Despite it being a whole 12 months since their last show up in Newcastle and four months since their live hiatus began but Nothing But Thieves still inspire a devoted following. Earlier in the day they’d given an address in Amsterdam as a geolocation to hear their new single early and within minutes fans had tweeted saying they were travelling for as long as four hours to be there.
The first show back appeared to be laden with nerves, leading up their stage time at least four of them had hung their head out from the mezzanine to watch the crowds forming. As the fivesome come on stage there’s a few changes, most notably Conor Mason’s new white blonde hair. Opening with the classic Wake Up Call, Dom Craik looks over the right hand crowd as if he’s looking for something whilst frontman and lead guitarist Conor Mason and Joe Langridge Brown hold their eyes shut; fear or concentration? Neither would be out of place.
As Nothing But Thieves delve further into their back catalogue Langridge-Brown starts turning out riffs like tricks and the crowd is lapping it up. There’s something intensely captivating about the way the band’s synergy. James Price holds the band together, leading when the instruments take over from the ebbing flow of Mason’s vocals.
Following some bigger numbers the lights are dimmed and in an intimate moment they play Graveyard Whistling. The song is a reminder that behind big licks and a pounding bass there’s a lot of heart in Nothing But Thieves. Most excitingly from the evening was the promise of a new era of Nothing But Thieves, they played their now famous cover of Where Is My Mind? for one of the final times.
Also they played a track from the new album by the name of I Was Made By Design. It’s uptempo but by no means upbeat. The vocals are deeper and more crashing than the first album, a little like Painkiller. Regardless of what it is, it doesn’t sound like the snippet we’ve been treated to on Spotify so perhaps there are two new songs on the horizon. They’ve said the new album shall be out this year but that’s all they’ve promised.
The energy coming from the stage is almost tangible during the set. They only appear to lose momentum when Mason makes a few self depreciating jokes about the new album between songs but in the final song Craik and Langridge-Brown jump forward onto the speakers to bring one final blow to a knock out show. As musicians the two guitarists stand far above their peers in indie music at the moment. Simply Nothing But Thieves put on the best live rock show for a band of their size and as they grow I’m confident they’ll stay above the competition.