Nothing But Thieves deliver synth-soaked euphoria at the O2 Forum Kentish Town

31 January 2024, 22:57 | Updated: 7 February 2024, 09:39

Radio X Presents Nothing But Thieves | Overcome

By Jenny Mensah

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The Southend-on-Sea outfit played the Radio X Presents gig at the iconic north-west London venue to a select group of fans.

Nothing But Thieves delivered a stunning set at O2 Forum Kentish Town this Wednesday (31st January), offering up the perfect cure to the January blues.

The extra special gig, which was part of our Radio X Presents series, saw the Southend five-piece treat their fans and Radio X listeners to songs from across their four studio albums, including their most recent UK No.1 smash, Dead Club City.

As soon as the doors opened, their fervent fans (some of whom had been queuing since 8am) rushed to bag a coveted spot at the very front of the stage.

After an introduction from Radio X's Toby Tarrant, the band - comprised of Conor Mason, Joe Langridge-Brown, Dominic Craik, Phillip Blake and James Price - kicked off proceedings with Welcome To The DCC, the infectious lead single and album opener to their Dead Club City LP.

"Make some noise," cried frontman Conor Mason as the band infused the danced track with their rock roots. Then, much to the delight of the crowd, the Southend-on-Sea rockers launched into some of their well-known favourites, such as the riff-tastic Is Everybody Going Crazy? (prompting a huge singalong from the crowd) and Futureproof from their 2020 Moral Panic album, alongside early favourites from their 2015 debut, Drawing Pins and Jam.

The crowd at Radio X Presents Nothing But Thieves at O2 Kentish Town Forum
The crowd at Radio X Presents Nothing But Thieves at O2 Kentish Town Forum. Picture: Matt Crockett

In a contrast to their previous Radio X Presents gig, which saw them unable to perform to a live audience due to the UK's lockdown restrictions, the crowds were out in full force at the 2,300-strong venue, letting out piercing screams and singing along with every word.

Addressing the crowd, their frontman gushed: "It's a massively privilege to be able to do this. It's nice to see everyone's faces," adding that it was "a bit nerve-wracking" due to the intimate size of the crowd.

"Also if the Radio X program is slightly s*** tomorrow," he joked, "It's because the DJs will all be getting pissed tonight. They know who they are."

Highlights included the synth-laden indie earworm Real Love Song and the heartbreaking ballad, Impossible, both of which saw Conor Mason put his impeccable falsetto to good use.

Ahead of the spine-tingling moment, Conor told the crowd: "It’s so nice to see so many smiley faces. Thank you for enjoying yourself. It’s so nice to hear so many of you sing the songs louder than I am."

Conor Mason of Nothing But Thieves plays the O2 Forum Kentish Town
Conor Mason of Nothing But Thieves plays the O2 Forum Kentish Town. Picture: Matt Crossick

Welcome To The DCC might be one of the band's most pop records yet, but the anthemic Tomorrow Is Closed and the sexy City Haunts blended in perfectly with their earlier material, feeling like a natural progression from the likes of This Feels Like The End and Unperson from their 2020 outing.

Their infectious 80s-inspired single, Overcome, which was crowned Radio X Record Of The Year 2023, provided the perfect pick-me-up to the set, with Conor leading the crowd in a series of "oohs" before the band left the stage.

Returning for an encore, the outfit ended their set with a performance of their newly released dance anthem Oh No :: He Said What? followed by an electrifying rendition of their epic 2017 breakthrough single, Amsterdam.

Returning to the venue they once thought of as proof they'd finally "made it," Nothing But Thieves' O2 Forum Kentish Town set had everything you could possibly want from the band; energy, eclecticism and exceptional musicianship- the mark of a band committed to their craft, while moving forward with their sound.

Radio X Presents Nothing But Thieves at the O2 Forum Kentish Town
Radio X Presents Nothing But Thieves at the O2 Forum Kentish Town. Picture: Matt Crossick

Get the setlist for Radio X Presents Nothing But Thieves at the O2 Forum Kentish Town:

  • Welcome To The DCC
  • Is Everybody Going Crazy?
  • Tomorrow Is Closed
  • Real Love Song
  • This Feels Like The End
  • Particles
  • City Haunts
  • I was Just A Kid
  • Futureproof
  • Sorry
  • Drawing Pins
  • Jam
  • Unperson
  • Impossible
  • Overcome

Encore

  • Oh No :: He Said What?
  • Amsterdam
Nothing But Thieves ahead of their Radio X Presents gig
Nothing But Thieves ahead of their Radio X Presents gig. Picture: Matt Crossick

Radio X Presents is Radio X’s series of exclusive gigs which sees the world’s biggest bands and solo artists play to small crowds.

Radio X will be playing out highlights from the show from Thursday 1st February and there will be tracks available to watch on Global Player.

Radio X is available on 104.9 FM in London, 97.7 FM in Manchester and on DAB digital radio across the UK, online at radiox.co.uk, and Global Player, the official Radio X app.

Radio X Presents Nothing But Thieves too place at O2 Forum Kentish Town
Radio X Presents Nothing But Thieves too place at O2 Forum Kentish Town. Picture: Matt Crossick