Gig Review

NME Tour
Crystal Castles, Magnetic Man, Everything Everything, The Vaccines
Birmingham, Academy
11th February 2011

Crystal Castles    Magnetic Man     Everything Everything      The Vaccines

Photo Of The Vaccines © Copyright Robert LawrenceThe Vaccines are a by the numbers, indie rock band. Most of the songs are catchy and simple, a lot of the songs sound quite samey, They have the same tone and seem to follow the same design for every song, seem a tad boring really. A few of the songs seem to follow we really want to be Ramones sort of Patten, not very original. The vocals ain't too bad, bit shouty, but not screamo shouty, just shouting, the guitar playing is pretty decent but there's nothing on offer here that really seems original, even their songs seem to have been written for someone else like the Ramones, especially in the later songs in there set. Drumming not bad, bass playing is in there somewhere, but I really can’t hear it. I'm pretty sure that they have the makings of an average to good band that will release at least one half decent albums, and then descend into obscurity, before popping up randomly with a hit single. But there pretty much playing to their sort of crowd, lots of people who have never been to a gig before I'm sure, and this bad are getting the sort of reaction that most head liners get, I can’t see it myself, but ok, I'm going for the middle ground on this one

Photo Of Everything Everything © Copyright Robert LawrenceEverything Everything, Not sure what to make of this band, electro rock band, there a band that seem to go along at one pace, steady, it's calm music, songs seem to follow the same pace, the vocals ain't bad, they are well sung, a bit soft spoken/sung and melodic in places, it's good, the songs seem to descend in places into chill out songs and just peter out before they launch into the next one. Theres a nice mix of band and synth with the singer taking the role of vocalist, guitar player and synth player, good steady simple drumming, anything more and it would ruin the sound scape that’s crafted here, bass in there too following the drums, I can’t help but feel annoyed though, that this could be doing so much more, but again the crowd is lapping this stuff up, and the music from time to time does pick up and become more lively, It just feels like something is missing, I think it just needs a bit more umph, some balls perhaps, just something to give it a bit of an edge.

Photo Of Magnetic Man © Copyright Robert LawrenceMagnetic men Erm not sure how 3 djs and an mc got on this tour, but it sounds like all the other dub step/dance that's clutters the other so ran music stations and music channels, or as I call it noise to be avoided at all cost. I'm sure one person and a laptop could have done all this, but there's sure plenty of dancing going on, which I guess is the point, but this set seems rather out of place, if this is the best new music NME is touting these days then, oh dear. These acts are average at best at the moment I. hope crystal castles will save this gig from oblivion.

Photo Of Crystal Castles © Copyright Robert LawrenceAnd save it did well kind of, Id only really heard this band in album form, but I wasn't really sure how it would work live. I had to photograph this set from the stage, which was fun. Alice hobbles on to stage, she had broken her ankle before the tour I think, either way, kudos to her for cracking on so to speak, They open with Fainting spells, Baptism, both good songs followed by Courtship dating, these songs fly by, and it’s really warm on stage too! The vocals live weren't really to my taste, album fine, live not so good, kinda squealy, and high pitched, but still giving it her all on stage, even falling down too. Drumming is pretty solid, probably the real driving force behind the songs. With the synth player really working overtime creating the rest of the song. There also belted out Doe dear, crimewave, Alice Practice that's a cool song, Celestica another good song and a favourite, and they closed the main set with Not in Love. They return with Intimate and Yes No, a real good way to kick start the rest of Saturday night, It was a good performance, broken ankle and all, don't like the live vocals though!

The Vaccines – 3/5
Everything Everything– 3/5
Magnetic Man - 2/5
Crystal Castles– 4/5

Review By Robert Lawrence

 Crystal Castles

Ethan Kath
Alice Glass

 Magnetic Man


 Everything Everything

Jonathan Higgs
Jeremy Pritchard
Alex Robertshaw
Michael Spearman

 The Vaccines

Justin Young
Árni Hjörvar
Freddie Cowan
Pete Robertson

 Band Related Links
Crystal Castles Myspace
Magnetic Man Myspace
Everything Everything Myspace
The Vaccines Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?