On Saturday 28th November English alternative rock band Nothing But Thieves ‘Ban All The Music’ tour hit up The Academy 2 in Dublin, their first Dublin show, to a sold out crowd. Local support came from alternative rock band Fangclub. The tour was in support of Nothing But Thieves debut self-titled album.
Arriving at 7.30 Fangclub kicked off the night. Fangclub are a band who have been on my radar for a while but for whatever reason I had not checked out their music until a couple of hours before the show and I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised. Fangclub scream 90’s alternative rock, being parts early Foo Fighters or Green Day mixed in with just the right amount of grunge, and while I jumped to the Nirvana comparison while listening to their new EP, live I got a Soundgarden vibe with the vocals reminding me of Chris Cornell at times. As the set wore on more and more of the crowd seemed to be getting into it and personally I found the later faster tracks to be the better tracks live. ‘Role Models’ & ‘Bullet Head’ are particularly enjoyable. Ones to watch: 8/10.
Nothing But Thieves took to the stage at 8.30 kicking off their set with the double wammy of ‘Excuse Me’ and ‘Itch’, both of which make for a strong opening with their sing-along inducing choruses. ‘Hostage’ and ‘Honey Whiskey’ followed continuing the onslaught of strong rock tracks. During these opening numbers the other flaw with The Academy 2 became evident, while the main issue is how impossible it is to see the stage from the back or through a sold out crowd, the sound itself can at times leave a lot to be desired, the bass was causing a lot of feedback, at times the vocals were hard to hear and a few times they seemed to cut out. ‘Graveyard Whistling’ is another track that comes across strong live but it is around that point that the songs started to meld into each other, with far too many of them being similar to each other, more and more people in the crowd began to talk amongst themselves clearly a tad bored or uninterested. Then almost too suddenly ‘Hanging’, another of their stronger, faster, jam heavy tracks, started and finished before the opening riff of their stand-out single, that this tour was named after, ‘Ban All The Music’ signaled that the set was almost over. The applause from the crowd was loud and with promises that the band will be back next year, hopefully in a bigger venue and with more headlining experience, the moods were high all around.
While the set would have made a strong main support set at another show, I just do not think Nothing But Thieves are ready for headlining slots, which is the problem with getting so big so fast, as was evident by almost the entire tour being sold out. Their discography and therefore song choice is just too limited, so a lot of their set ends up being filler and the set itself is a bit too short overall as they had stopped playing by 9.25, however Conor Mason has incredibly strong vocals on record, live they held up almost perfectly and the same can be said about the rest of the band: 7/10.