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When a copy of 'Just Friends' landed on the R13 doormat back in 2005 it turned out to be one of the singles of the year taken from one of the albums of the year. The band have kept a fairly low profile for much of the last year but they're back with new single 'Burn Faster' and it's good to see them get the crowd they deserve in the NME/Radio 1 tent.
Kicking off with 'Just Friends' is a good move as it gets the crowd into it straight away and it's obvious from the tight vocal harmonies that Nine Black Alps can cut it live as well as on record. They air some new material from the forthcoming 'Love/Hate' album, first up being 'Bitter End', which is a lot more downbeat and doesn't have the same impact as the faster, older material. Despite that there's no denying that it's equally well crafted and executed. For most of the crowd here today though it's all about the classic material and 'Unsatisfied' is greeted with a huge cheer. The song itself sound immense in this arena and is a timely reminder of why there was so much of a buzz around the band when they first appeared on the scene.
The band engage in very little crowd interaction but when you've only got 45 minutes it makes sense to cram the songs in and that's just what they do. The sound is pretty good and singer Sam Forrest's voice holds up pretty well as they plough through much of debut album 'Everything Is'. They reach the last song all too quickly but when the first chord of 'Shot Down' rings out nobody's complaining, it's a great end to an all too short set but what's beyond doubt is that Nine Black Alps are back and they mean business.