Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Bombay Bicycle Club @ Albert Hall, 20.03.14

Following the enormous hype from their new chart-topping album So Long, See You Tomorrow, Bombay Bicycle Club chose to end their tour in Manchester’s newly opened, Grade II-listed Albert Hall to an energetic and enthralled crowd, and they did not disappoint.

Easily woven together, the band played an excellent and well-considered set list that aptly highlighted the band’s popularity. A sincerely captivating array of euphorically playful and upbeat crescendos included opening number ‘Overdone’ and the Bollywood themed ‘Feel.’ The odd slower-paced song revealed the softer substratum of the album, such as ‘Eyes Off You’ – a song that lead vocalist Jack Steadman played effortlessly centre stage under a singular spotlight. Ironically, no eye in the room was looking elsewhere.

Following the evolution of the band, they seem to have cut loose. The desire to reinvent themselves with every album has worked in their favour. After a couple of years away from the scene, this album feels like a natural progression of their sound, safely forsaking their past influences for an energetic, world-heavy electronica and dance with an excitable ease and a definite confidence.

Rae Morris had earlier provided great support as the warm-up act and even joined them on stage for a dreamy collaboration of ‘Luna’ along with another vocalist, Liz Lawrence.

Venue-wise, Albert Hall provided the perfect backdrop to the gig, with Steadman professing his pleasure to be closing the tour at such a good venue, saying: “Let’s tear this beautiful, ornate building down”. The crowd responded in kind, with a floor-shaking and inevitable encore of the catchy ‘What If’ and the somewhat ravey first single of the new album, ‘Carry Me’.

For a band of 20-somethings, they’ve made a surprisingly brooding and impressive comeback with the once-shy Steadman taking an impressive lead and surpassing all expectations, making for a great live experience throughout.

Words and photos: Becki Clarke

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