By Mary Chang
on Friday, 22nd November 2013 at 6:00 pm
Jack Steadman’s put his glasses back on. Animation, multi-screens, and squiggly lines abound. This is the new look (and new sound, too) of Bombay Bicycle Club in ‘Carry Me’. The single is the first from the band’s fourth album, out on the 3rd of February 2014 on Island. Watch the promo below.
Catch the band on tour in March 2014.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 13th November 2013 at 9:00 am
Bombay Bicycle Club have announced a UK tour for next March. The general ticket sale begins this Friday (the 15th of November) at 9 AM.
Bombay’s fourth album, with a title yet to be revealed, will be released on the 3rd of February 2014 on Island Records. Stream the first taster from the album, ‘Carry Me’, below; access the interactive version here.
Sunday 2nd March 2014 – Leeds Academy
Monday 3rd March 2014 – Glasgow Academy
Tuesday 4th March 2014 – Aberdeen Music Hall
Wednesday 5th March 2014 – Newcastle Academy
Friday 7th March 2014 – Nottingham Rock City
Saturday 8th March 2014 – Birmingham Academy
Sunday 9th March 2014 – Norwich UEA
Monday 10th March 2014 – Portsmouth Guildhall
Wednesday 12th March 2014 – Bristol Academy
Thursday 13th March 2014 – London Brixton Academy
Sunday 16th March 2014 – Cardiff Uni Great Hall
Monday 17th March 2014 – Exeter Uni Great Hall
Tuesday 18th March 2014 – Brighton Dome
Thursday 20th March 2014 – Manchester Albert Hall
With the site in glorious condition, the adverse weather tormenting the rest of the UK holding off and hundreds of the world’s finest bands waiting to play, Reading 2012 kicked off in style. Deaf Havana, who TGTF spoke to later that day, opened up the iconic Main Stage just after midday and played a rousing set.
With only a six song set to work with, the band tore ferociously through their most popular songs, opening with the hook laden ‘I Will Try’, Deaf Havana later moved into single ‘I’m a Bore, Mostly’, a track that manages to be unrecognisably epic for the middle of the day. The band closed their brief set with ‘The Past Six Years,’ a track which played live is a pleasure to listen to in all it’s pop punk glory. (7/10)
With the Main Stage suitably warmed up by Deaf Havana, it’s time for an early spot by some prog rock heroes in the form of Coheed and Cambria. The crowd is, as expected, an eclectic mix of teenagers waiting for You Me at Six, so that they can touch Josh Franceschi’s lower thigh, mixed in with your seasoned music lovers, all ready for a set of truly epic proportions.
Coheed and Cambria, deliver exactly what you’d expect from a band whose lead singer has what can only described as a small mane around his neck. A set of noodling riffs and screaming guitar solos, coupled with classic C&C stalwarts ‘The Running Free’ and the exceedingly awesome ‘Welcome Home’. Coheed didn’t need to do anything except turn up and rock out with their cocks out and phallic references aside, they did and it was awesome. (9/10)
Next up, one of the breakthrough acts of the past twelve months appeared on the BBC Introducing Stage for an impromptu secret set. alt-J are the buzz band at the moment, everyone wants a piece of them and why not? With their interesting mix of indie melodies and dubby drops, they are accessible to a huge audience. Their set was short, but too much of a good thing can be bad, and with them playing the Festival Republic Stage later that day, the few songs they played was enough to get the sizable crowd they attracted appetite whetted suitably. (8/10)
Following up from a set attracting as much interest as alt-J did was never going to be a task bands would be jumping up and down about, but the understated acoustic driven rhythms of Park Bench Society were a joy to listen to and the perfect remedy to that middle of the day hangover you get at festivals when your legs start to seize up. The three, sixteen year old lads from Loughborough performed admirably and while the crowd didn’t seem to receive them well, it’s obvious that there’s some talent there. (6/10)
After a brief interlude to schmooze around the press tent and rock out with another TGTF favourite Lucy Rose, it was time to take in the pint-sized prodigy herself on the Festival Republic Stage. Now while Rose may be known for her work with Bombay Bicycle Club most prominently, her solo work is taking off rapidly and she’s already been described by Vogue Magazine as “one of indie music’s breakout stars for 2012”.
