Originally published for Quays News on 21/03/2014. See link for examples of relevant online treatment:
THE annual NME Awards Tour was in town this week, with three of the most hyped bands of 2014 taking to the stage at Manchester Academy alongside iconic headliners Interpol.
Having seen the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand and The Vaccines play in previous years, the NME Awards Tour has gained itself a reputation for giving acts who are on the fringes of the indie scene the opportunity to move onto bigger things.
HEADLINERS: Interpol brought the NME Awards Tour to a close
Hoping to make the most of their shot were opening act Circa Waves. The four-piece Liverpool band have been gaining radio airplay recently with infectious single ‘Get Away,’ and delivered a short but sweet set to an Academy which was barely a quarter full at the time.
Circa Waves’ sound harks back to the dark days of 2008 and the array of generic, ‘landfill indie’ bands which polluted the music scene at the time, but despite their relative unoriginality, the band win the crowd over through the sheer catchiness of their songs and a highly energetic setlist. They’re not going to change the world, but Circa Waves are impressive live and have just enough about them to keep them from being pigeon-holed with The Fratellis of this world.
As more people began to swarm into the venue, duo Royal Blood took to the stage, and hammered out a half hour set of aggressive, heavy rock ‘n’ roll. The Brighton band, comprised entirely of drums and bass guitar, have recently released new single ‘Little Monster,’ which has drawn comparisons to the likes of Queens of the Stone Age and Rage Against the Machine.
It’s a ferocious sound, and one which is even more impressive considering it’s coming from just two people. With a support slot with Arctic Monkeys at their huge summer shows at Finsbury Park to look forward to, 2014 could prove to be a very big year for Royal Blood if they maintain this level of live performance.