Bombay Bicycle Club
Liverpool Guild Of Students
Wednesday 15th July
The warm, honey-glow riff of Your Eyes is sweeping over a room filled with five hundred people. We’re dancing like mad things. Every pluck of the guitar string sends an appreciative woop from every audience members’ mouth. If we aren’t clapping we’re cheering, if we’re not cheering we’re dancing. The room is electric with sweat and everyone is your best friend. A 40 year old scouse woman has made me her 'bestie' for the night and our arms are wrapped around each other’s necks as we bounce enthusiastically.
There’s a lot of Bombay love in the room. It’s their first gig in six months and the audience is right there with them. It’s like a relative returning from a long trip; you’re so glad to see them but the thought of them being away for so long makes you mad. Where have you been? Why weren’t you here the whole time?
Every lyric is sung back ten times louder and every guitar riff is fingered mid-air. We know these words. They’re the words that soothed you down the M6 at rush hour: Weight is coming up, soaring high. They’re the soundtrack to your bad decisions: I would promise all I could, then think about it afterward. They’re your last break up: If anybody wants to know, our love is getting low, lighting cracks the road. Bombay Bicycle Club is in this audience’s blood and our veins are pumping with them.
All of the hits are played from A Different Kind of Fix; Your Eyes, Shuffle, How can you swallow so much sleep? Then the new stuff breaks out and we lose ourselves to Suren de Saram’s drums, to Jack Steadman’s voice, to Jamie MacColl’s guitar. Their feel-good Paul Simon-esque music fills the room until even the walls are pulsing with happiness.
Carry Me turns the sweat box room into a festival; people are on each other’s shoulders, security are handing out cups of water and the lights strobe in time to the hypnotic drums. My new 40 year old friend keeps shouting They’re so refreshing! Such good lads! Then dances like a thing possessed. This is what their music does; it brings out the best in you and then makes you share that with the people around you.
The band’s energy is relentless. They only stop to towel dry dripping faces and to inhale water before kicking off with another loved anthem. For a band that have only just got into the top ten their fans are loyal. Lyrics are tattooed on arms, t-shirts are proudly worn. The fervour is genuine.
Bombay Bicycle Club are playing a handful of gigs, with their next English date being London on July 19th at Citadel Festival. Take a friend, take someone you’ve had an argument with and you need to say sorry to. Their music can heal wounds. Their music reminds you that there is more than work, more than disappointment and mundane routines. There’s happiness. There’s dancing with strangers. There’s 500 people singing the same thing out of tune. That’s worth more than the ticket price. It’s what reminds us we’re alive.
Catch Bombay Bicycle Club at Citadel Festival and Somersault Festival this summer.
Review by Ruth Hartnoll