Last Friday the NME Awards tour rolled into the stunning surroundings of the Liverpool Olympia, to serve a palette of raucous punk rock and indie rock courtesy of some of the most promising artists in the country.
In the past the NME awards tour has been a breeding ground for some of the most established acts in the country from Arctic Monkeys to The Cribs being some notable acts to give their names to the tour. This year is no exception as the night kicks of with 17-year old prodigy Rory Wynne who unapologetically swaggers on to the stage with a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan ‘I want Rory Wynne’.
Wynne kicks off with debut single “Post Party Confusion” with a riff that sounds like an alarm siren fed through an amp, signals just how his slot is going to kick off; it’s full of all the vitality of teenage upstart.Wynne continues to ploughs through songs from Recent EP What Would Rory Wynne Do?, announcing the track “After Me” telling the audience with an exuberant arrogance “It’s a song about how good I am”. As he throws his guitar pick into the audience and swaggers off stage, there is a divided opinion among the crowd as the wall of younger audience members reacting well to Wynne, whilst I hear an older audience member next to me utter the words “He just a poor man’s Liam Gallagher”, true his vocal deliverance may be a near replica to Liam’s, but this young teen has much better songwriting capability than Liam could ever hope to possess at age 17. He may be a little too big for his boots right now, but there is no doubt that Wynne is up for a big year in 2017.
As Cabbage prowl on to the stage igniting a whole new atmosphere of riotous punk rock within the audience, after their recent gig at EBGB’s this is a much bigger audience for the band to handle, but despite lead vocalists Lee Broadbent’s wheelchair bound state he manages to get the crowd going with Uber Capitalist Death Trade, as moshpits ensure. Lee’s vocal style is reminiscent of Dave Vanian of The Damned, but he also jokes “We are The Fall” after endless comparisons to Mark E. Smith’s band by critics. Before their most explicit track “The Dinner Lady” is played they inform a huddle of teenage girls in the audience “Don’t worry blossoms are on next girls”, before telling audience members under the age of sixteen to “cover their ears” as they launch into lewd lyrics of “Necrophat In The Place”, a post-punk anthem covering everything from Necrophilia to the NHS. Cabbage are one of the most exciting acts that I have seen in recent months, a punch-drunk attack upon the odorous political state of modern Britain.
A stellar playlist from New Order to The Smiths and Kanye West builds as the audience starts to expand and the anticipation builds for headline act Blossoms. Lead singer Tom Ogden strides onto the stage radiating confidence, a far cry from the developing frontman he was when I saw him earlier in 2016. Kicking off with “At Most A Kiss’ the audience reproduce the lyrics word for word, exemplifying the exact reason why the band have gone from playing the now defunct Kazimer to headlining Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl in just two years. A hit packed set with fan favourites such as Getaway and Blown Rose as well as songs from their extended album such as Smoke and Polka Dot Rose, the big chorus’ with infectious hooks showcase the band’s songwriting which has propelled them to the status of Britain’s biggest band of 2017. Preceding one of the standout ballads of the album My Favourite Room, Ogden invites audience members who have recently been dumped to raise their hands, as screams erupt a girl named Ellie is picked to have the song dedicated to her. There’s even a mash-up of Lennon’s Imagine and Oasis’ Half The World Away. The set finishes with their biggest hit to date Charlemagne, fans rise into the air and bodies fly everywhere.
Blossoms were euphoric and the spark that built their immense fan base has no reason to be extinguished anytime soon.
The NME Awards Tour continues next week, rolling into Lincoln on Monday. Tickets are available here.