Oran Mor, Glasgow, 2/3/13
The Oran Mor was packed to full capacity, and it’s no real surprise to hear that this gig sold out weeks ago. Bastille seem to have come from nowhere, and have somehow managed to creep to number two in the singles chart with new single Pompeii – and the crowd in Glasgow are waiting eagerly to hear their set.
From the bedroom of lead singer Dan Smith (born on Bastille Day, hence the band’s name), he pulled together a band first for live shows and now for good, made up of himself, Chris Wood, Will Farquarson and Kyle Simmons. They emerge onstage in Glasgow to much screaming from the audience and perform the song from which the first album the band has released takes its name, Bad Blood. Dan seems modest, even slightly awkward as he performs to the packed out room. It’s evident he’s shocked by the turnout, and only mentions it about twelve times throughout the gig. It’s a nice change and there is something honest about the way he performs. He gives the audience a giggle when he face palms after accidentally enthusing about having nowhere better to spend his Friday night even though it’s Saturday. There’s no denying he’s an excellent singer, powerful and confident as he sings the highest of high notes and lowest of low.
They follow up with Overjoyed, a beautiful, soft rendition that leaves the audience swaying. It’s pitch perfect and the backing vocals and harmonies from Dan’s fellow band members flawless. Their tracks are almost memorising, the synth magic combined with Dan Smith’s voice. The band perform Things We Lost in the Fire, and this one stands out from the rest. There is something about the lyrics and the electronic synthy beats that you can imagine this being the backing track to a scene in a movie. It’s difficult to compare them to any other successful bands at the moment – because frankly, they don’t sound like anyone else. Electro synth with thoughtful lyrics, sung by a reassuring, posh English accent – that’s really all you need to go on.
Much to the delight of the audience, Bastille treat us to a cover of Corona’s Rhythm of the Night like we’ve never heard it before. The crowd is bouncing and Dan is now looking considerably less awkward as he jumps around the stage, banging his drum whilst the girls in the front row are desperate for it to fly from his hand, into the crowd so they can claim it as a trophy of the evening.
The gig is coming to a close, as the band finish playing Icarus and Weight of Living Part 2. Dan sums up the evening and gives the crowd a fond farewell but it isn’t over yet. To a chorus of ‘one more tune’ the guys return to the stage for the encore. They conclude with their track Flaws, and everyone in the crowd is singing along. Dan jumps into the crowd and even his band mate, Chris Wood, is laughing as Dan sings in the chaos of the audience before having to clamber back onto the stage.
It’s been just under an hour but the audience are satisfied that it’s been an excellent performance. They’re new to the game but you can expect big things from Bastille. Prepare yourself now to hear a lot more of their newly released album Bad Blood.