NME Awards Tour 2013 - Liverpool O2 Academy, 13th February 2013

QUEUEING up for several hours just to get to the barrier seemed like a bizarre idea yet I do not regret one moment of it, all these factors combined made one great experience that I shall never forget. The freezing cold weather did not put me off, I was determined to be there, right at the front, watching what are considered to be a few of the best artists under the radar in the music industry right now; Peace, Palma Violets, Miles Kane and Django Django.

The buzz that surrounded the academy was immense. Everybody was socialising, mixing and absorbing the overwhelming atmosphere circulating the area. I took it upon myself to ask a selection of people who they were here to see, the majority replied Miles Kane and I have to say I was most looking forward to him performing that night.

The first on stage were Peace, I guess I didn't know what to expect, yes I am fond of their music but I wouldn't say I was a complete fan. But when they waltzed on stage I felt their presence straight away. It was just them, their instruments and some strobe lighting, that was all they needed to put on this amazing performance although only short, they definitely made me re-think my opinions previous and put my hands up and say I'd definitely pay to see them headline their own show.

 My favourite track they played had to be California Daze, it is simply electric live. I felt like I was being transported back to a summer's night, soaking up a montage of several psychedelic images. The single release is wonderful but I have to say that when played live, you wouldn't believe the sheer effort they show and how much greater an anthem it is. 

So with the nature of the show Peace departed and made way for The Music Manual's one to watch, Palma Violets. One word? WOW. The four guys came on looking so coy and nervous, then all of a sudden a burst of energy exhumed from them, I was blown away, my original thoughts of despair thinking they'd be almost painfully shy to watch was obliterated, these lad's know how to rock, cringey I know, but they do. 

Then the opening notes of Best Of Friends sent shivers down my spine, I love that track. It's so painfully accurate, hard hitting yet not sad, definitely showing no emotion attached to whoever this song is about but it's not affecting the listener, as that deep underlying meaning reveals itself to be an incredible feel-good track. The Palma's helped edge the suspense for the most long-awaited return of a Mr Miles Kane. 

"Mi-les, Mi-les, Mi-les!" The crowd chants as it rocks forward and back, sending waves of sweat and admiration to the stage. The lights go down and yet again more screaming is heard, we're waiting. It felt like a good five minutes before Miles Kane graced us with his overwhelming presence, there was shrieking, crying and even more screaming, sounded like that 'beatlemania' all over again. 

Give Up, his latest single rocked the crowd to the core. The opening introduction was breathtakingly outstanding, the first line "People call me superstitious, well they better watch their tongue" was sung with such venom, and the crowd accompanied that, shuddering each individual there to become in awe of this musician in front of us. 

This not only portrayed such power within Kane as an artist but showed how dominant he is with his music, how overruling when performing. His band is definitely the best of bunch and adds to this factor, they are picked to perfection, helping add to Kane's undoubted talent. As well as playing several of his older songs such as  Kingcrawler, Rearrange and Inhaler, he tried out some of his latest work, such as Give Up, Gonna Get It, Don't Forget Who You Are and Taking Over. Listening to him perform his new selection of tracks made me eager to hear the rest, definitely more hard hitting and sharing a Kasabian, Mod-esque feel within them and hopefully with a new album due this year, it'll be full of these new delights we sampled on Wednesday night. The saddest moment was when Kane had to leave the stage, making way for Django Django, he made it for me,  I guess it felt like the whole gig belonged to Miles Kane. 

For Django Django, I made my way to the back of the venue and up to the balcony. The heat and mosh-pits had forced me to go and acquire a drink and take a back seat when gig-going. I stood, listened and observed the musicians on stage. I never had ever thought anything of Django Django but I'm glad I gave them a chance because I was pleasantly surprised, okay, yes, I didn't think they should have been the 'headline' act but I can see why people would enjoy them, I just guess they're not completely my cup of tea.

Default had to be my favourite track though, it just has that edge that everyone talks about, it makes you feel futuristic yet comfortable with the act, as if you've known them for ages. It's strange but also bizarrely comforting, definitely a group I could listen and tap my feet too. 

All in all NME's Awards Tour was simply a night that'll stick with me for a very long time, it not only opened my eyes to more artists and how they perform but, made me eagerly await the new releases from all the artists featured. I may sound as if I am raving about this show, what else am I supposed to do, if you were there I am sure that you share the same emotion. Get to the last remaining shows if you can, you really will fall a victim of the infectious talent of Great Britain.

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All photograph's by The Music Manual.