Shockwaves NME Awards Tour



> UEA LCR, Norwich

The NME Awards Tour has become the place to catch bands before they hit the big time and see if they live up to the hype.

Coldplay, the Coral and Franz Ferdinand are some of the now-familiar names that have appeared on the bill in recent years.

Monday night's show at Norwich's UEA was opened by the Kaiser Chiefs, whose soon-to-be-released debut album, Employment, has been produced by Blur collaborator Stephen Street.

They were followed by London art-rockers Bloc Party, who have been tipped by many critics to break into the mainstream this year.

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Whipping the crowd into a frenzy with their raw guitar riffs, they showcased their debut album, Silent Alarm, which is out next week. The highlight of their set was their latest single, So Here We Are, which was released on Monday.

Sunderland band the Futureheads' self-titled album ranked pretty highly in many 2004 end-of-year polls, and on Monday they treated the audience to an energetic romp through most of their XTC-influenced debut.

The stand-out moment was a cover of Kate Bush's Hounds of Love, with a novel twist.

But the undoubted highlight was the tour headliners, Las Vegas sleaze-merchants The Killers. Taking a trip back in time to the '80s, they came on stage welcomed like conquering heroes to the Mission Impossible theme tune.

Their mission – and they chose to accept it – was to win over the crowd, which they achieved by merely uttering “hello” before striking up into Jenny Was a Friend of Mine.

That was followed by the singles Mr Brightside and Somebody Told Me.

Cementing their position as one of the few indie bands you can really dance to, they romped through a set mostly made up of tracks from number one album Hot Fuss.

And the verdict on The Killers? Absolute thrillers.

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