Music

Live review: Bombay Bicycle Club

A great gig is not just about a great band- it's having a great crowd, and Bombay Bicycle Club's Barrowlands show was a fantastic demonstration of the magic when you have both.

Last night Glasgow reunited its love affair with Bombay Bicycle Club after a truly spectacular sell out gig at the Barrowlands, affirming the London indie rockers return to form with new album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong.

Back after their hiatus and subsequent solo projects Mr Jukes and Toothless, Bombay Bicycle Club are touring the UK after the 10th anniversary of their cracking debut album, I Had The Blues But Shook Them Loose.

Glasgow, and Scotland in general share an affinity for the four-piece: fans will know the special appreciation frontman Jack Steadman expresses for the particular brand of enthusiasm the Scottish crowds dish out.

After their last sell out gig in 2014, Bombay Bicycle Club left fans and first timers wanting more, and last night they delivered; not so much taking the cake, but the whole bakery.

They were on fire. Cliche phrasing I know, but sometimes things are special- sometimes they are worth that overused patter; the real deal. Regardless if you were a hardcore fan or just went along with a mate, the brilliant atmosphere was impossible not get swept into.

A combination of electric and warmly unifying atmosphere – driven by the sense of genuine connection and togetherness present in the crowd – the sheer musical talent demonstrated by the London four-piece entwined to create some of the best feel-good vibes I’ve experienced at a gig in a while. Bombay Bicycle Club are here to bring you sheer joy- and they’re damn good.

Supporting them were longtime collaborator and friend Liz Lawrence, and fellow London group, The Big Moon, making for a veritable buffet of simmering presence and melodic talent to kick the evening off with.

There was no question that both Lawrence and Big Moon had many fans in the building, with Big Moon’s alt-rock boy band send up Take A Piece and 90’s esque banger Cupid getting chucked riotous applause in particular. The same can be said for Lawrence’s multilayered and rhythmic The Good Part, along with tender vocals on Chainsmoking, and fan favourite Bedroom Hero.

‘Here we, here we, here we f-‘ naturally kicked in as the time approached for Bombay Bicycle Club to take the stage, accompanied shortly after by elephantine stomping and clapping as the audiences excitement mounted. Finally they appeared on stage to a thunderous applause.

They started things off with new single Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You) for a great opener, with many fans singing back every word demonstrating that this new album is certainly no filler.

Massive fan favourites Overdone and Feel accompanied to a suitably exhilarated response as fans really let Bombay Bicycle Club know their feelings- this was the kind of gig you feel gauche having a phone out at; for seemingly miles seas of people rise and fall with the tide and waves of music, completely in the moment.

New tracks I Can Hardly Speak and I Worry Bout You played out to a lesser but still enthused response as frontman Jack Steadman asked the crowd to sing and recite key lines – much of which they already knew. Insanely catchy choruses mixed with their trademark chilled and quirky beats categorise both tunes, with them equally likely to take their place on the creaking shelf of fan favourites in due time.

We took a saucy visit to third album A Different Kind of Fix, an album defined by a distinct shift towards the multi-instrumentalism they are known for, pleasantly stripped back indie anthems with a comforting melodic cushion of depth to sink into.

Three classic fan favourites from their first album brought the entire house down in a flurry of frenzied whooping and cheering; Cancel on Me, Magnet, and Evening/Morning, the latter of which has a bassline so deadly bassist Ed Nash took the time extending it for the crowd.

All this was beginning to overwhelm the group and they took to their mics to express their awe and appreciation at being so well received. Very humble.

The crowd showed no mercy and continued their cheering until they launched into new track Good Day, followed by massive hits Shuffle, Luna, and Back Me Up, the latter of which I’ve still got in my head now.

The band said their thanks and took a bow, but Glasgow exchanged a knowing wry smile as they smelled an encore. Soon the band returned for a combo of old and new, with single Everything Else Has Gone Wrong, and the ginormous smasher Always Like This as the closer.

A great gig is not just about a great band- it’s having a great crowd, and Bombay Bicycle Club’s Barrowlands show was a fantastic demonstration of the magic when you have both.

Featured image credit: Cameron Brisbane

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