Fresh off the success of their fourth album, So Long, See You Tomorrow, Bombay Bicycle Club rocked Nottingham’s Rock City on Friday, March 7, with a bombastic mix of old favourites and bleeding-edge new material.
Naturally, they were backed up by special guests. The first support act of the night was up-and-coming band Flyte, a London-based four-piece keen to promote their first single We Are The Rain. Their live sound came across as a sort of hybrid of early Bombay Bicycle Club albums and Nottingham’s hometown favourites, Dog is Dead; the catchiness of their songs coupled with a puppy-like enthusiasm in pleasing the crowd.
They were quickly followed by Rae Morris, who’d supported Bombay Bicycle Club on their previous tour, and provided additional vocals for the band’s latest single Luna. While the change of pace, from the upbeat cheeriness provided by Flyte, was a little jarring Morris’ strong vocals had the audience enthralled, and made it clear that her album will be one to watch when it is released later this year.
Of course, the headliners were the ones who shined the brightest on the Rock City. An animation of the So Long, See You Tomorrow’s cover art kicked things off in the venue’s main room, before Bombay Bicycle Club jumped into the album’s opening track Overdone. By the time the band had effortlessly shifted gears to some older material in the form of Shuffle, the crowd had become a sea of bodies; swaying, dancing, and joining in with the band’s more well-known material. So much so, that they’d often drown out frontman Jack Steadman’s fluent vocals.
The set brought old and new material together effortlessly throughout the show, with more slow-building songs from So Long, See You Tomorrow, and a version of Home By Now replacing the track’s sampling with Steadman on piano, with backing vocalist Liz Lawrence up front being a particular treat. Feel, the track most clearly influenced by Steadman’s travels across India following the release of A Different Kind of Fix, made the set feel more like we were watching four men having an infectious amount of fun together, rather than playing professionally to a huge crowd.
By the time Bombay Bicycle Club brought Carry Me—the second song of their encore—to a close, the band had made it clear that with a new album under their wing, bringing critical acclaim and driving incredible sales, they’ve gelled terrifically as a group and gone from strength to strength with every new record. More importantly, they made it clear that they’re an absolute must-see live.
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