We rocked up to Newcastle’s Academy last Thursday (February 7) to meet up with Django Django, Miles Kane, Palma Violets and Peace as the NME Awards Tour 2013 burst into life. Here’s what went down. It gets messy.
3:47pm Early Birds
Django Django have been here since early morning, catching up on some sleep in their bus after coming all the way up from Sussex where they’ve been working on new material. Miles Kane is here too, wearing a spectacular fur coat and fresh from a couple of warm-up shows which “blew the cobwebs away”. There is no sign of Peace or Palma Violets.
4:41pm Peace In
Peace arrive, falling off the back of a lorry full of kit.
4:27pm Palmas Arrive
Palmas arrive and pile off their tiny van, stretching their legs after five hours on their bus. Drummer Will is philosophical, pointing out that after touring the States even the length of the UK feels like a relatively civilised distance now. Daniel, a Palmas super fan from Newcastle, has brought along his NME New Bands Issue so that Palma Violets can sign their joint cover with Haim. Someone has drawn a comedy moustache on Will’s face. He’s not happy.
4:41pm Dinner Time
Miles Kane is telling everyone he meets about the “brilliant” king prawn linguini he’s just tucked into. There’s a moment of farce when the catering staff are baffled by the fact that Chilli from Palma Violets has the same name as his dinner order.
7:04pm Class Of ‘13 Photo Call
With all the bands now sound-checked, everyone piles into Django Django’s dressing room for the group photo. This is the first time that the bands have met each other, so spirits are high and there’s instant camaraderie.
7:11pm Peace Reminisce
Grabbing a quick smoke before they kick the tour off, Peace are reminiscing about the last time they were in Newcastle. They got kicked out of the 24 hour Gregg’s by the sausage roll shop’s bouncer, and then broke onto the city centre ice rink. Unfortunately the band then got stuck on the ice. “Not so funny now, are you, you cunts?” was the bouncer’s unhelpful response.
7:28pm Peace Onstage
Peace run through their pre-gig rituals before opening the NME Awards Tour 2013 to the roar of the Newcastle crowd. Backstage, Miles Kane has popped into Django Django’s dressing room to compare notes and get acquainted.
8:21pm Palmas Singalong
Palma Violets are onstage and the whole crowd is bouncing along to ‘Best Of Friends’. At the end of their set, Chilli gives the crowd the option of choosing between ‘We Found Love’ and ‘Fourteen’. They choose the latter night-bus anthem.
9:37pm Kane & Able
Miles Kane is onstage, to the delight of the assembled mod masses. Backstage, Chilli is having a fag and reiterating that ‘Fourteen’ is definitely about a bus, not an underage female.
10:04pm Django Unchained
Headliners Django Django have just taken to the stage, but out the back of the venue there’s roughly 100 kids at the stage door getting the Palmas to sign their stolen tour posters. There’s also a hefty contingent of fans waiting for Miles Kane to emerge.
10:48pm Django’s Climax
The Toon crowd lose their shit when Newcastle is name-dropped into ‘Skies Over Cairo’. Django finish up with ‘Default’ and ‘Life’s A Beach’ to send their fans home ecstatic.
11:26pm Birthday Girl
It’s Doug from Peace’s girlfriend’s birthday, and he’s take her out for a night of pheasant and champagne. Back at the venue, Palmas and Peace pile into one dressing room to sing her a raucous ‘Happy Birthday’.
12:04am Bar Hopping
The problem with being in an indie bar with Peace and Palma Violets is that every single fucker wants to hug them before we get to the bar. A girl asks me to sign her tits and I write “Read NME” across them. Is this terrible and sexist? Definitely. I am not proud of myself.
12:45am Naughty Stuff
REDACTED This bit is totally illegal, with a soundtrack by Jefferson Airplane.
12:58am Peace On Ice
Peace return to the scene of the crime and vault onto Newcastle’s city centre ice rink. A bouncer makes a half-hearted attempt to catch them, but Peace nimbly outskate him despite their lack of appropriate footwear.
1:02am To Digital
A plan is forged to go to local club Digital
1:07am Digital Bar
This plan is abruptly halted by over-zealous security who don’t like the look of us.
1:09am Gay Bar!
Peace and Palma Violets head next door to Roxy’s, a gay bar. The transvestite DJ is playing Happy Hardcore.
1:28am Fall Guys
I’m having a heated argument about the merits of Mark E Smith with Doug Peace. Pete from Palmas skilfully defuses the situation.
2:09am Peace Out
Peace duck out.
2:47am No Thanks
A middle-aged gentlemen offers to “suck off” Chilli and I in Roxy’s toilets. We decline, pretending to be a couple.
3:04am Good Night
Palma Violets kicked out of Roxy’s. They are crowned victors of the opening night. Only another 12 to go…
Originally published in NME, 16 February 2013.