Have you ever had one of those bands that you love, but somehow manage to continually miss their show or their festival set? For me, Nothing But Thieves were that band, until Saturday night (28 July) that is.
Taking over The Metro Theatre with the help of Perth up-and-comers Psychedelic Porn Crumpets (PPC), Nothing But Thieves put on one hell of a show, but I’m sure you could have guessed that by the line snaking around the block once the doors opened.
There’s been a lot of buzz about Psychedelic Porn Crumpets this year, and after seeing their set on Saturday night I can understand why. With a guitar-heavy sound and wailing vocals, PPC were the perfect support for Nothing But Thieves; their catchy, repetitive riffs rang through the Metro Theatre and seemed to hang in the air long after they’d left the stage.
Closing out their set with their hit single ‘Cornflake’, PPC couldn’t resist taking one more moment to rile up the crowd. Being on tour with such a high calibre band only reinforces the notion that Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are destined for bigger and better things to come. Be sure to catch them at BIGSOUND this year before they make their European debut.
From the very first note of ‘I Was Just A Kid’, Nothing But Thieves held the attention of every single person in the room. There’s something so captivating about lead singer Conor Mason’s stage presence; I’m not sure if it was the incredible falsetto or simply the way that he works the crowd, but it was truly something to behold. Tracks such as ‘Wake Up Call’ and ‘Trip Switch’ really amped up the atmosphere in the room; it was almost shocking to see an entire crowd so involved in a set, let alone singing every song. Even if they didn’t say it explicitly, you could tell that the band felt every word.
For a band that has only released two albums in their career, it was so incredible to see such a dedicated fan base. When Nothing But Thieves launched into ‘Broken Machine’, the crowd went wild, practically screaming the lyrics back to the band. Mind you, Mason acknowledged that everyone only ever recites the line, ‘I am a broken machine’ and proceeds to mumble through the rest of the song, but it was comments like this that made him seem so charming.
One (very small negative) with the show however, was that Mason’s vocals, while incredible, were no match for the two guitarists and the bass player surrounding him. One of my favourite things about Nothing But Thieves is their high impact sound and scuzzy guitars, but to sacrifice the vocals for the sake of a little more bass, seemed like a poor judgement call whether it was intentional or not.
My other gripe with the show (and I’m sure other attendees will back me up on this), would be the erratic and excessive stage lighting for their set. I wasn’t sure if there was someone actually operating the lights or whether there was simply a small animal running across the control panel, but it was incredibly distracting. It became harder and harder to focus on the show when you were continually being blasted with strobes and spotlights every other second.
Confronting lighting aside, this was an incredible show that has cemented Nothing But Thieves as one of absolute must-see international bands. With a sound that packs a punch and a stage show worthy of your precious Saturday night, this is a band you’ll want to come back to again and again.