NME Awards Tour 2012 - review

Academy, Glasgow

Even in a post-Spotify world, the NME remains an influential kingmaker, capable of elevating a fledgling band above the downloadable masses. The magazine's annual awards tour shuttles four buzzed-about acts around the country, and is usually where Londoncentric hype meets regional realpolitik. The hit rate has always been variable – for every genuine breakout such as Coldplay, there have been a dozen Campag Velocets.

Opening such a mixed bill is never easy, but buoyant US rapper Azealia Banks gets even the tiered seating up and jerking when her bracingly filthy single 212 unexpectedly morphs into the Prodigy's Firestarter. All the enviable energy in the room is subsequently sapped by Camden scenesters Tribes, who look the part but can't quite connect with their impassioned, guileless rock.

The four members of Metronomy still each wear a bulbous portable light on their chest – part Ood, part Iron Man – but the cleverly co-ordinated lightshow is designed to buttress rather than distract from their snaking electro-rock. Bandleader Joseph Mount, switching between roles as keyboardist, guitarist and lounge lizard MC, clearly wants to fill the arena-sized hole left by LCD Soundsystem, and with the curdled, danceable double-punch of She Wants and Everything Goes My Way, the 2012 model of Metronomy sound as if they could plausibly do it.

"We haven't played for three months," says Two Door Cinema Club's redheadedsinger Alex Trimble, "so it's good to be back." Glasgow is almost a local gig for the Northern Irish band after a period of residence and recording in the city, and the jubilant response to the skyscraping highlights of their debut album Tourist History is akin to a homecoming. Their knack of combining emotional hooks with windchime guitar lines is intoxicating, and the two songs they debut have a similar, nerve-rattling urgency. At this rate, they might swallow 2012 whole.


Graeme Virtue

The GuardianTramp

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