NME New Noise Tour, Crystal Castles, White Lies

Paul Cook 04/05/2008

Firstly, the four bands comprising this year's NME new bands ensemble tour are in a completely different class to those of last year. Where fans endured a sickly saturation of indie-pop from Pull Tiger Tail, The Little Ones and The Rumblestrips last year, this year they were treated to a frenzied onslaught of new-rave come nostalgic 80's techno-indie electronica from White Lies, Team Waterpolo, Friendly Fires and Crystal Castles.

White Lies were first on the bill with their euphoric 80's tinged sound and matching haircuts. Sounding much like Killers come Interpol, the band certainly have a recongisable and likeable sound and live they manage to pull it off nicely. Erring a little too close to Editors-style vocals however does grow tiresome and eventually you are craving for something different.

Luckily, Team Waterpolo offer exactly that, well, sometimes. Hit and miss is the best way to describe the Grimsby four-piece with there alternative mix of DJ-ed beats and pop-punk riffs. The opening Beastie Boys style track and ending Klaxons/Pendulum rave tune were the best of the night with everything in the middle seeming rather unoriginal in the middle. Even flavours of McFly, The Hoosiers and Abba crept into certain tracks making for an entirely disappointing mid-section of their set. They should be advised to stick to the more alternative, experimental sounds of their opening and ending numbers if they're to please future fans.

Sub-80's techno pop outfit Friendly Fires followed and with a modernised Duran Duran styling to their music they proved popular. Great vocals and precise instrumentals made for a fantastic set and brilliant warm up for the headline act of the night Crystal Castles. Probably best known for their tracks Alice Practice (used in the popular Channel 4 series Skins) and Untrust Us, Crystal Castles came on stage to a hugely excited crowd and they didn't disappoint. Just seeing the band was a visceral experience, backlit with strobes right in the audience's face for the first half an hour, the music only adding to the mesmerising experience. Energy in abundance and a euphoric crowd to match made it a fantastic finale to the gig. Crystal Castles deserve to be seen live.