Nothing But Thieves at the Forum
The crowd roar with anticipation as Sick by Queens of the Stone Age blares from the speakers. They walk on to an energised audience in a bursting arena and hit the ground running with the colossal hit single Itch, followed by hard and fast Painkiller and a sea of heads leap and whirl in front of them; a great choice to get the show started!
The impressive art deco venue delivers a commanding and wide-reaching sound system however, the guitars could have really do with more prominence as they seem lost and weightless from the outset. Fortunately, lead singer Conor Mason’s incredible vocals are unquestionably present, offering a mesmerising display of technicality, range and sheer strength. Like a young Matt Belamy, but more from the major scale of the pop world, Mason is a first-class singer and really exhibits his talent with his flawless a capella in Hanging and perfect high notes in the demanding chorus of Excuse Me. The pinnacle of his awe-inspiring vocal performance is in his compression and sustained notes in If I Get High, the first of three encore tracks.
The change of tone in Graveyard Whistling shows versatility from the band but is a little more “boy band” than the other pop-rock tracks, however their cover of the Pixies 80s signature track Where Is My Mind is a nice bonus. The soulful and down-tempo Tempt Me is also a nice addition to the set and again shows off Mason’s graceful tones. All of the songs receive a fantastic response from the audience who sing virtually every chorus back. It’s an undeniable achievement for the band who, as Mason mentions, played at the Bull and Gate pub next door just two years ago, with dreams to be performing at the Forum.
With their catchy hooks and pop-rock riffs, Nothing But Thieves will certainly have no issue generating a great commercial following. Mason’s voice is the main attraction and the experience as a whole is immersive, but with a bit more presence and definition from the rest of the band, they could develop recognition in the alternative rock scene also. Their self-titled debut album is out now.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information about Nothing But Thieves and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Itch here: