Trying to describe The Long Blondes feels strangely like writing the brief for a new Top Shop clothing line.
Whether it’s their sassy gutter glamour or their cheeky feminist drive, there’s something strikingly stylish about them.
But once the band begin their set, it’s clear the charm of The Long Blondes cannot be put into words.
It’s in the lyrics sung by honey-lipped harlot Kate Jackson, in the discordant symmetry of their art-punk tunes and in the admiration of the audience.
The follow up act, iForward, Russia!, go for a more minimalist approach, preferring to christen their songs with numbers rather than names.
While this may suggest an obsessive complex, it is surprisingly the only thing which provides order to an otherwise feral set.
|iForward Russia! in a tangle!|
The Leeds four-piece ricochet across the stage, shattering pattern and predictability with an act so riotous it seems impossible they can replicate it for every night of the tour.
The eighties may be the years that style forgot, but The Automatic remember them well.
Sounding like the Kaiser Chiefs raised on a diet of Duran Duran and artificial food colourings, the band deliver the most exciting and kinetic performance so far.
Having played their first two singles, lead singer Rob Hawkins confesses the next song is an experimental track.
This doesn’t dampen the audience's enthusiasm. Instead they relish the chance to be the guinea pigs in this explosive eighties pop experiment.
But the excitement isn’t just confined to the crowd - it’s on stage as well.
When not playing his keyboard, the acrobatic Alex Pennie skips across the stage screaming backing vocals and diving from the drum kit.
Boy Kill Boy
Unfortunately headliners Boy Kill Boy lack the drama their murderous-sounding moniker suggests. Their performance is solid and steady, yet feels insipid after the energy of The Automatic.
Still, it certainly won’t quell the hype surrounding them.
Nor will it damage the reputation of New Musical Express, which has once again furthered its record of bringing the most exciting indie acts to the region.
The NME New Music Tour 2006 came to the UEA, Norwich, on Thursday 18 May 2006.