If Royal Blood and Muse had a baby, it would sound like Nothing But Thieves. Which is not meant to say that they’re directly generic but that they’re very talented. In fact, ridiculously so. The Trinity Centre in Bristol is sold out and full of eager, rowdy music fans, ready to see what the UK’s next big thing has to bring.
Showing the crowd abrasive guitar riffs that immediately juxtapose with soft melodies are Black Foxxes. Think Manchester Orchestra meets Brand New. Lyrically complex, deep in emotion and a cynical ethos that is apparent in their demeanour. Though traditionally emo, the Exeter three-piece trigger nothing but empathy from watchers.
On the other hand, Sundara Karma fill the room with sprightly indie hooks and a passion that can’t be duplicated. It’s clear that their musical career was initially intended purely as a creative outlet of feelings for themselves. It is how people relate to their lyrics and the accessibility of the music that makes them such a likeable group.
It’s hard to tell if the high-decibel cheers are caused by the echoing of the venue’s church hall or if tonight’s crowd have such huge anticipation that they’re flooding the room and beyond with their excitement. Either way, Nothing But Thieves have caught this infectious energy and powerfully open their set with Itch, inconspicuously sliding into the vibrant Painkiller.
Singer, Conor Mason flexes his impressive vocal chords during emotion-evoking Graveyard Whistling, falsetto filled If I Get High, and melancholic Tempt You (Evactio), leaving everyone in an internal battle of whether to be green with envy or just complete awe.
Nothing But Thieves have played the entire set with nothing but smiles on their faces. Those five genuine grins represent more than just gratefulness, but the vision of a promising future, consisting of sell-out area tours and festival headlines. It’s a realistic dream and it won’t be long before we witness it happen.
Photography and Live Review by Natalie Lam
Nothing But Thieves at Trinity Centre, Bristol on 9th April 2016