As screams rang out around the packed Birmingham Institute Library and London 4-piece Bastille strolled onto the stage, they met the audience with modesty. No gimmicks or ridiculously over the top dramatic intros were needed; just a polite “Hello again Birmingham” from super quiffed front man Dan Smith as they began with album title track Bad Blood. This is a refreshing attitude from a band who have shot into the limelight in such a short amount of time. Around two years ago they were just playing their first gig. Now latest single Pompeii is charting at number 2 and just a day after this Birmingham gig, debut album Bad Blood had topped the UK album chart.
The band looked at ease as they performed another upbeat track, The Silence, which continued to keep their fans dancing around and singing like they were at a party that nobody wanted to end. Melancholic third track of the night Overjoyed brought this mood down, as most girls in the audience were totally mesmerised by Dan’s sensual vocal cooing, sending shivers down the spines of even the stoniest onlookers. However high energy track The Weight Of Living Pt II, which will be recognised by anyone that has played FIFA 13, snapped everyone back into party mode and the dancing recommenced.
A cover of What Would You Do? by American hip hop band City High provided an interesting interval from the album tracks as Bastille performed a much more soulful, darker version of the track. Later in the evening they also performed Of The Night, which is a mash up of another two tracks (Rhythm is a Dancer by German Eurodance act Snap! and Rhythm of The Night by 90’s Italian dance act Corona). This went down particularly well with the crowd as they sang along to every word and raved like it was the early 1990s. Bringing the concert to a climax on their latest single Pompeii, the band were met with sonorous applause around the small but ample venue as most people yelled, stomped and clapped for an encore. Girls were once again smitten by the gentle ballad Get Home which showcased some chilling harmonies and a delicate piano melody.
As the final song of the encore, Flaws kicked in, Dan thanked the audience for their support by going for a walk around the room, all the way up onto the balcony with possibly the longest mic cable that I have ever seen in my life. Pretty brave for a man who has confessed in several interviews to being rather nervous and shy. Seeing Bastille live, I was totally and utterly taken back by how brilliant the band are. Beautiful music, emotional highs and spine tingling lows help transfix their audience. A genuinely kind, friendly rapport with their fans have helped establish this act as a British favourite in a relatively short amount of time and as a result it seems the only way is up for these London lads.