sun 29/03/2020

Bombay Bicycle Club, Cardiff University Students Union review - guitar pop, perfected | reviews, news & interviews

Bombay Bicycle Club, Cardiff University Students Union review - guitar pop, perfected

Bombay Bicycle Club, Cardiff University Students Union review - guitar pop, perfected

Indie darlings impress after a six year hiatus

No longer fresh-faced, but still fresh sounding

When a band claims a crowd is the loudest of the tour, you can usually guarantee they've said it on every other date too. But for one sweaty night in Cardiff, you had to believe them. Bombay Bicycle Club returned after a six-year absence and were greeted in the Welsh capital like long-awaited saviours.

When a band claims a crowd is the loudest of the tour, you can usually guarantee they've said it on every other date too. But for one sweaty night in Cardiff, you had to believe them. Bombay Bicycle Club returned after a six-year absence and were greeted in the Welsh capital like long-awaited saviours. No chorus was left unsung, no build-up left unclapped, and no breakdown unshimmied.

The band have perfected their show of power pop performed with pinpoint precision. They create an impressive wall of sound, built on counter rhythms and jangled guitars, supported by a striking lightshow that raises their big hits to higher heights. "Overdone" became a riff-driven spectacle, while "Feel" transformed from a Middle-Eastern groove to full-on samba. Newer tracks like "Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)" and the luscious "Good Day" were warmly welcomed, but it's older songs like “Luna” and “Shuffle” that reached euphoria for the masses.

Halfway through, the band celebrated their debut album's ten-year anniversary by stripping things back. Gone were the backing musicians and colourful sets, playing through "Lamplight", "Cancel On Me" and "Evening / Morning" with the original raw intensity. This throwback highlighted how Bombay Bicycle Club have possibly the tightest rhythm section in British indie, always going the extra mile in complexity while staying perfectly lockstep. The band might not look as young as they did last decade, but their sound still carries the same exuberance.

The evening was top and tailed by Liz Lawrence, who performed both alongside the headliners and opened with a solo set. There’s more than a bit of David Byrne about her as she stands alone on stage, swaying in baggy clothes with a guitar and backing track. It takes a special talent to carry a venue that size, but Lawrence did it with aplomb thanks to genuine charm and highlights from her brilliant album “Pity Party”. She was followed by the irrepressible The Big Moon, swapping instruments and harmonies with terrifying efficiency. Boasting range from the Randy Newman-esque “Waves” to the massive “Your Light”, they completed a night of irresistible music.

@OwenRichards91

Bombay Bicycle Club have possibly the tightest rhythm section in British indie

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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