Review: NME Tour @ Cambridge Corn Exchange - February 15

IN recent years, the annual NME tours have featured Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys and Maximo Park. Unfortunately, there has been a gradual decline in the line-ups, reaching a new low this year. The Ting Tings opened the night with some inter

IN recent years, the annual NME tours have featured Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys and Maximo Park.

Unfortunately, there has been a gradual decline in the line-ups, reaching a new low this year. The Ting Tings opened the night with some interesting sounds, perky delivery, but little personality. I had heard the duo being compared to Blondie, but on this performance they don't deserve to be mentioned on the same page.

Next band Does It Offend You Yeah? came across as fun, modest people, but provided little to enjoy. About halfway through their set I said to myself that they were possibly the least enjoyable live band I've seen for a long time. Their energy on stage is impressive, but for me it's energy wasted.

Third band, Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong quickly showed they were the best band of the night so far. That is the faintest of praise and they deserve a lot better than that. Lead singer Joe Lean looks and acts like a star in the making with his watchable camp theatrics - think Jarvis Cocker, Brett Anderson, but with a deeper, more serious vocal echoing Razorlight's Johnny Borrell. They didn't entirely convince me tonight, but I got the feeling there's a lot to like.


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Final band The Cribs were a disappointment. Having heard some good recorded tracks of theirs I was expecting so much more. For half a dozen songs I could barely tell one track from another and quickly lost interest. I've no doubt that all these bands will be playing arenas in weeks, but I'll be missing next year's tour unless the NME find some taste.

CHRIS BOLAND

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