With four albums and two EPs, Bombay Bicycle Club have plenty to draw from for their live shows. Composed of Jack Steadman (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Jamie MacColl (guitar), Suren de Saram (drums) and Ed Nash (bass), Bombay Bicycle Club are an English rock band young on years but steeped in talent. Their performance for night one of back to back sold out shows at Webster Hall had a strong emphasis on their 2014 release, So Long, See You Tomorrow, but still included some gems from both their 2012 album, A Different Kind of Fix, and their first full record from 2009, Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose. Webster Hall is a mid-size venue typically reserved for bands on the rise making this feel like a rare opportunity to see a band destined for bigger things. One balcony level and a wide standing area provide ample viewing opportunities however due to a late arrival I chose the balcony.
The eager crowd immediately embraced the performance, joining the band in belting out the chorus to their opener, “Overdone,” and starting in early with the dance moves. As fan bases go, it’s clear that Bombay Bicycle Club fans are on a different level of devotion, rarely were there moments when the crowd was not joining in with the vocals and rocking out when called upon. Part of what makes the band so impressive to watch is the diversity in their sound. Throughout their four studio releases they have sampled styles ranging from indie rock to folk and now even some experimental electronica on their newest release. After fan favorites “Shuffle”, “Come To” and “Your Eyes” the band played “Lamplight,” their first track of the night from their 2009 debut album. The heavy outro nearly brought the house down and demonstrated that Bombay Bicycle Club can rock with the best.
Bombay Bicycle Club’s “Feel”
With half the set in the books Jack introduced Liz Lawrence, who will be touring with the band for a couple months and compliments Jack’s English articulation with soothing ethereal vocal support. Taking a step back from the hard rock featured on songs from their earlier releases, Liz joined Jack on vocals for the loop heavy and emotional “Home by Now.” The collaboration continued with “Feel” and “Lights out, Words Gone” before “Eyes Off You.” In a testament to Jack Steadman’s versatility the song began with Jack alone under the spotlight playing the keyboard and singing. The song’s slow build eventually roped in Liz and the rest of the band, which was truly a highlight of the night. Despite their limited crowd interaction throughout, Jack then took the time to introduce the rest of the band to the crowd, always a classy move. It should also be noted that while the visuals are stunning they do not distract from the live performance. The final song before the encore was the title song from their most recent album, “So Long, See You Tomorrow.” A comparatively relaxed song, the opening band, Royal Canoe, joined the Bombay Bicycle Club on stage for the final verses.
As expected, the unquenchable crowd stayed perfectly intact while waiting for the encore. The band decided to start with the old and end with the new as they opened up their encore with “What If” and finished with another heavy fan favorite off the new album, “Carry Me.” Spanning an hour and a half, Bombay Bicycle Club left fans with a special sense of satisfaction having covered a wide breadth of their fluid and diverse sound. It appears there is nothing but more success on the horizon for the young but already veteran band.
Written by Parker Hooper
OurVinyl | Contributor