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Review: Nothing but Thieves Live (30/05/2017)

Image credits: Nothing But Thieves Official Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/NothingButThieves/
Image credits: Nothing But Thieves Official Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/NothingButThieves/
Image credits: Nothing But Thieves Official Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/NothingButThieves/


Nothing but Thieves were on tour and they had a show in Fibbers on the 30th of May – this time they played a series of their favourite cities with intimate gigs rather than touring a new album.

It’s been a couple of years now since Nothing but Thieves really broke into the alternative music scene with an extraordinary self-titled first album. The band are an all-male five-piece comprised of Conor Mason (vocals), Dom Craik (guitar), Joe Langridge-Brown (guitar), Philip Blake (bass) and James Price (drums). The boys originate from Southend-on-Sea in Essex and have a real sense of regional identity and pride in where they come from as anyone that’s seen their tour vlogs can testify.

Nothing but Thieves set out on their sold out tour in an effort to have some more intimate gigs before their forthcoming album in September and you really got a sense that they meant this from their show in York. It may have been just because the gig was sold out but there was a real sense of community in the room, everyone was there because they wanted to see this band. Not only this but during the supporting acts, the NbT band members went walkabout drinking and talking to various people. It really seemed like they wanted a tour and gigs that felt different from most bands.

The first supporting act was Cortes, a band I’d never heard of but listened to again the second I got home because they really blew me away. It was their first time in York and they seemed like they were just having fun. As it was the last night of the tour they clearly felt comfortable with what they were doing. The song ‘Towers’ was the standout of their set.

Next was Airways, who were a clear contrast to Cortes. Where Cortes felt still quite new to the scene, Airways had much more confidence. Both the band and their music had this cool old-school rock’n’roll vibe that was enhanced by unexpected human moments throughout. The band told some of the stories behind the songs which really helped the audience connect with them and this was different from most supporting acts I’ve seen. On the night, their song ‘One Foot’ was a really strong standout and I haven’t stopped listening to it since then.

Finally, Nothing but Thieves themselves came on. This show was their best out of the other three times I saw them live. The affection they feel for their fans and York really shone through in the show as they described the last time they played in York only a man and his dog came to see them, and the dog left.

The band opened with ‘Ban All The Music’ and closed with ‘Amsterdam’ which nicely bookends their discography – ‘Ban All The Music’ really helped to put the band on the map and ‘Amsterdam’ is the next step in their evolution. Unfortunately, the band didn’t play the whole of their first album but they did play ‘Neon Brother’ (a personal favourite of mine) which they had never played live before this tour. Despite there being a few songs from their discography missing, they did fill in the empty spaces with brand new material from their upcoming album. The new stuff was really promising and has me even more excited to hear Broken Machine in September.

Even though the audience got to hear some of their new material, the clear winner of the night was ‘Itch’ whose words were belted out by every single person in Fibbers. Not only this but there was perhaps the most intense mosh pit I’ve ever seen at a NbT gig.

The band promised a more intimate series of gigs and really delivered. Once again Nothing but Thieves have proven they are one of the most exciting bands in alternative rock music and you should be thoroughly excited to hear their new album in September. If you get the chance, do not miss seeing them when they tour it.

Set List:

• ‘Ban All The Music’
• ‘Wake Up Call’
• ‘Painkiller’
• ‘Hanging’
• ‘Design’ (New Song)
• ‘Emergency’
• ‘Last Orders’
• ‘Itch’
• ‘Drawing Pins’
• ‘Cochise’ (New Song)
• ‘Get Better’ (New Song)
• ‘Neon Brother’
• ‘If I Get High’
• ‘Excuse Me’
• ‘Trip Switch’
• ‘Amsterdam’