22nd February 2012
Young Legionnaire kicked off tonight’s NME Awards show in spectacular fashion. Their pummeling guitars and gigantic bass melodies were immediately pile driven through your stupefied ears. Such was the intense volume, that as I write this, a hint of deafness still remains. Despite the lack concern for health and safety noise regulations, these guys were pretty damn good. Their guitars played a buzz saw of aggressive overdriven fuzz, packed with bold innovative clattering riffs played within the soaring soundscapes of noise rock. However after half the set, it felt like they really started to recycle ideas and the vocals which were sailing to close to Placebo for comfort, sadly faded behind the gnarly guitar grunts. A promising young bunch of alt-rockers despite. Watch this space.
Next up were Leeds alt-metal noiseniks Pulled Apart By Horses, who continued the relentless onslaught of rousing rock. Kicking off with the superb “E=MC Hammer” immediately puts a smile across the crowd’s faces and brings with it some gargantuan guitars and super catchy vocals with the comedic lyrics “We ride, We ride, We ride the Mammoth” screamed at top volume. For many the urge to dance/throw yourself around in a carefree manner/headbang/toe tap (delete as appropriate) was far too great. Indeed their songs bring a joyously loud fusion of Sabbath gone metal riffs, great clean gang vocals, urgently screamed passages and enough brooding male aggression to plunder an enemy stronghold.
Pulled Apart By Horses
Highlights from the set list were potent man screams of “Yeah, huuuuh” on Back to the Fuck Yeah, the riot inducing Meat Balloons and the varied tempos with bursting energy packed within The Crapsons. Top tune though however had to go to the blues on speed, massively guitar driven epic “High Five, Swan Dive Nose Dive” with its 23 word lyric sheet and awe inspiring crescendos.
Their youthful energy and enthusiasm was remarkable, as they flung themselves around the stage with careless regard for their own safety. This is one band whose combination of skull crushing power, raw intensity, tight musicianship, comedy touches and spirit rousing anthems can only be truly conveyed by actually being there. So what you waiting for?
PABH had thrown down the gauntlet for our headliners Les Savy Fav, who in turn picked it up and slapped the idea they were going to be outshone by a support band straight out the window. It is clearly not in their nature to be upstaged, as within 30 seconds of the opening guitar chime ringing out, their slightly rotund lead singer Tim Harrington was already off foraying into the crowd taking his 4 layers of clothing with him…boy did that man sweat.
Les Savy Fav
It’s no wonder why these guys have such a cracking live reputation. The whole set was peppered with acts of total randomocity and extravagant showmanship. From jumping on a strategically places box in wheels and skidding round the crowd, to sharing vocal duties with strangers, throwing wrapping paper & climbing up on the balcony before hanging off it batman style, this was truly some ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s’ nest influenced behavior.
A slightly blurry Tim Harrington
Although at times it felt as if Tim didn’t really care too much about the lyrics as he’d much rather lark about in his pretty clothes which included a several changes from comedy bishop to yeti and the cop from the Village People. In contrast the rest of the band were quite happy to run through a very tight set of punchy riff rock, which is absolutely what’s necessary when your front man is a absolute nut job.
Title for the most entertaining moment of the night came not when Tim hugged a bouncer, but when he and the band emptied out 4 huge boxes full of Glo Sticks and proceeded to start a war with the crowd. This was cracking fun and caused a multicoloured explosion of visually stunning carnage. This was one war the band were not going to win. Tim seems to be adept and dodging them as he was batting them off with precision with his microphone, but other bands members (and the bouncers) were less fortunate.
A storming show which emphasised theatrics over musical performance. But credit to Les Savy Fav, this is one show I not be forgetting for a long long time!