Gig review: NME Awards Tour, Glasgow

Headlined by Palma Violets. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Headlined by Palma Violets. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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EVERY year since 1995, music weekly NME has sent its latest hot tips out on the road to spread the word.

NME Awards Tour

ABC, Glasgow


Previous participants include Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers, so the venture has some currency. But if this latest line-up really does represent the future of British music – and let’s be honest, it doesn’t – then God help us all.

As far as the NME is concerned, the happening sound of 2015 appears to be a drab approximation of The Clash.

Headliners Palma Violets – who actually performed on this tour two years ago – are particularly dull and derivative. Their gurgling singer makes Joe Strummer sound like Johnny Mathis. Their empty thunder and rattle signifies nothing. They become marginally more tolerable when they slow things down, whereupon they turn into an awful Echo & The Bunnymen tribute act. They’re hopeless.

Snarling punk duo Slaves are no better. Over a grinding backdrop of primal rhythms and buzz-saw guitar, they shout and scream like tiresome children. It’s akin to being harangued by an angry cement mixer. The sole highlight of their set was the surprise appearance of someone dressed as a manta ray. Desperate stuff.

Thankfully, Fat White Family have a distinctive sound (they don’t sound like The Clash). Purveyors of woozy, epic, reverb-drenched space rock fused with stomping terrace chants, they sound like distressed glam rockers jamming in the Clyde Tunnel.

Nothing special, but I applaud their daft ambition. At least they actually have some.

Seen on 22.02.15