Live Reviews

LIVE REVIEW: Bastille, DYLAN, The Native, Bournemouth International Centre, 31/03/2022

Photo Credit: Abbi Draper 

Last week Bastille kicked off their Give Me The Future tour in support of their new album of the same name. After the initial run of dates was announced, two extra shows were added at the start of the tour with one of these being the seaside town of Bournemouth. We headed to the bustling venue by the sea for the show where support came from The Native and DYLAN.

The Native were the first to take on the weary crowd, but made sure to give it all they had in a venue far away from their normal 100 capacity rooms. At this point it’s really important to add that sound mixing was not on the band’s side tonight, making the vocals drowned out throughout. Funky guitar-led In My Mind was infectious as we found ourselves head bopping along and smiling as keyboardist Harry Youngs’ dancing made up for the lack of crowd energy as his feet rarely touched the ground. With the sound improving as the set went on it gave a chance for showcasing number Adore Me to get the attention it deserved; Charlie Noordewier’s vocals were emotive, with a hypnotic musical backing which helped us drift off into a serene world far away from tonight’s venue. Despite some high points, tonight’s set left us a little underwhelmed, it was inoffensive indie tunes with something missing. The band aren’t to blame for the mixing, but maybe we should give The Native another go at one of their usual venues on their June headline tour… 7/10

Bouncing onto stage DYLAN looked at home from the word go, despite her regularly letting the crowd know how nervous she was at her first arena show. Resonating with many in the crowd thanks to the pre-song explanations; Overdrive about the chronic overthinking we’re all guilty of and a slick Paradise City cover because she’s a huge Guns N’ Roses fan. Supported onstage by ‘Axel Rosie’ and her ‘own Mason Mount’ (guitarist Rosie Botterill and drummer Connor Hopkins) the rocked-up version of I Kissed A Girl meant those who might not have known DYLAN before now, were hooked as she performed like she was the headline act. The beautiful Nineteen was described as the first track where she was really herself and not gave a fuck saw DYLAN letting loose, showcasing her powerful vocals, her impressive guitar skills and song-writing capabilities, completed with one of the catchiest choruses we’ve heard in a good while. There was a real reminiscent atmosphere throughout this set as we find ourselves thinking of past experiences which would have been brilliantly sound tracked by DYLAN. You’ve probably heard You’re Not Harry Styles making waves across Spotify or TikTok, but live with her dancefloor worthy moves it added a new fire to it. Remember nobody is allowed to treat you badly, simply because they aren’t Harry! Making sure to give one last memory for us all to take away came with No Romeo (the title track of DYLAN’s forthcoming EP) which was a pleasant reminder to not go back to someone as ‘he’s no Romeo, he’s never gonna be enough for you’. DYLAN understood the warming up the crowd assignment and with pockets of nervous chatting throughout, we saw DYLAN’s loveable, fun and feisty personality shining through in this short but memorable set. 8/10

After we were suitably warmed up with new dance moves in tow thanks to DYLAN, it was time for the magic. Introducing the BIC to Future Inc. created in support of their latest album, we were watching a story unfold rather than just a band performing. Everything felt fresh, you know when there’s that excitement of not knowing the setlist or stage set up and that’s the simple joy of the first night of tour. Taking us in with blinding lights and funky 80s inspired synths, Stay Awake? kicked off the show.

Dan Smith’s electric energy was present throughout, but at points when things turned down a notch his stunning, stripped vocals became the centre of attention. Oblivion felt like we were deep in his world, a single camera focused on the emotion on his face as delicate, spine-tingling vocals filled the room with an adoring crowd singing back. Before we knew it, we were thrown into the full-band effort of electro-twinged Plug In…, with the gritty rap-esque vocals making an appearance and again flaunting the musical variation Bastille can offer from upbeat, dance influenced tracks to the heavy, futuristic vibes.

Offering their trademark sound of ‘sort of depressing, sort of uplifting’ came with survivin’ as effortlessly laidback Smith continued to charm the crowd, simply lost in his world and having the greatest time. There was a vulnerability shown during Grip, when singing ‘the devil’s got my arms and it pulls me back into the night’ you could feel the despair and a real belief of a struggle when even thinking about the feelings which brought this song to life. As the tempo slowed down tonight, we witnessed the real beauty and authenticity of Bastille.

As expected, the crowd awoke when the band played favourites including their 2013 hit Things We Lost In The Fire. This electric number, showed off Smith’s confident, energetic and ever so slightly repetitive dance moves which didn’t take away from the impact of his vocals. Bastille’s setlist was there to cater for the fans who knew their discography back to front and also those who were simply the hits. Happier went from the calm of Smith on his couch to the chaos when he jumped into the heart of the crowd to get involved. The self-proclaimed ‘worst dancer’ frontman advised everyone to ‘copy me and ruin your reputation but have fun’ during Of The Night, turning the venue into a nightclub or crazy party with questionable shapes being pulled both on and offstage.

With the night drawing to a close, Future Holds allowed supporting vocalist Bim Amoako to gain her staring moment centre-stage. The powerhouse vocals complemented Smith’s and we’ll be honest, absolutely stole the whole song. Who knows what the future holds? It definitely don’t matter as long as we have Bastille in it! Pompeii made a much-wanted appearance and closed the first part of their set on a euphoric high. For those four minutes, nobody in that room had a care except to give their heart and soul back to the band who had given their all to them for the evening.

Not ones to short-change fans, they made a return to a venue filled with Pompeii’sEh-eh-oh, eh-ohs’ before they returned for a stripped back take on Hope For The Future taking it back to basics with a stripped version focusing on the vocals of Amoako and Senab. Tonight, might have seen Smith struggling vocally (and admitting to this) at points after a long time away from live shows, but this was a full team effort which felt incredibly special. Closing the night with Shut Off The Lights and some well needed audience participation with the simple ‘shut off the lights, we don’t need them to dance’ chorus, the crowd didn’t need anything to dance except the glorious tones of Bastille. First night of tour? Completed. 8/10

Written By: Nicola Craig

Photos By: Abbi Draper

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for the seaside, live music and writing about others instead of myself. Twitter: @nicolalalalar