NME/Radio 1 Stage

Delphic returned to the NME/Radio 1 Stage, this time a year wiser and with three giant satellite stage props. Not that the Manchester band were getting ideas above their station but the alarming pulses of opening track 'Clarion Call' certainly grabbed the attention of a capacity crowd before a booming refrain soared. If anything, the opener proved an exceptional call to arms and set the tone for an assured performance. Just like the track-listing from their debut album, 'Doubt' hastily followed as stirring harmonies from the three frontmen competed thrillingly with pulsating beats and gnarling guitar. Like the simplest of DJ mixes, the track bled into 'Red Lights' for shimmering rhythms and a controlled helping of synths which gradually sped in tempo. The band finally paused for a breather before ushering the crowd to dance as the outro persisted.

The question had to be asked; how can Delphic be defined. Heirs to the Madchester throne or guitar rave geniuses to rival the likes of Chemical Brothers. Their expertise as mixers prevailed as improvised refrains were spliced together to usher in 'This Momentary'. An utter control over beats was displayed as they again upped the tempo to lead in 'Submission' which still managed to demonstrate more heart than faceless techno. An affirming, downbeat rendition of 'Halcyon' proved meaningful enough until a stirring guitar solo threatened to spoil the moment. Naturally, 'Counterpoint' was beatmatched in masterfully with honeyed vocals from lead singer James Cook over involving beats. Though a lacklustre drum solo threatened the track's momentum until a lengthened outro restored proceedings to a magnificent crescendo.

Their set could easily have concluded then but Cook politely wanted to keep the party going when he asked the crowd to "go for it" as 'Acolyte' took the gig to a higher level of brilliance. Even Cook could be forgiven an proud smile as he soaked up the applause. You have to wonder what they will come up with next year.