After bouncy pop-rock openers WITTERQUICK’s cover of ‘Wrecking Ball’ that went down surprisingly well with the crowd, and an aggressive set from Merthyr teen rockers Pretty Vicious that was somewhat impaired by technical issues, Nothing But Thieves hit the stage for the Cardiff leg of their sold out UK tour.
Just a fortnight after the release of their self-titled debut album, the crowd were up to date on all the newest songs played as well as older favourites. Despite vocalist Connor being ill (enough so that the band had to cancel the next couple of shows after Cardiff), he did a fantastic job of carrying the intricate falsettos that are a staple of the band’s sound. The enthusiasm from the crowd and the rest of the band meant that when Connor’s vocals did falter, it barely detracted from the music. Holding the mic out to the audience and having them chant back was something the band clearly found humbling as well as exciting, with Connor repeatedly thanking the crowd for their support despite his illness.
Highlights of the set included ‘Graveyard Whistling’, arranged slightly differently for the live show, and bringing even more atmosphere to one of the strongest songs on the album. ‘Trip Switch’ was clearly a fan favourite with its seductive guitar licks, and the encore closed with single ‘Ban All The Music’, which had everyone dancing as expected.
The fact that Nothing But Thieves can pull off such a successful show even when their lead singer has almost lost his voice is testament to this band’s talent and dedication. Anyone who missed getting tickets to this sold out tour should rest easy knowing they’re on the road again next April, and this is definitely not a band to be missed twice.