Fresh from securing the Number 1 album position for their latest LP, So Long, See you Tomorrow, Bombay Bicycle Club have embarked on a UK Tour playing all the branded academies and clubs across the width and breadth of the country.
This (lucky) writer got the chance to see them at arguably the best venue our fine country has, Rock City in Nottingham, and for 90 minutes I was blown away by how accomplished the band have become.
Having seen BBC play numerous times since the release of I had the Blues but Shook them Loose way back in 2009, what struck me most was not only the size of their success (Rock City was packed to the rafters – no mean feat when it holds just shy of 3,000 people) but how their stage presence has grown.
Backed by a brass section, the older songs such as ‘Lamplight’ were given new life, and complemented ones off the new LP, especially the brilliant closer, ‘Carry Me’, which had people of all ages dancing and singing the words. A special mention needs to go to backing singer Liz Lawrence, who has taken the role Lucy Rose left empty after embarking on her own solo career. Lawrence is restrained without being showy, and her voice adds a delicate quality to the night, especially when harmonising with Jack Steadman’s. It’s no surprise that Lawrence has released material under her own name; for now, BBC are fortunate to have her.
As befits a tour for a new record, BBC play the majority of So Long… and it’s hard to tell that the record has only been out a month, as the crowd knows every word to every song. Perhaps the only misfire is when the band play the slower songs – ‘Eyes off You’ becomes lost slightly in the chatter of the masses – but this is only slight nitpicking. The setlist is geared to give the crowd a good time, and to get them dancing and jumping around on a Friday night. This they achieved with aplomb.
It’s hard to believe that in the five years since the release of their debut album, BBC have traversed a wide musical spectrum, exploring acoustics, afro beats and the dynamics of what makes a great pop song. On the basis of tonight, this eclectic mix works, and on the basis of the reaction each song gets from the adoring crowd, it’s a winning formula. It may be some time before we see BBC back in a venue this size again, as arenas beckon for a band who, like Foals, are threatening to break through into the major leagues.
2. It’s Alright Now
4. Come To
5. Your Eyes
8. How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep
9. Home By Now
11. Lights Out, Words Gone
12. Eyes Off You
13. Whenever, Wherever
15. Always Like This
16. So Long, See You Tomorrow
17. What If
18. Carry Me