A soggy Sunday brought another bumpy bus ride up to Marlborough’s Sound Knowledge. I discovered Nothing But Thieves when they supported twenty one pilots in 2014, before releasing their self-titled debut album. Seeing them in an intimate environment so close to home was a surreal experience. With second full-length ‘Broken Machine’ hitting the shelves two days earlier, I knew they’d be playing new material, but I was also looking forward to hearing some old favourites again.
Sadly, they opted to solely perform tracks featured on their new release. I didn’t seem to be the only member of the crowd unimpressed by this choice, particularly as they only played four songs. If the time between doors opening and the band taking to the stage is longer than the amount of time the band play for? It makes you wonder whether it was worth coming out on a dark and drizzly night.
That being said, Nothing But Thieves are stellar performers. When music sounds this sweet, you can’t be disappointed. Vocalist Conor Mason’s unique tone is back and better than ever, soaring to previously unexplored heights during arena-ready ballad ‘Particles’. Meanwhile, the melancholy yet bitter lyrics weaved throughout ‘Sorry’ are reminiscent of their debut, proving that they’ve developed but refuse to forget where they came from.
The other members left the room to allow Conor to perform closer ‘Hell, Yeah’ independently. It made for a memorable end to an interesting set, one that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. Hell, Yeah it would have been good if they’d squeezed a few more songs in, but instead I was able to meet the band and get back to my warm, dry house before 9pm. Nothing could be better than that.
Based off of these four songs, ‘Broken Machine’ could change everything for these five boys from Essex. Though their sound has developed, they’re still unquestionably Nothing But Thieves. Their debut album had them appearing at major festivals across the UK, but don’t be surprised if they’re headlining stages before next summer is over.