Tag Archives: o2 Academy Newcastle

NME Awards Tour – o2 Academy Newcastle (Evening Chronicle)

Showcasing the best up and coming artists on the music scene, the NME Awards tour has been going since the 90s in the buildup to the awards themselves. Numerous participants have went on to massive commercial and critical success, such as; The Killers, Arctic Monkeys and even Coldplay.

This year saw headliners Two Door Cinema Club, being accompanied by Metronomy, Tribes and Azealia Banks.

First up was Azealia Banks, an American rapper from Harlem, New York. Most of the set fell a little flat due to a slow filtering in of the crowd, and unfamiliarity with the tracks from the audience. Though the one track which has been released over here, 212, actually had the room jumping. A rhythmic, fast pace off beat rap straight from Harlem, she definitely has an edge to her.

Metronomy added something different to proceedings, with their ebbing synthesizer backed strangeness. Indie-ness personified, they seemed very straight faced and serious with their combination of old fashioned bounciness and almost choir-like unrelenting vocals. Confusing, infuriating and intriguing in equal parts, I found myself swaying along with the rest of the crowd.

Tribes increased the pace, and really impressed. Moody blue and red lighting lit the band as they created a thick and complex wall of sound. The front man has a really interesting voice, unique and commercial in its quality. We Were Children, is a great live track and had the entire crowd going wild, with its explosive guitars and U2-like vocals.

Two Door Cinema Club have already had chart success, with their debut album, Tourist History, reaching number 26 in the album charts, and several singles charting in the top 100. It’s not hard to see why. With catchy hooks, rip roaring guitar riffs and soaring sing-along choruses aplenty. Combined with the massive light show which came from the darkness to surround them, they built up a real festival atmosphere. Readymade anthem, This Is The Life, with it bouncing repeated chorus went down extremely well with the rapturous crowd.

Whilst each artist was unique in their own way, the quality never dipped, and its plain to see why they are tipped to win big at the NME Awards this Year, and who’s to say where these guys are going to be in the next few years?


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Charlie Simpson – o2 Academy2 Newcastle (Evening Chronicle)

Charlie Simpson has come a long way since his days in multi-award winning boy band Busted. Firstly with rockers Fightstar, which he formed in 2003. Where he gained critical acclaim and yet more chart success, through their first three studio albums. This was a stark change from his pop roots, trading kid friendly tunes, for hard rock and metal.

Now Charlie is changing paths and genres again with his first solo album, Young Pilgrim which is due to be released on August 15th. An acoustic,l yric driven album with an essence of folk. To compliment this, he is currently on UK tour and I had to the pleasure of checking him out at the Newcastle date.

Whilst I was expecting a one-man show, just Charlie with his acoustic guitar on stage, what we got was entirely different. He was surrounded by a full live band, including guitar, bass, keyboard and even a backup vocalist. This meant there was an entirely new sound to some of his tracks. A more robust and deeper sound which had a stronger rock flavour. This combination in the live setting was perfect and filled the venue, enveloping the crowd in a complex arrangement that has been exquisitely put together. By now, he has been performing live in various ways for over 10 years, and it shows. His presence on stage is that of a veteran performer, commanding focus at all time, whilst at the same time seeming quite shy when actually speaking to the crowd between songs. He wasn’t afraid to push himself either. He sang every word of every song like he meant it, filling every song with the emotion which it deserved.

Down down down, the first single released from the album, and its rousing chorus and toe tapping beat went down well with the ravenous crowd. As a piece of music it is beautifully crafted and in a live setting its stunning lyrics resonate with every member of the crowd. Parachute was another highlight, Charlie whipping the excitable crowd into a frenzy with his distinct low growly vocals. Vocals that have previously fit his rockband Fightstar perfectly, here have been wrapped around radio friendly soft melodic verses and sing along choruses. It is that versatility, combined with his talent that allows Charlie to be successful in any genre he tries his hand at.


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