Live Review: Bombay Bicycle Club, The Great Hall – Cardiff

Bombay Bicycle Club

Spring is finally descending, the sun is beginning to shine; that means one thing, it’s time for everyone to realise how much they love Bombay Bicycle Club again. Fitting then that they should pop down to the Great Hall to showcase their impressive new album, ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’. The theme of the show is made immediately clear; ‘we are not the same Bombay Bicycle Club we were five years ago, we’ve been travelling and stuff, and we’ve got a banging brass section now.’ This is true, Bombay Bicycle Club continue to develop and progress as a band, it’s absolutely a good thing too.

Some things will never change though. Frontman Jack Steadman continues to dominate the show with his distinctive vocals, and Bombay Bicycle Club continue to delight audiences and get them moving. The overall sound of the band has noticeably changed though; the cultural influences of their year travelling are clearly audible, aided by a plethora of diverse instruments and a stunning visual display. The audience are transported systematically around the globe by Bombay’s unique and evolved sound. Even fan-favourite ‘Always Like This’ is given a fantastic new brassy spin.

Unfortunately Bombay Bicycle Club are at that awkward level of fame where their audience hasn’t really found its place, and the crowd is dominated by people who didn’t seem to really know how to go to a show, but had heard of Bombay Bicycle Club, so came along for ‘the banter’. This resulted in a not particularly enjoyable crowd, personified by their misreading of Steadman’s announcement of “a quiet one” – in the form of the emotive and stunning ‘Home By Now’ – as a cue to talk amongst themselves about how many pints they’d each sunk.

This aside, the show both looks and sounds fantastic, featuring mostly tracks from their new album. Bombay Bicycle Club prove that despite their popular back catalogue, they have nowhere to go but up and aren’t willing to sit back on their haunches. With new hits like ‘Luna’, ‘Feel’ and the perfect new closer ‘Carry Me’, nobody even really seemed to mind that the hits they most likely turned up to hear were left by the wayside to make way for a promising and delightful display of new material, in a show that won’t soon be forgotten.

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