Ritz, Manchester, 26/2/2015
published: 12 /
Melanie Smith witnesses an exceptionally superb night of music with sets from rising stars Palma Violets, Fat White Family, Slaves and the Wytches at an NME Awards Tour gig at the Ritz in Manchester
'NME' celebrated their 20th anniversary of tours by putting four breaking bands of the year – Palma Violets, Fat White Family, Slaves and the Wytches - all out on the road together. It was the hottest ticket in town that evening, practically sold out to a 1,400 crowd and we managed to get centre position in the photo pit for it.
The Wytches appeared on stage at the ridiculous time of 6.45 p.m.(Try getting there for that in rush hour traffic on the M62), and so I missed the first fifteen minutes. They had stepped into the fold as replacements for the Amazing Snakeheads (sadly due to their drummer leaving the band on the eve of the tour). Their set was dark and moody, lit by striking blue lights, with echoes of the Jesus & Mary Chain, and lots of wild hair flaying amidst their loud, thrashing guitar noise. It was a pretty explosive start to the evening, which had the young crowd in the mosh pit shaking their barnets, and bouncing up and down in approval.
Next up was Slaves a raucous punk/garage duo, hailing from Kent. They arrived amidst dry ice, with both attitude and a sense of fun which held us spellbound during their electrifying and atmospheric set. You can’t fail to be infected by the Slaves. They have some brilliantly crafted songs, and when drummer/vocalist Isaac Holman strips to the waist and bangs frantically on his drum kit, hollering “We’ve come to tear you apart” you can’t fail to be captivated. Needless to say, Manchester loved them, and I for one can’t wait for their new album.
Then came the notorious six piece band Fat White Family,who arrived in stage bathed in deep crimson lights, "Get back, Satan," the photographers groaned. “Not the red lights!" It was hard to focus as the lights were blinding our eyes, and the audience was rampant and wild with cat calls to shirtless singer Lias Saoudi to “s**k me off’ and “I f**king love you”. The song's lyrics were downright seedy, yet it was refreshing, a bit crazy and energetic. Lias plunged himself into the crowd towards the end of the set, and was almost swallowed up in the frenzy by the loving masses. We were reminded somewhat of a menacing Nick Cave with his Bad Seeds minus the tailored suits, but in their screaming voodoo music, psychedelic overtones and big wall of sound. They are definitely ones to go and see live to witness the full experience.
London four piece Palma Violets took the lead on this tour. The dance floor was doing some heavy bouncing and the crowd were going wild, as the boys thrashed out echo-laden guitars and groovy basslines with hints of psychedelia. The newer material, taken from their forthcoming album ‘Danger in The Club’, was tested out tonight and from the reception it received it’s sure to be a winne., although the biggest reaction came when they played old favourites like ‘Best Of Friends’ to which I admit to singing along.
This was such a exceptionally superb night of music, but I do have to say come on, 'NME', why not give some space to a female band? there are plenty of fantastic bands/ artists out there who deserve a spot on this tour.
Fat White Family
Photos: Melanie Smith