The Cribs topped the tour
Review: NME Awards Tour
By Simon Clough
The NME Awards Tour rolled out a line-up of The Cribs, Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong, Does It Offend You, Yeah? and The Tings Tings at Norwich's University Of East Anglia.
There's one phrase a reviewer should never use and if you use it, you're basically saying, 'I have no business doing this'. The phrase is 'an eclectic mix of bands'.
So I won't tell you that's what the NME tour had to offer tonight.
Instead, I'll write about the 'diverse assortment of groups' and how some were good, and some were not.
The Ting Tings
It started with The Ting Tings, a boy/girl duo who have been likened to The White Stripes for no other reason than that there's two of them, one's a boy, one's a girl... Oh, and one of them plays drums (Jules, Katie sings/shouts).
The Ting Tings' music is the cheese to Jack and Meg's chalk - Jack would like that, chalk being white.
It's poppier, less rocky, with more reliance on beats and bleeps, but that's not to say it's any less inventive.
That's Not My Name is a sublime slice of 'agit pop'. Yes, it's shouty and loud but it's fun, which is why they go down very well with the crowd tonight.
Does It Offend You, Yeah? in silhouette
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Next up were Does It Offend You, Yeah? made up of four delightful young gentleman who were as charming as they were presentable.
Perhaps not as hard-edged as they'd like to portray themselves (if they’d been around in the '80s, they'd have been called Funboy Four), however, they were surprisingly melodic, highly energetic and very loud. I approve.
Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong
Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong, rather like their title, are pretentious and hang around too long.
Which is a shame really, because going on the strength of their first single, Lucio Starts Fires, and the accompanying video, they looked set to be an interesting new development.
It turns out, they're really just an amalgam tribute act who have borrowed their look and sound from several also-ran sixties bands who did it all before and better.
So we come to The Cribs. Wakefield's finest are in fine fettle tonight – the result of being on tour more than they are off it.
They make it look easy, which is the way it should be done, not like the try-hards who preceded them.
The Cribs made an impressive start
It's pretty clear they're the main event as far as the crowd are concerned.
It's hard not to get swept up in the moment, literally, as the Jarman brothers start up, so the evening before I turn 30, I'm having to mosh for my life.
Men's Needs is their best tune, and their biggest hit to date, and they hit their mark with it tonight - the rest is all a bit samey, still high grade garage rock you understand, but the set's run out of steam by the end.
So not a vintage night then, but better than cheap plonk.
The NME Awards Tour visited Norwich's UEA on Wednesday, 13 February, 2008.Photos by Alex March.
last updated: 22/02/2008 at 17:19