NME Indie Rock Tour

UEA LCR, Norwich

UEA LCR, Norwich

In terms of new music, the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour is probably the most exciting event of the year.

The music paper chooses the most promising up-and-coming acts of the moment and serves them up on one bill in an easy-to-digest showcase of new talent. It has become a legendary starting block for bands on the way to greatness, with Coldplay, The Killers and Franz Ferdinand among the bands to cut their rock teeth on the tour.

This year, however, promises to be more riotous than ever with fierce competition between the bands and the NME for the first time creating two tours running alongside each other, the NME Indie Rock Tour and the Indie Rave Tour.

Norwich is blessed with the latter, bringing in Welsh four-piece The Automatic, Scottish newcomers The View, Goth rockers The Horrors and Mumm Ra to UEA.

Despite a gold-selling debut album, Not Accepted Anywhere, The Automatic have got their work cut out to prove they deserve the top spot, with The View moving up fast in the popularity stakes.

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The boys from Dryburgh entered the album chart at number one last month with their debut offering Hats Off To The Baskers and have gained a host of showbiz fans including Pete Doherty and Radio One DJ Jo Whiley.

Unsurprisingly what ensues is much like a battle of the bands, with all four groups playing their hearts out to win over the packed LCR.

Openers Mumm Ra do a nice job of warming-up the crowd.

Second on the bill, The Horrors writhe around the stage screeching and shouting, sporting hair that even The Cure's Robert Smith would be proud of. It's not enough to entice the crowd to enjoy their strange brand of Goth rock, and The View are welcomed to the stage like returning indie heroes with the crowd chanting “The View, The View, The View are on Fire!” The band rattled exuberantly for a handful of upbeat numbers.

The Automatic rounded off the night, nicely affirming their position as headliners after delivering the most polished sets of the evening.

None of this year's groups are as polished as the bands on earlier tours, but who knows, they could be filling stadiums in a year.

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