NME Radar Tour: Two Door Cinema Club, Metronomy, Tribes and Azealia Banks: Academy, Manchester

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Azaelia Banks.jpg
The indie crop dazzle and disappoint in equal measure but it’s one cool kitten that looks like the creme dela creme. Getintothis’ Stephanie Heneghan sings along before getting her legs slapped.


On an evening when I would much rather be at home cocooned in a duvet cover, drinking hot Ribena and generally feeling sorry for ourselves (yes, I’m ill) I’ve manned up, popped a couple of Anadin and am heading down the M62 to Manchester, or more specifically to the Academy for this year’s NME tour. What a trooper.
I’ve been warned to get there early if I want to catch the reigning ‘Coolest Person in the WorldAzealia Banks do her pottymouthed thang.
Since being crowned with the aforementioned title by the NME in November, she’s been hard at work living up to the hype and releasing slices of ravey poppy hip hop via the internet.
Yet to drop a full album, she’s best known for her track 212 which contains cursing that would definitely get your legs slapped if your mum heard you repeating them. I speak from experience.
With the most pared down of set ups – just her and a DJ – she did a tight 20 minutes displaying an impressive flow and rattling through tracks in quick succession, giving no one time to breathe.
Ending on a cover of the Prodigy‘s Firestarter, it was over much too soon but for a relatively new kid to the scene she’s remarkably confident and self assured – with every reason to be. Her debut is undoubtedly one of most anticipated of the year.

Next up were Tribes, with a complete change of pace – within seconds of their strobe-lit entrance, a blonde precariously balanced on someone’s shoulders had lifted up her top and flashed the band who were doing their best impression of moody rock stars.
Unfortunately this similarity didn’t quite translate into the music, with whiny lyrics such as ‘my girlfriend doesn’t love me, my haircut doesn’t suit me,’ unlikely to be troubling the Ivor Novello judges anytime soon.
Regardless, the crowd enjoyed it, a mini mosh pit ensued, hits We Were Children and Sappho were well received and they certainly look the part, even if they don’t quite do it for me.
Metronomy though, they’re much more my scene.
Sweeping all that sulky indie out the door with their wonky pop, they looked great and sounded even better.
With Anna Prior on drums in a green sequinned catsuit that surely incited a girl crush from most of the females in attendance – they made effective use of the lighting and switched proceedings up to a more dancy feel.
From Heartbreaker to Radio Ladio, there were basslines aplenty and a nod to early Talking Heads.
As they jigged about brandishing lights on their chests like hipster Oods (bit of a Doctor Who reference for you there) it was hard not to get swept along with their fun vibe.
And finally the headline act, the lads who were definitely outselling the competition at the merchandise stand, Two Door Cinema Club.
Having done a cracking job in flogging tshirts to the majority of the audience, they came on to predictably rapturous applause and launched into Cigarettes In The Theatre followed swiftly by Do You Want It All.
With their chirpy singalong pop, TDCC are anodyne to many but for those in attendance tonight it’s exactly what they’re after – as grown men lose their inhibitions and chant along while hugging each other. Isn’t music – and whatever they’re selling at the bar – brilliant?
They take a risk and debut some stuff from their upcoming album, which actually turns out not to be that much of a risk at all given that it’s extremely similar to their current material. If it aint broke and all that jazz…
Eat That Up, It’s Good For You and What You Know are played before a faux departure from the stage swiftly followed by a reappearance and a completely unexpected encore.
As they end with a trio of hits – Sleep Alone, Come Back Home and I Can Talk – all arms in the building aloft and it’s a ten out of ten, job well done for the lads from Bangor.
As the rest of the audience peter out in search of more excitement – the night is still very much young – I head home for a date with my onesie and a bottle of lemsip. Never let it be said that reviewing gigs ain’t full of glamour.
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Patrick.

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