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Live: NOTHING BUT THIEVES // Alexandra Palace, London

Friday night was absolutely phenomenal, but should we really expect anything less from Nothing But Thieves?

Last Friday’s performance from Nothing But Thieves make a strong contender for the best gig this year. Selling out the iconic people’s palace, it was an incredibly special feeling to watch the band pouring their heart and soul into an unforgettable performance in front of 10,000 people. Packed from the front to the back, the crowd definitely provided an immense amount of energy for the band to feed off; no matter where you were, you would be surrounded by people who are just as enthusiastic about the band as you are, and this shared passion for the band really brewed an electrifying energy that persisted for the whole evening.

A high-octane opening came in the form of I Was Just A Kid; hiding behind a screen, the band was silhouetted by flashing lights as pounding drums battled against the excited screams of the crowd. The screen dropped as the thrilling instrumental introduction kicked in, and with such an energetic start, it almost felt like your heart would beat out of your chest from sheer excitement. Singing “it’s my addiction, it turns me on” in Ban All The Music with crystal-clear high vocals, that just about sums up how we felt about Nothing But Thieves’ set, even though we were only two songs in.

Wake Up Call brought a driving energy as the upbeat riffs carried across the venue, and you could feel every hit of the drum reverberate in your bones whilst infectious guitar hooks looped themselves round. It was clear that the band put everything they had into their performance, and they maintained an energetic stage presence, moving around as the music stirred a relentless energy around the venue. Making sure to include a spread of material, songs off the latest EP such as Take This Lonely HeartYou Know Me Too Well and later Forever And Ever More were well received as it would’ve been the first live performance of these songs for many of the fans there. If you thought hearing the songs on record was good, then hearing them live is simply heavenly.

During more dynamic tracks such as Live Like Animals and Trip Switch, we questioned if the venue was enough to hold all of the energy under its roof, as loud singalongs and a few moshpits made themselves present – how the crowd managed to find the space to do so in an extremely packed, sold-out Alexandra Palace is beyond us, but it stands testament to the dedication of the band’s fans and the evening’s verve.

We almost questioned if the band and the crowd would be able to maintain this high intensity for the whole set, but this concern was dispelled by more tender moments, including a glittering falsetto found in the charming Soda. It was a stunning moment as the band performed a piano-led version of Particles, and the tinkling piano notes and soaring high notes worked together to send the chills racing up your spine. The band’s sensitivity and delicacy in their craft was allowed to shine through during these fragile moments, as the dreamy If I Get High continued to hold the magical atmosphere that had settled.

Amsterdam wrapped up the evening on a high, and with beaming smiles, it was clear that the band was extremely humbled to have played such an unforgettable show tonight. Vocalist Conor Mason expressed the band’s gratitude at selling out Alexandra Palace throughout the evening, saying “We used to come to this venue all the time, so tonight to sell it out is just fucking magnificent”. Friday night proved that these are the stages that Nothing But Thieves were destined for, and it won’t be long before they move on to taking over arenas.

Photos: Athena Kam