness of the venue causing the atmosphere to be dull seemed ridiculous, as the crowd received the set rapturously. Highlights came in the form of ‘Default’ and ‘Life’s a Beach’, their two most recognizable songs.

So, despite Miles Kane’s absence, the show proved to be a success. As someone who has gone to this event for the last three years, I can unfortunately confirm that it was not the best edition NME have provided, but it was nonetheless a great night’s entertainment that was well worth the money. It would have been even better if it was just Peace and Django Django, with Palma Violets watching in the crowd where they could actually learn something about good music. Ouch.


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  1. avatar

    Mate, you do understand that just blindly disagreeing with NME makes you as bland and unoriginal as the people that blindly agree with them, right? I’ll leave you to go and form your own opinion on Palma Violets by actually listening to them, theres some paint drying in the other room that is really grabbing my attention. Laters.

    • avatar

      I didn’t blindly disagree with NME, I said that I found Palma Violets unenjoyable. That is my opinion of Palma Violets, I do not find them enjoyable and NME do, so in this case I disagree with NME, like I have done in several similar cases in the past when they have overhyped bands that, in my opinion, don’t deserve the hype.

      And surely by taking offense at my disliking of the band purely because you interpreted it as being an anti-NME statement, I can quite accurately assume you are one of the ‘bland and unoriginal people who blindly agree with them’, ‘right?’

      • avatar

        Its hard not to interpret that as an anti NME statement though, seeing as you keep mentioning the fact that they were bigged up by NME. If it wasn’t an anti NME statement then I apologise but you could probably come up with a better reason for not liking them than ‘they are not the libertines or the strokes’.

        You would be right to assume that I like Palma Violets but in this instance I saw them live, before NME really picked up on them, about 10 months ago at The Great Escape, so my agreement with NME is hardly blind.

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