The NME Awards Tour, The Forum, Kentish Town. 4 March 2015

When I saw this gig advertised, I thought, I have to go! Not designed for the oldsters, obviously, but there was a great option. Sit in the circle and watch the youth going ape below. And they did! In a big way.

Four bands: all indie/punk in spirit. Palma Violets, Fat White Family, Slaves, The Wytches. Originally, The Amazing Snakeheads were scheduled to appear. But they split up. Shame – really enjoyed their performance, supporting Jack White, last year. And the album, “Amphetamine Ballads” is good.

So we started with The Wytches. They are from Brighton, a bit psychedelic and live, very noisy. The guitars thrash. At times it’s speed metal. Went down well with the crowd. Still early days for the band, a bit to learn about stage presence; but a powerful sound.

IMG_2232Next, Slaves. They were awesome. They were at Latititude in 2014, on the Lake Stage, in the evening but still daylight. It was a good sound, but inevitably, some of the impact was lost if you were sitting on a grass slope a hundred yards away. Tonight I got the full impact. And it was good. The spirit of punk really was revived. Guitar and drums, just the two of them; raw rock’n’roll. Lots of shouting – and humour. Really excellent.



IMG_2236Then Fat White Family. They were extraordinary at Latitude last year, on the i-Arena stage. They play a warped rockabilly blues rock’n’roll. They are from London, but probably should be from Mississippi. There are hints of Captain Beefheart, but also Iggy and the Stooges. With a bit of British punk thrown in. Highly entertaining. Slower than the other other bands, so less moshing in the crowd; but I think they were appreciated.


IMG_2249And the Palma Violets. I’d listened to them before, as NME hyped them up for a while. And I liked the indie/punk sound – quite a bit of Strokes, like a lot of recent bands. Live, though, they were on another level. It totally rocked. Relentless rock’n’roll. For an oldster like me, so many echoes of The Clash – and The Libertines. Not bad bands to sound like. It was absolutely brilliant, so energising. And, needless to say, the crowd in the front twenty rows or so went crazy. It was great watching them, saying to oneself, that was me once upon a time.  I don’t think that’s regretful; it’s actually loving seeing a new generation getting down to the same hardcore rock’n’roll as I enjoyed in my youth. Wonderful to know that the spirit lives on.




Punk, metal, indie, whatever. Rock’n’roll never dies!

About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. I’ve written a novel called “The Decision”, a futuristic political thriller, and first of a trilogy. I’m also the author of a book on music since the 1970s called “ I Was There - A Musical Journey” and a volume of poetry about youth, “Growin’ Up - Snapshots/ Fragments”. All available on Amazon and Kindle.
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