Friday 10 November 2023

Live Review: Nothing But Thieves, Swansea Arena 7 November 2023

After years of travelling in the opposite direction leaving Swansea to watch live music, it felt strange to return to my home city for a gig but thanks to it's new multi million pound arena the city finally has the capabilities of putting on shows of a certain calibre, and with Nothing But Thieves on the table, it was certainly worth the trip. 

With four albums in circulation, the band rolled in to town in celebration of their latest effort, Dead Club City to a sold out crowd. And they wasted no time in setting the bar high from the offset opening with the charged up single Welcome To the DCC, followed in quick succession with Is Everybody Going Crazy? and the bubbling Tomorrow Is Closed.

It was touch and go following a recent cancellation due to singer Conor Mason suffering an illness which left him unable to sing. Thankfully for fans tonight it seemed to be business as usual as he effortlessly hit the falsetto notes of City Haunts

By the time Do You Love Me Yet? rolled around with its huge 80's synthesisers and pulsating beat, the set design is in full swing. A simple 3 tower structure beamed out flashing neon messages as dazzling lights shrouded the stage. A live show has long become far more than just the music, and NBT know this all too well as they stepped up the production value to fit in with the schematics of their latest record.

Having steadily built up their sound to the stadium ready, anthemic force it's become, the band comfortably feel at home in arena sized venues, and it's clear to see as they churned out towering guitars and pummelled percussion, all the while their basslines rattled the chest of the crowd. Yet despite this, there's real touching moments of calm and heartfelt emotion at their core. Evident on Lover, Please Stay as the mosh pit momentarily paused as everyone linked arms in embrace.

Returning for a two track encore following the crowds chants of DJ Ötzi's "Hey Baby", Mason returned to the stage to exclain "yes I will be your girl Swansea" before diving head first in to the tour de force of Amsterdam and Overcome.

The band's debut appearance in Swansea will certainly be one to remember. And with the promise of a return, fans will already be on the countdown until next time. The question left is where's next for a band that's reached this level. 


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