With an arsenal of striking acoustic numbers, Lucy Rose, is an artist who doesn’t need to even try, be in complete control of the crowd. She owns it from start to finish. Tracks ‘Scar’ and ‘Red Face’ are instantly recognizable as the Radio1 stalwarts they are going to become and with these grand tunes, she’s going to be on that A-List in no time at all. Oh, and add to that, she’s cute as a button… (9/10)
With just a sort break, Lucy Rose has to up sticks and amble off to the Main Stage where she performed with indie superstars Bombay Bicycle Club (pictured at top). Now, Bombay seemed to me to have been an odd choice to be third on the Main Stage. However, by 7 o’clock when they’d finished, I had no idea why I was thinking such mad thoughts. Steadman, Rose and co. made the Main Stage theirs, drawing from all of the bands albums and busting out crowd pleasers like the ever bouncy ‘Shuffle’. Steadman’s personality doesn’t seem like the kind of person who can own the Main Stage in such a way, but he surprised me and a higher billing can only await the band now. (8/10)
Following Bombay were Reading Festival favourites Paramore, next up on the Main Stage. Frontwoman Hayley Williams was in charge from square one and backed by the ever impressive Justin York on guitar the pop punk icons ploughed through a set with enough hooks to land Jaws.
To top it off, Williams brought a fan on stage to join in with the set. Now when I see an artist do that I always think, cheesy move. But for that person, it’s an experience of a lifetime, which will live with them for all their years and for gestures like that, I can only commend the fiery haired songstress for this action. While older songs like ‘Misery Business’ and ‘Pressure’ went down a storm, in my opinion it was newer song ‘Monster’ that really captured the essence of what Paramore at Reading Festival were about. A damn good time and some catchy as hell choruses. (8/10)
To close the day, it was a choice between an ageing legend in the form of Robert Smith from the Cure, or a rip roaring set from garage rockers The Subways.
So the choice was made. The Alternative Stage was my destination and a chaotic set filled with some massive tunes ensued. HEAVY AS HELL.
Day 1 closed with one hell of a bang, which the Subways handily delivered. (9/10)
They grew up just down the road. They’ve had two, well, three popular records, and their meteoric rise doesn’t show any signs of stopping tonight as Bombay Bicycle Club top the bill at Alexandra Palace. The atmosphere’s as friendly as the music in Ally Pally as Lianne La Havas comes on stage. Her rising star flying over her homeland tonight as her reception is immense. Ever since her appearance on Jools Holland, the singer-songwriter’s endearingly personal EP ‘Lost and Found’ has been played to a wide array of fans. Starting on her own and being joined by a live band a few songs in, Havas’ sound is nowhere near as small as you might imagine and there’s scattered polite singalongs accompanying her.
Half an hour down the line, Steadman and company arrive on stage behind a curtain as Apache: Jump on it blends into the opening purr of ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’. As it kicks in, the curtain comes down and tonight really begins. There’s a slight timidity about the 10,000 strong crowd tonight but quickly the band’s simple light show and stage set up becomes their stomping ground as they get into the swing of things. At points this evening, front man Jack Steadman casts off his quaint demeanour and becomes a rocker in his own right as Bombay’s sound is deepened by Lucy Rose on vocals for much of the evening and an appearance from a brass band.
‘Flaws’ tracks ‘Rinse Me Down’ and ‘Ivy and Gold’ split the night’s feel up a bit, but rather than Mumford-ing up for live response, the band instead add an almost Friendly Fires-style jovial samba to it, extending the tracks with small percussive dance parties. It’s a nice touch, (especially the man in a Kigu with a spare snare) but you can’t help but feel it’s slightly unnecessary. ‘Evening/Morning’ comes as if you’ve turned over a side on the band’s life and arrived back at one of their finest tracks. Its bass line and singalong “I am ready to owe you anything” sounds as big as the band ever will and the crowd agree.
At times it feels like a festival. Thousands of people are crammed in, standing under one roof. There’s people dancing on shoulders (Lucy Rose on guitarist Jamie’s shoulders is just one of many) and their silhouettes cut as if by sunset. It’s even raining outside! The only thing reminding you that this isn’t the case is the regal surrounding. That, and the choices of ‘Beggars, Still’ and ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ bonus track ‘Beg’ filling time in the set. They don’t make a huge amount of sense in the live setting, but with only two proper albums, they have to find a way of filling such a demanding space, and each track in its own right is at least well written.
Of course, the set is back-loaded for added effect as ‘Always Like This’ gets an incredible response from front to back and ‘Emergency Contraception Blues’ sets up for the encore. It was always going to end one way and as ‘Shuffle’ kicks in, everyone does. The band’s biggest track to date inspires everyone to get moving as their last chance is approaching. It comes in the form of ‘What If’: it’s poignant and powerful and it shows that given a bit more material, Bombay can challenge the top. Humbled, they leave the stage. They’ve not been the best show you’ll see, but in time, they could be.