The NME Awards Tour 2016 with Austin, Texas is hits the road tonight, launching its 11 date tour at Cardiff’s Great Hall with a thrilling line-up headlined by Bloc Party.  Joining the bill are Drenge, Rat Boy and Bugzy Malone who will tour the UK, taking in Manchester Academy along the way.

Returning British indie heroes Bloc Party headline the tour, giving fans the chance to see the band – who headlined Latitude Festival in 2013 – perform in the most intimate venues they’ll have played for some time. Alongside old favourites and bona fide classics, Bloc Party will be performing new songs from their album Hymns, which is also released today, on the first date of the tour.

Says Kele: “It was a big deal for the band when we played the NME tour in 2005, so we’re really excited to be returning as headliners in 2016. It’s a great line-up and I’m really looking forward to seeing the other bands, I can’t wait to get out there.”

Rowdy Sheffield-based band Drenge, who performed one of Glastonbury’s most storming sets earlier this year, will bring the full-throttle force of their second album Undertow to the line-up. Ensuring each night will be a raucous affair is one of indie’s freshest faces Rat Boy, who broke on to the scene with his wide-boy rap, fusing punk and hip-hop beats. Completing the bill is one of 2016’s most hotly-tipped newcomers Bugzy Malone, the Manchester artist who is at the forefront of the revival of the UK grime scene.

Mike Williams, editor-in-chief of NME, says: “The line-up for the NME Awards Tour 2016 with Austin, Texas is amazing for UK music fans – where else … could you see three of the most exciting, game-changing new artists around, as well as a bona fide festival headliner in such an intimate setting?”

The legendary NME Awards Tour is renowned for tipping who will be the next big thing and has famously featured Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and Florence + the Machine, before they were performing stadiums.

The NME Awards Tour 2016 stops off at Manchester Academy on Saturday 6 February.