Live at Cockpit on Wednesday, 12th October 2011
The NME Radar tour came to town on Wednesday 12th October, the Cockpit hosted the bi-annual tour that really helps new music break across the country. For this leg of the tour Swedish - poppers Niki & The Dove open for melodramatic art rockers S.C.U.M and headliners Wolf Gang.
Opening the tour were Niki & The Dove's Gustaf Karlof and Malin Dahlstrom. Malin barely whispers a greeting to the gathering crowd before kicking into the opening track, from then on the sheer strength of her vocals and the finger-clicking catchiness of the tunes owns the audience. Once or twice the mood slips as Malin's hushed Scandinavian mumbles fail to connect with a shifting audience. But all is forgotten after the triumphant 'DJ, Ease my Mind' followed by the Eurovisiony goodness of 'The Fox' the sugary sweet Swedish pop is enough to get even the most awkwardly indie kid's feet shuffling.
S.C.U.M then enter to an impressive amount of support, the smoke machine working overtime, the stage clogged with instruments both recognisable and those that look more home in a laboratory. The album sometimes seemed as if it might not translate to a live performance but S.C.U.M kill it. Tom Cohen channels his inner front man and writhes about on stage like a goth Ian Curtis, the band play a set that seems too short judging from the amount of songs off the album they didn't play. What they do play however blows the audience away, 'Whitechapel' and 'Faith Unfolds' are by far the highlights of the night the live set has been really tightened over the tour and the evidence is clear to see. When the band file off led by Cohen it is clearly celebratory and shows how happy they have been with their increasingly well received debut.
Headliners Wolf Gang bring the 'ornate pop' a plenty for their show. Max McElligott is the first artist on the stage tonight who doesn't treat the audience as a mild inconvenience. Summoning the crowd to dance they play Bowie echoing 'The King And All Of His Men', future stardom seems inevitable for Wolf Gang who simply tick all the boxes for grandiose pop. Finishing their set with their wish for a utopian dream land 'Suego Faults' the band fit a space between new, exciting music and comfortably familiar pop. The show provokes the biggest reaction from a mainly docile crowd of the night, and at the end of the night the general feeling is that the few who were in attendance had been treated to a night of fantastic new music.
Tonight is a massive success and as the tour leaves town and travels to the next destination the thought on my mind is, bring on the next one!