Bombay Bicycle Club – O2 Academy Liverpool, 15th March 2013
There’s always something particularly captivating about Bombay Bicycle Club; be it their extraordinarily large live band, their enchanting visuals or their unforgettably affable relationship between audience and group, their show at O2 Academy Liverpool was no exception to the mesmerising effect they leave.
Returning to Liverpool in promotion of their first UK #1 album So Long, See You Tomorrow it is evident how and why they have reached their first peak chart position. The band jovially thundered through a setlist encompassing tracks from a small yet explosive nine year career. Regardless of their frequent change in musical direction and inspiration, this band definitely know how to make you feel as if you are in ecstatic bliss – especially to a sold out venue where the mood is just right. Everyone is there for the same reason, and there is an undeniable sense of amity between each and every member of the crowd.
Past days of raucous, energetic and honestly frightening shows seem distant. People are moving and dancing along to newer tracks such as ‘Luna’, ‘Come To’ and album-entitled ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’, but it is the band’s incorporation of the newer songs into an already expansive set that makes this show quite unlike anything else. Each track flowed effortlessly into the next with undeniable grace, showing how developed the Londoners have become after years of frequent touring.
The band themselves seemed somewhat elegant in a surprisingly intimate venue. Having played O2 Academy Brixton just two days before, stage sizes are contrastingly different, yet that doesn’t detract from the quality of show being offered. Singer/multi-instrumentalist Jack Steadman seemed somewhat artistically self-indulged; everything he sees and hears in his mind is presented perfectly in front of a 1,200 strong crowd which revel gloriously in his virtuosity. The inclusion of Louis Bhose and Liz Lawrence providing an array of accompaniment on a variety of instruments and vocals, as well as a three-piece brass group truly bring out indescribable qualities of the band that you just simply don’t get on the records.
An encore featuring ‘What If’ from debut album I Had The Blues, But I Shook Them Loose and So Long, See You Tomorrow’s ‘Carry Me’ acts as a reminder of how energetic and powerful the band can be. ‘What If’ is indisputably one of the heaviest songs in the set, yet it has remained a crowd favourite regardless of change in musical approach. ‘Carry Me’ was where the crowd truly showed their colours. Guitarist Jamie MacColl and bassist Ed Nash both taking a bass guitar each, the show mightily closed on one of, if not the most experimental track that the band has ever written. Bombay Bicycle Club are a force to be reckoned with – arenas are definitely in their sights for the future, but that begs the question – where will their musical direction take them next? Keep your eyes peeled, for this band is definitely moving on to much bigger and better things.