Crystal Castles, Everything Everything, The Vaccines, Magnetic Man, NME tour

Alex Yau 04/02/2011

The X Factor and the NME Tour have one thing in common. It's that they both set up artists who appear to be the next big thing and then after a certain time, they fall from grace faster than you can say Tiger Woods, albeit the latter producing musicians who aren't as shit as the former. Last year it was the Drums, who after basking in the glory of Morrissey-esque pastiche and indie punk revivalism; seem to be plummeting as fast as they were rising. This year's tour is different introducing dub step. Last year, attendants would probably have been like “what?” but unless you've got a restraining order, you'll have noticed the sudden surge in its popularity and of course, it's the NME, champion of all that is new.

First on are the Vaccines, who seem to be this years Drums. They're not breaking any boundaries but reviving that air of classic nostalgia at best. Wreckin' Bar is a surge of classic Ramones punk rock that invades your head with a grizzled and fuzzy distortion, buzzing around your head like feedback from a radio. It's a difficult task for a band to carry the weight of pre album hype on their shoulders but the Vaccines manage it well. They've already hit the BBC's Sound of 2011 list, and with the year looking equally as positive, it'll be interesting to see if they do follow the same fate as the Drums.

Tonight's an interesting leg for local's Everything Everything, as is the case for every homecoming gig, they play with the passion and intensity that is received with equal ecstasy only to be matched by a Spanish footballers transfer Photoshop Handsome is an inter dimensional hop into an unknown, inverted coloured Wonderland as it is overrun by an LSD raged Mad Hatter. Suffragette Suffragette on the other hand adds a considerable harder edge to the set as the layers of increasingly rip roaring guitars smack on top of each other, exploding into a worthy canon of ear burst. It's a nice bridge that covers the gap between pure angsty rock to that of the sheer dance experimentalism of MY KZ, UR BF which rains and traverses pristinely across a rainbow landscape.

Dubstep's gone along way since its starts in the dirty underground clubs of yesteryear. Just take a look at tonight's topless, sweat drenched, skanking crowd that have filled the venue. It's all apocalyptic music tonight. It's the moment in Jurassic Park when the tyrannosaurus' tremble steps shake the ground beneath it. Anthemic is a brain melt of hypnotising and anthemic pulses. It's Faithless passed out in a dirty club toilet.
Then there's the mini earthquake of Perfect Stranger, Katy B's angelic vocals only to be challenged by the thumping mini heart attack of a bass, oh that bass! It ripples along for miles.

But the biggest “what the fuck?” moment of the night comes thrown straight at you like an angry waiter by Crystal Castles. Some people flee in sheer excitement for a much needed rest from the anarchy. Baptism is a blipping S.O.S distress signal with Alice Glass' screaming, ghostly voice causing all the uneasiness. If you thought Alice Practice couldn't get any more mental, tonight it's been placed in a large factory blade, turned up a 1000 times and thrown out to unsuspecting victims. It's that Trainspotting where your transported through shit filled toilet only to come out with no clue as to what has happened, the only thing you know is that it was one hell of an experience. Trust Crystal Castles, the “veterans” of the tour tonight, to show the kids how it's done.