Know your NME

In common with many NME tours, in 2009 I deliberately chose not to watch one of the bands.

In previous years this had usually been an opening act which, in the case of The Coral, I would later regret, but when it was Starsailor and Coldplay I wouldn’t regret for a second.

One year I managed to miss everyone on the bill as when it came time to find the tickets for a show headlined by The Killers and also featuring The Futureheads, Bloc Party and the Kaiser Chiefs, they were nowhere to be found. An apologetic `I might have thrown that envelope out’ explained a lot.

I managed to miss Coldplay on the way up twice as I also had a ticket to see them co-headline a tour with one-album wonders Terris. When it was reported that Terris had cancelled for the show I had a ticket for, I didn’t go.

In 2009 it was Glasvegas topping the bill and I hadn’t been remotely enthused by their sub-Mary Chain efforts so got off early.


Much more entertaining – and the biggest reason for buying the ticket – were Friendly Fires who rattled out some energetic, indie-dance and looked set for bigger things.

But of course they, and everyone else on the bill, were quickly eclipsed by that year’s opener Florence and the Machine who went on to be a festival-bestriding colossus within about 12 months. Watching her here, I can’t say I saw it coming.


9 thoughts on “Know your NME

  1. Widnesian January 10, 2014 / 5:02 am

    I adore the NME, me, and have stood proudly by it for years as my favourite magazine. Even in the supposed heady days of early Britpop when all it seemed to be putting its addled mind to was different ways to get the writers and bands to feebly articulate just how off their faces they were all regularly getting, I kept on reading and hoping.

    I’ve recently got my first ever subscription to the paper, after over thirty-five years of dedicated service, and have not been prouder of it than I am now since its most recent overhaul late last year. These days it’s like having one of the supposedly more erudite UK monthlies being matched word for word with ridiculously bold statements, laugh out loud reviews, and a sense of general excitement unmatched by anyone in print every seven days.

    Since emigrating to the States I thought I’d well scuppered my own chances of ever getting to attend a hallowed NME Tour, something you’ve been informing me of regularly attending for bloody years now. But then in October of 2007 my Bible Belt dreams came true and my ship excitedly sailed in.

    Tucked inside my signed copy of Art Brut’s second LP is an orange A4 flyer for the NME Rock n’ Roll Riot Tour 2007 featuring the aforementioned, plus The Hold Steady as joint headliners, and, er…, Demander holding up the rear, at The Lincoln Theatre in nearby Raleigh, North Carolina, on a wet Wednesday October 24th 2007.

    Memories of the night now probably wouldn’t light up the pages like their best writing does (there was no presence of NME itself anywhere inside the place other than on that flyer), and all I can recall about it now is an off-his-tits Art Brut singer Eddie Argos breathing some foul-smelling booze over my girl and me as he got increasingly more schnockered gushing his deep love for Half Man Half Biscuit. Top bloke was Eddie.

    Still, as NME Tour legend goes mine would make a passable footnote, and proudly made me a flimsy contender to your confirmed season ticket status.

    I just hope you still read the magazine is all and haven’t left me behind, mate. You’re the only one of my mates left that still bothers.

    I hope.

    • seeyoudownthefront January 10, 2014 / 10:49 am

      Was reading its 40 big hopes for 2014 piece only yesterday. Most will probably prove to be a Joe Lean-style flash in the pan, but you never know what will turn up.

      • Widnesian January 24, 2014 / 4:12 pm

        I just got my copy in the post and it’s a bit hard to take, 20-plus pages of bands you’ve never heard of and are expected to care about. I know in time I might love a couple but I’ll find out sooner or later by UK press consensus. It’s always been like this in early January NME though – here’s what’s coming up etc – so no change there.

    • seeyoudownthefront January 21, 2014 / 10:41 am

      I’ve got a feeling it was. Initially I was thinking Manchester, but at the time I was going to the Lomax a lot and it was much more likely to have been there. If I find the ticket I’ll put it up!

    • alanwhitfield80 January 21, 2014 / 11:13 am

      The gig was not cancelled if it was at that one. Chris Martin had his usual throat issues and Coldplay pilled there slot. That was Coldplay first tour off the back of the nme tour which they opened. Terris were great. Sounded a little like Ian Curtis. This was probably the only year in my life i was cool and had my finger on the button 🙂

      • seeyoudownthefront January 21, 2014 / 11:17 am

        Wow, good memory! I barely remember not going. Although glad you confirm it was a tour featuring both Coldplay and Terris. Point still stands though. Not seeing Coldplay twice hasn’t upset me as much as turning down chances to see both Joy Division and Nirvana back in the day.

      • alanwhitfield80 January 21, 2014 / 12:05 pm

        its ok my dad the same with the stones in 65 as the Northwich Memorial hall was to far away

  2. Widnesian January 21, 2014 / 12:28 pm

    A similar thing with me over regrets I have now of not going to see gigs earlier. When the first wave of punk rock hit in 1976 and 1977 I’ve since met loads of people who were at Eric’s in Liverpool seeing now legendary bands, but not only did I not know anyone who would introduce me to the idea of going to concerts but I guess the old adage of ‘What you don’t know won’t hurt you’ applies here too. If you’ve never done it you don’t miss it at the time. It’s only later you have regrets when people younger than you went and you didn’t. My first ever gig was AC/DC with Bon Scott in October of 1978. Quite a lot had already been and gone by that point. It took me years to get into a rhythm of going to shows.

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