Fresh from supporting Muse on their Drones tour, Essex five-piece Nothing But Thieves showcase their potential by delivering an impressive performance at The Leadmill.
The extent of people flooding into the venue is extraordinary considering how the band are still in their infancy. Following the release of their self-titled debut, sold-out first tour and extensive Radio 1 support it is unsurprising how the band are visibly glowing as they walk on stage. Despite all this however they remain down to earth. An element that certainly isn’t associated with their recent tour buddies.
The band open with ‘Itch’ a catchy and aggressive single which the band hail as their ‘Jeff Buckley’ moment. The influence is noticeable through Mason’s softer vocal tone but this also coincides with his vigorous delivery. It becomes noticeable that Mason’s honed vocals play a huge part in the success of Nothing But Thieves. The short acapella section during the ‘Hanging’ highlights this remarkably. At points it can be excessive as the constant high notes and vocal theatrics can seem like a distraction from lyrics which are often a little conventional such as in the single ‘Excuse me’. Mason notes how The Pixies have been a big influence on the band before going into a cover of ‘Where is my Mind’. A safe cover but one which showcases the bands ability to merge both the rough and mellow.
The five-piece close with their most infamous pop release ‘Trip Switch’ which has the crowd singing along. This works as a firm conclusion to the set but highlights the biggest problem facing Nothing But Thieves. Much like Mason’s vocals the band can deliver both aggression and delicacy in equal proportions. This balance usually pays off however sometimes it counteracts leaving the audience uncomfortably stuck in limbo between wanting to sway and wanting to go wild.
Words by Will Fisher, photos by Lewis Evans.