NME/Radio 1 Stage
So just what have Klaxons come up with in their three years away? Only one way to find out as they headlined a packed NME/Radio 1 Stage. The band somehow managed to arrive five minutes early despite being dressed in extravagant robes, so not a lot had visibly changed then. Theirs was always a mythical musical adventure with the first debuted offering, 'Flashover', proving that the tent was already prepared for a rave. The track did not prove a marked departure and featured their trademark threatening undertones, high-pitched vocals and sprightly other-worldly rhythms. With the first bizarre new song conquered, 'As Above, So Below' proved more muscular than before.
That the band opted for a set that switched between old then new material was orchestrated but proved sensible. That the forthcoming tracks fitted in so snugly should be reaffirming as 'Same Space' was welcomed readily and garnered enough attention to seep in. 'Gravity's Rainbow' then seemed like a lost gem with James Righton taking over lead vocals to gloss over thumping basslines followed by 'Venusia' which proved that the band's fascination for time and space remains.
Despite dropping the cloak, Jamie Reynolds still dominated the stage, largely for his sheer impressive bulk and gutsy vocals during 'Golden Skans'. Whilst the new tracks proved peculiar there was no shortage of catchy choruses as 'Twin Flames' sounded as if beamed via celestial solar rays. As if now the harbingers of doom, drums galloped and melodies drifted amidst shallow, echoing synths for 'Two Receivers' which gifted an terrifyingly ominous sound. 'Magick' also proved daringly exponential as nonsense lyrics coupled to frenzied verses and lacklustre refrains left only Reynolds' guttural basslines as solace until the band paused as statues to giddy effect. Only the affecting chorus to a siren-ridden 'Valley Of The Calm Trees' lifted the set from lethargy.
Thankfully, recent radio coverage seemed to have served them well judging by the reception that 'Echoes' gratefully received. Yet 'Future Memories' proved laboured despite the enthusiastic applause. Their cover of Grace's 'It's Not Over Yet' still hit all the right chords with its sentimental lyrics and carryaway chorus.
The encore begun with arguably their most incoherent new track, 'Surfing The Void'; full of creepy synths and bombastic verses to a fretful crowd. With time now ticking on, Righton tested the crowd by cheekily asking "Ready?" before 'Atlantis To Interzone' was unleashed. Glowsticks at the ready, the crowd knew exactly how to respond.