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Welcome to Dead Club City: Nothing But Thieves Live Review

Photo by Emma Harrison

After releasing their fourth album ‘Dead Club City’ in July, the rock band Nothing But Thieves set out for a world tour, stopping for two sold out shows at OVO Wembley Arena, with support from budding bands King Nun and Kid Kapichi.

Their newest album explores more experimental avenues compared to their previous discography, with lead singer Conor Mason thanking fans for allowing them space to try new forms of expression during the show. Dead Club City is their newest concept album with a dystopian feel, centred around the narrative of a small, exclusive members-only club.

Before the band’s entrance, radio station ‘Dead Club City Radio’ set the stage for the conceptual thread of their recent album. The intervals between classic songs like ‘Mr Blue Sky’ and ABBA’s ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’ had a dystopian feel, with an enthusiastic radio presenter introducing the songs and advertising the band's merchandise. Probing audiences by saying ‘are you tired of being laughed at on the street?’, the intervals insidiously urged you to buy merchandise- perhaps a satirical comment on the consumerism mindset in modern society, making their ostensibly simple advertisement to sell merchandise take on an almost meta self-awareness.

As Nothing But Thieves came on stage, doused in red strobe lights and geometric, the block patterns on the side of the stage established the futuristic aspect of their album. The first song on the set list was the title track ‘Dead Club City’, immediately bringing a mosh-pit inducing energy to the standing audiences, and making it impossible for the people seated all the way back to not get out of their seats and sing along.

Whilst maintaining the energy throughout their whole set, the band played a range of songs from their recent album, starting with the more upbeat songs like ‘Do You Love Me Yet?’—a comment on the music industry and the corrupt people who infiltrate it, and ‘City Haunts’ —a rock song describing the suffocating and dissatisfying experience of living in a city.

Halfway through the set, Nothing But Thieves slowed it down, with smoke and subtle white lighting for ‘Green Eyes :: Siena’—a soft love song with the most beautiful lyrics describing extreme devotion: “Sometimes when we lie together, I could die and make my peace.” Mason’s ability to switch the tone of his voice was noteworthy; his timbre in ballad-like songs being comparable to Jeff Buckley’s intimacy and tenderness.

Apart from their new album, they also played songs off of their other albums, including ‘Impossible’ from Moral Panic and ‘Trip Switch’ from their debut album, allowing audiences to appreciate the variety of sounds throughout their expansive discography. My personal favourite was ‘Sorry’—one of their well-known rock songs on their second album Broken Machine about the breaking down of a relationship, which tows the line between being young and making mistakes and being a bad person.

As Nothing But Thieves closed their set with an encore of their most well-known song ‘Amsterdam’ and ‘Overcome,’ fans were left feeling excited from an unforgettable evening.


Edited by Akane Hayashi, Music Editor


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