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Video of the Moment #871: Bombay Bicycle Club

By on Thursday, 5th July 2012 at 6:00 pm

Just unveiled earlier today, here is Bombay Bicycle Club‘s new video for ‘Beg’, which the band promises has badass moves. You make the call. Watch the video below.



Live Review: Bombay Bicycle Club with Lianne La Havas at London Alexandra Palace – 28th April 2012

By on Tuesday, 8th May 2012 at 2:00 pm

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.


Live Gig Video: Bombay Bicycle Club perform ‘Shuffle’ for Bands in Transit

By on Thursday, 29th March 2012 at 4:00 pm

How did I miss this one? File this under “old but still good”. Bands in Transit brings you this acoustic-y performance by Bombay Bicycle Club of their summer 2011 hit ‘Shuffle’. Guess Jack Steadman and co. are on the brain after seeing them sell out 9:30 Club earlier this month… I can practically hear the squealing girls watching this now…



Live Review: Bombay Bicycle Club with Lucy Rose and the Darcys, 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 7th March 2012

By on Monday, 12th March 2012 at 2:00 pm

I’m not sure how the rest of 2012 will go, but so far this year I’ve already seen two bands making their Washington debuts. First was Slow Club at DC9 in February. And last Wednesday, it was Bombay Bicycle Club’s turn to make the rounds at 9:30 Club (I don’t count their appearance early in the day on the main stage at September 2011’s Virgin Free Fest at Merriweather Post Pavilion – yes, *that* Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective…) The show was sold out and while I had been warned I’d be surrounded by kids, all in all I was impressed by the local enthusiasm for the Londoners. The night hadn’t started out so well; for one, singer Jack Steadman had left the venue and gone for a walk, only to return and not be recognised by 9:30 staff. Fail.

For sure, it was going to be a very special evening, as Bombay Bicycle Club had brought Lucy Rose, aka the woman who had guested on vocals on both 2010’s ‘Flaws’ and 2011’s ‘A Different Kind of Fix’, along with them on this North American campaign. The question mark was Toronto band the Darcys. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work, but surprisingly, it did. Lucy was first; she came onstage looking very chill in jeans with a rip at the knee, a black jumper and a simple gold chain around her neck. The song ‘Night Bus’ appropriately brought a bit of London to Washington, and the punters assisted with ‘Refect’ (???) shortly after soon as she told us, “this song sounds bigger in my head than I can play it, so I’m going to need your help. (from **7-track EP). When she explained she and Bombay stopped by local rock radio station DC101 and didn’t make it to the White House, she made everyone laugh when she asked if it was worth seeing. The resounding answer, predictably, was no. The only evidence of nerves: she didn’t introduce herself until the end,before finishing with ‘Middle of the Bed’. Even though she was extremely soft spoken, she had plenty of (male) admirers, with lots of “I love you, Lucy!” being shouted out.

It was a bit of a shock to switch gears to the Darcys. Except for their clean-shaven lead guitarist, they could have been mistaken for Kings of Leon who’d been hiding out in a cave and this was their first surfacing and chance to rock out to every emotion. And whoever wrote their Wikipedia entry made a mistake, I think; they’re listed as being of the art rock genre, and when I think of art rock, I think of Roxy Music and Art Brut. No, these Canadians can be loud and can shred on command, yet in perfect harmony. I usually shun “jam bands” but I actually welcomed the drawn out outros of their songs. Wow. I was very pleasantly surprised as they sometimes sounded like psych rock but mostly just rock that’s balls to the wall, but held back enough to just skirt the boundary of chaos. Controlled, yet highly enjoyable chaos.

Amusedly, young girls in front of me with their bouncing hair chanted “BBC! BBC!” (how strange this sounded!), as strange disco and earlier dance music played on the PA in the intervening time between acts. Having had not witnessed Beatlemania firsthand, I can only guess that the reaction to Bombay taking the stage probably approximated the craziness. Good lord. I made the mistake of not putting in my right ear’s earplug until after the first couple gently guitar notes of ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’ and I think I almost lost my eardrum. The screaming was that loud. As I predicted, Lucy Rose returned to duet with Jack Steadman on ‘Leave It’ and one of my personal favourites, ‘Lights Out, Words Gone’. One song was arranged to allow the spotlight to be squarely on drummer Suren de Saram; everyone else on stage brought over various decidedly not usual percussion instruments (recycling bin, anyone?) for him to beat on in turn. Fantastic. Guitarist Jamie **last name dedicated a song from ‘Flaws’, played semi-acoustically on this night, to his grandmother who’s from Washington. Who knew?

Not sure if this is a regular part of a Bombay show, but it confirmed the craziness was not confined to the audience only. And what did the crowd do? Screamed their heads off. Generally I do not see boys at DC shows dancing, but fans of both sexes were cutting a rug to Bombay Bicycle Club’s’ patented brand of off kilter indie rock when they returned with an encore of ‘Shuffle’ and ‘What You Want’. We learned from Steadman that this was the largest show they’d played in America yet and that he thought we “were fucking amazing”. I thought the two young girls in front of me were going to faint from the excitement, half of the time yelling and attempting to grab at the band, the other half of the time looking like they were going to die because Jack Steadman was standing so close to them. I have to be honest, I’ve never been a massive fan of Bombay Bicycle Club (I liked their first album ‘I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose’ the best) and while I was aware they have a devoted following at home, I had no idea that Bombaymania existed in America. Need evidence? A girls’ bra, scrawled presumably with her name and mobile number, was thrown onstage and shortly after Steadman and MacColl shared a grin as if they could say to each other, “they love us. They really love us!” Bless. Could they follow in the footsteps of their 2011 North American tourmates Two Door Cinema Club? Quite possibly.

After the cut: Bombay Bicycle’s set list in DC.
Continue reading Live Review: Bombay Bicycle Club with Lucy Rose and the Darcys, 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 7th March 2012


Video of the Moment #700: Bombay Bicycle Club

By on Friday, 3rd February 2012 at 6:00 pm

To round off a long week nicely, how about the whimsical new video from Bombay Bicycle Club? This one’s for ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’, from 2011’s ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ (review here). It has a Night Before Christmas kind of feel and you can tell it was so lovingly made. To see more on how it was created, head over to Anna Ginsburg’s Tumblr. As for the song, it’s definitely one of the more underrated tracks on the album.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!



MP3 of the Day #460: Bombay Bicycle Club

By on Friday, 16th December 2011 at 10:00 am

Who wants a Bombay Bicycle Club remix for free? Ok, that was a rhetorical question, obviously, but I’m imagining a sea of raised hands out there. So you’re getting one of ‘Leave It’, courtesy of London’s Flipbook. And you’re welcome.


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We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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