Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
'What should we play?' questions Alex Ebert as he wanders around the stage ponderously.
Perhaps a little unfairly nicknamed the 'Manson Family Band' by some of the music press, the collective known as Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes look perhaps more like characters from a raft of children's TV programmes all thrown together to teach young 'uns a message about tolerance or similar than a band, but don't let their outward appearance detract from one of the most joyously sounding mele of noise that you are likely to hear this year. You will soon learn that that old adage is correct: never judge a book by its cover.
As the plinky plonky tones of 'Janglin' start up with its old timey swing staggering something in between Cat Steven's 'If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out' and John Lennon's 'Instant Karma', they seem to instantly captivate the audience. And there they hold them for the following 30 minutes.
But its the gloriously gorgeous 'Home' that is the real reason why the NME tent is so full to bursting today. The song, which has been getting ever increasing airplay on UK radio over the past two years, is just magical live. With changes to the lyrics, the audience duly ignores the incongruity and sings out the album version verbatim with wholehearted force. As the swaying mass in front of the band all regale simultaneously in the fuzzy warmth of the song as it peaks and troughs and just when you think it's wrapping up, comes back again louder and brighter and more lovely. It really is one of those special shared festival moments.
Although they only have one wondrous hit to their name at present, they are surely going to be more than one hit wonders and this is definitely a band that must be seen live.