It’s not often that big-name indie bands choose Portsmouth Guildhall as a stop on their UK tours, usually travelling to Southampton or Brighton is the best bet for us music lovers in the South; so on the announcement of Bombay Bicycle Club it was an opportunity that shouldn’t really be missed.
The support for the evening came from up and coming female singer-songwriters, Rae Morris and Lianne La Havas. Both had distinctive voices and played their songs well, however it would have been nice to have another band, or perhaps something slightly more uplifting to get the crowd, (who spent most of their time at the bar), in the mood for the main event.
As soon as the echoing vocals of How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep were heard, the crowd erupted, clapping and screaming in joy (probably helped by the alcohol). Bombay appear behind a transparent curtain displaying various cosmic-style patterns, vocalist Jack Steadman introducing the song in a somewhat charming fashion, before the curtain drops and the rest of the band launch into the track.
As Bombay lead into Your Eyes the crowd are blasted with an incredible lighting display, with strobes and flashing lights galore, only adding to the emphasis they put into the music. It’s clear from this point on that we are all in for one hell of a show and we were really quite excited to see what else was to come.
Bombay’s set had a brilliant mix of tracks from their three albums and each was delivered with just as much energy as the next, the guys had clearly thought this tour through carefully and selected some of their best tracks to perform. Lucy Rose also made an appearance throughout their whole set, as some will know her vocals appear on almost all of the tracks on latest record A Different Kind Of Fix, making the set even better than what we had imagined it would be.
“Save the best until last” sums up the final tracks on the setlist. Pre-encore saw Always Like This send the crowd in a giant dancing frenzy, with mosh-pits turning into dance-pits that were full of love and appreciation for the band.
Bombay disappear for the briefest of moments before returning and going full blast into Shuffle which had everyone up on their feet, jumping around and singing along. If it wasn’t for the roof over our heads and the warmth from being indoors, it could easily have felt as if we were all at a festival, the atmosphere was incredible. Finishing up with What If, both band and audience gave it everything they had, using up all their energy and leaving on a massive high.
After going in not really expecting much, we probably weren’t alone in feeling completely in awe of the whole experience and with a new level of appreciation for Bombay Bicycle Club as a band.
Written By: Tamsyn Wilce