REVIEW: Rat Boy prepares for NME Music Awards Tour with raucous Corn Exchange slot

Rat Boy, who opened for The 1975 at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Thursday November 19.

Rat Boy, who opened for The 1975 at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Thursday November 19. - Credit: Archant

Rat Boy – the moniker for Essex boy Jordan Cardy - saunters onto the stage at the Cambridge Corn Exchange with messy, unkempt hair, tight jeans and a baggy hoody – but his performance is far from casual.

The youngster’s combination of catchy guitar riffs, clever sampling and snappy vocals has been compared to Jamie T in his pomp – and you can see why, as the 19-year-old delivers his tunes with a certain youthful arrogance which whips the crowd into a frenetic frenzy ahead of the night’s headline act, The 1975.

Rat Boy, accompanied by his three-man band, doesn’t perform like your stereotypical frontman – there’s no prancing around the stage or banter with the front row - rather he chooses to devote all his energy into spitting out snarling yet insightful lyrics on his take of life growing up in modern England – losing his job in Wetherspoons an example.

Cardy’s witty lyrics on disillusioned youth are sadly lost on a live stage – drowned in a medley of blaring guitars and crowd noise bouncing off the walls of the intimate venue – meaning the true resonance of his messages can’t be absorbed.

However, as his set comes to a close and the hotly anticipated viral hits ‘Sign On’ and ‘Fake ID’ ring around the Corn Exchange, the crowd truly comes alive.


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The scruffy-haired teen belts out a chorus of “it won’t be long until I sign on” – but there’s no danger of a trip to the job centre any time soon for the chap from Chelmsford, whose musical career promises to go from strength to strength - starting with a slot on the NME Music Awards Tour early next year.

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