NME Awards Tour

Mystery Jets, We Are Scientists, Arctic Monkeys, Maxïmo Park
Liverpool Academy, 2nd February 2006

Reviewed by Lib Murray

Blackpool's Mystery Jets kick off proceedings with their brand of eccentric British pop, and it's the perfect way to get the crowd warmed up. Their set is on a theatrical scale with pure pop delivered direct from some faraway land…and any band that uses a dustbin lid gets my vote.

Next on the bill are New York's hottest exponents: We Are Scientists. They produce a much bigger sound than their trio status suggests, but their guitar led, beat-driven, songs whip the crowd into a frenzy and by the time they've played ‘The Great Escape’, everyone is primed for the next big thrill…

As soon as Arctic Monkeys walk on stage the place erupts. From the first chord of their latest number one single ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ front man Alex Turner is left to stand and watch as the crowd take care of the first chorus. As if that wasn't enough excitement for one night they charge straight into their debut number one ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, and the crowd sing and dance along like their lives depend on it. This is not the sort of music you can stand still to.

How can Maxïmo Park possibly follow that? Fortunately they have one of the most flamboyant front men around, so it's not hard. Playing virtually their entire debut album - including a brand new track - every song is shot through with a passion and an urgency that the crowd respond to in abundance. The energy steadily increases throughout, peaking with the soaring single ‘Going Missing’.

The crowd were left battered, bruised and beer-stained, but it was worth every second.

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