Touring in support of their latest album Broken Machine, UK rock band Nothing But Thieves played a sold out show at Toronto’s Mod Club Theatre this past Friday night. Along with fellow Brits Airways, the alternative crew kicked off the weekend on a loud note with their heavier brand of rock.
Both bands are part of the guitar rock revival that’s been brewing for the past few years, a wave that includes peers like Catfish and the Bottlemen and Foals. Airways in particular sound like they fit right alongside those two bands, with a hint of Arctic Monkeys thrown in for good measure. Bold tunes like “One Foot” and the Halloween-appropriate “Ghost Town” put guitars front and centre.
Nothing But Thieves have had a huge few years with their hits “Trip Switch” and “Wake Up Call” lighting up alternative radio and topping charts. Those two smash hits were of course played, along with a whole host of new songs from Broken Machine. The fast and furious “Amsterdam” riled up the crowd in a big way, as did most recent single “Sorry”.
A lot of the new material had a darker edge to it, as evidenced by the moody lighting employed by the group and songs like “Graveyard Whistling”. Conor Mason and his impressive vocal range largely stayed in the shadows for the duration of the 19-song setlist, adding to the atmosphere of the show. Speaking of that vocal range – Mason absolutely nailed a cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” in the middle of the show.
Like the band’s aforementioned peers, Nothing But Thieves have a bright future ahead as they use their emotive guitar rock to steal their way into the audience’s hearts.