The VO5 NME Awards Tour arrives at the O2 Academy Newcastle on the penultimate night of its annual run.

With this edition of the VO5 NME Awards Tour, the focus is upon the Greater Manchester area, with a trio of artists all hailing from the region hitting the road together this time around. 

Over the years the likes of Florence and the Machine, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and The Kaiser Chiefs have all featured on one of these bills. This time around it’s the turn of chart-topping Blossoms, post-punk troubadours Cabbage and newcomer Rory Wynne

Tonight’s show at the O2 Academy Newcastle is a complete sell-out, which is a testament to the strength of the lineup which has been assembled here this evening.

At the age of just seventeen Stockport based Rory Wynne is the youngest artist on the bill. However, don’t be fooled by his age, Wynne has confidence, attitude and swagger in spades and he also has the songs to back it up with.

Wynne opens with the frantic “Post Party Confusion” before delivering a set which largely centres around his new EP What Would Rory Wynne Do? with as many as three of the four track release featuring tonight. Rory closes out his set with the slowly building “Why Don’t You?”, a song which has that distinctively Manchester sound to it, and is one of the standout tracks in Wynne’s short but sweet set this evening.

Next up it’s the turn of one of Manchester’s most exciting new bands – Cabbage. The band released their debut album Young, Dumb and Full of Cabbage earlier this year. It’s fair to say that tonight the band have brought their fans with them, who pogo along as Cabbage whips the crowd up into a frenzy with their topical, controversial and politically charged numbers like “Terrorist Synthesizer” and “Dinner Lady”. The five piece certainly makes their mark on the Tyneside audience this evening.

It’s been an incredible last twelve month for Blossoms. The band’s debut self-titled record spent two weeks at No.1 in the Official UK Chart when it was released last August, which is the first time a debut album has spent more than one week at No.1 from launch since 2014. Couple this with several sold out tours in quick succession and today’s news that the band will play on the iconic Pyramid Stage at this year’s Glastonbury Festival; the future is most certainly bright for the Stockport lads.

Blossoms kick off their set with the synth-pop laden “At Most A Kiss” and “Texia”. On first appearance, it’s obvious the band have some major indie anthems in their artillery. The crowd hang on every word of the likes of “Getaway” and “Honey Sweet”, it’s inevitable that with tracks like these behind them Blossoms are going to be a huge hit on the festival circuit this summer.

There is an almost Smiths-esque quality about some of the band’s tracks and in particular “Blown Rose”. Front man Tom Ogden brings Blossom’s main set to a close as he stands alone to deliver the beautiful heartfelt acoustic number “My Favourite Room”, which sparks a mass singalong from the Geordie crowd. Ogden takes the opportunity to have some fun with the number as he segues the likes of Baby Bird’s “You’re Gorgeous”, “Half The World Away” by Oasis and George Michael’s “Last Christmas” into the mix, much to the crowd’s pleasing. Ogden leaves the stage to rapturous applause.

Blossoms return to the stage for a duly deserved four song encore, with the evening being brought to a close with fan favourite “Charlemagne”, a track which has had almost ten million streams to date on Spotify. With Blossoms meteoric rise in recent times and the response they have received tonight from their adoring fans, it’s unlikely they will be playing rooms of this size for much longer.

Over the years the VO5 NME Tour has become synonymous with showcasing up and coming artists, often acting as a springboard for those that it takes out on the road and tonight’s show in Newcastle is no exception to that rule.  

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Rory Wynne
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Event Date: 31-MAR-2017

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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