Nothing But Thieves @ O2 Ritz - Live Review
Nothing But Thieves are already on the way to being the next big thing and we watch them putting on the Ritz!
Black Foxxes and Sundara Karma also impress.
Words: Anthony Firmin | Photos: Cai Dixon
I first came across Nothing But Thieves when they supported Young Guns at the Academy last year and I was impressed with their indie/pop/rock that was a little more sophisticated as well as technically more interesting than many of their contemporaries and their debut album has rarely been off my listening playlist. Since that night their star has shone very brightly being the darlings of the media and radio, additionally being chosen by Muse to open for them – a good match of styles. Consequently they were only in Manchester less than a week ago at the Arena wowing everyone there, from what I heard, and tonight’s sold out show at the O2 Ritz is testament to their growing popularity.
First up on the triple billing are post punk trio Black Foxxes with their very full sound and songs containing lots of melody as well as dark and light moments. There is also some seriously good musicianship in the band and they are able to control the space in their music well. Singer/guitarist Mark Holley has an impressive vocal range and he is often reminiscent of Jeff Buckley. The bands sound also has a nod towards Buckley and Zeppelin, although in a more modern heavy/alt/indie style. I was very taken by them but sadly the rest of the crowd could only manage some light applause.
Cai, our photographer for the show, described Sundara Karma as currently exploding to which I responded I hope not, they have a show to perform this evening!
And they did make this evenings show as they are metaphorically exploding onto the new-indie scene. Whereas Black Foxxes had a great deal of variety in their songs, Sundara Karma’s are very similar, even the girl next to me pointed out to her friend everything sounds the same. The band performance is solid with some great musicianship and they were giving it their all – but again the reaction from the crowd was somewhat mixed. What is up with this audience?
What was up with the audience is that they were only interested in seeing one band, Nothing But Thieves, so for them the support bands were merely a distraction. Everything about the performance from this band proves exceptional. Opening with Itch and Painkiller they set the tone for their set. Musically they are tighter than last year and more comfortable on stage too. Singer Conor Mason’s vocal range is also very wide, he is a natural frontman allowing them to own Manchester’s O2 Ritz this evening.
In recognition of one of the bands biggest influences, The Pixies, they play Where Is My Mind? allowing Mason’s powerful voice to cut through - you can understand why they were picked to play with Muse. The well-earned encore of If I Get High / Trip Switch / Ban All The Music see’s the audience go completely mental with a wall of death emerging at one point. These are the beginnings of a band that is going to be huge!