Introducing the NME tour with great success was upcoming grime MC Bugzy Malone, who immediately connected with the audience through a showcase of new and old material.
From the off, he impressed the crowd with his display of intricate lyrical creativity as well as an astounding ability to freestyle in his technical and fast-paced rhythmic style. Cheers of delight rang around the room when Bugzy Malone treated us to a rendition of his biggest hit ‘Watch your Mouth’, and it became obvious why this single was seen to instigate ‘grime revival’ and move the UK music scene away from purely commercially oriented talent.
Next to the stage came emerging talent Ratboy, described by NME as Indie’ s ‘cheekiest new upstart’ on the UK music scene; as soon as he started to perform in his upbeat and confident manner, it became clear how he has earned this title! His fun-loving character and brutally honest attitude was displayed perfectly through the chaotic barrage of sounds, while the rap material displayed lyrical wit and an almost-comical youthful perspective on growing up in suburban Britain. With one upbeat track following another, this was a set which the audience fully embraced and the reciprocal enjoyment was obvious to all.
Following an impressive musical display by Drenge, Bloc Party rose to the stage to perform their highly anticipated headline slot. Competing with huge cheers from the audience which reverberated around the venue, Bloc Party began their set by showcasing new track ‘The Good News’; the second single on new album ‘Hymns’. Despite the album being released only a few days ago, it was clear that the crown were big fans of the new material as they sang along to every track performed by the band. The set featured an impressive display of both new and old songs ranging from all of their studio albums, with particularly joyous responses to older hits such as ‘Mercury’ and ‘Helicopter’, which had the entire audience dancing to the upbeat melodies. Bloc Party’s eclectic talent in terms of their ability to produce both melodic and meaningful self-reflective slower tracks as well as fast-paced ‘dance’ anthems was really encapsulated during their headline performance. This was perfectly displayed through the well-chosen selection of material for the encore, which featured the older ‘ballad style’ song ‘This Modern Love’ before closing with arguably their most well-received track of the night, dance-hit ‘Ratchet’. The positive energy exhibited by Bloc Party was reciprocated by the crowd’s clear delight at this final hit and it was certainly a memorable closing moment for the audience and band alike!