Riding high from the success of their latest album, A Different Kind Of Fix, Bombay Bicycle Club (BBC) took O2 Academy Oxford by storm with an energetic set to an equally enthusiastic crowd.
First support came from new band Theme Park who, despite not having many gigs under their belt, played a very good set. Fronted by twins Marcus and Miles Haughton, the band’s indie pop songs fitted well as support for BBC – unlike the main support from Dry The River. Although their electric folk songs were good, the majority were too slow for the mostly young audience, who were desperate for BBC to come on.
From the second the first notes of recent single Shuffle came on, the crowd went crazy as BBC walked on to ecstatic cheering. Unlike other bands, BBC aren’t afraid to show their enjoyment in playing live, with lead singer Jack Steadman smiling throughout. Knowing that they enjoy playing to their fans as much as the fans enjoy seeing their live shows created a great atmosphere.
The setlist worked well, switching between songs from their debut, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Looseand latest album, A Different Kind Of Fix. Playing two tracks from their acoustic second album, Flaws, was a nice touch when they usually stick to either all-electric or all-acoustic gigs. Debut album tracks such as Cancel On Me got as big a reaction as singles Always Like This and the newer Lights Out, Words Gone, implying the sold out show was comprised mostly of fans who have been with them since the beginning.
Hence, one of the biggest cheers of the night came when guitarist Jamie MacColl announced they were going to play a song they hadn’t performed live in a few years – Open House. Taken from one of their early EPs and rarely included in recent sets, hearing the track live was definitely one of the gig’s highlights for the die-hard BBC fans.
Choosing to finish the main set with the gentler Giantess from their debut over faster singles was an initial surprise. However, additional album singer Lucy Rose’s accompaniment to Steadman’s delicate, whispered vocals was transfixing to listen to and by merging the song into the instrumental Emergency Contraception Blues, the soaring guitars helped to make a great finale.
Unsurprisingly, the audience still craved more and after several minutes of chanting their name, Steadman returned alongside Lucy Rose to perform Still, the closing track from A Different Kind Of Fix. The combination of Steadman playing the piano and singing with Lucy Rose’s echoes in the background was hauntingly beautiful. The rest of the band then returned for the final encore of the drum heavy What If, inspiring a final few minutes of jumping around and crowd surfing.
With the polished production and huge catalogue of songs, Bombay Bicycle Club proved that although they’re still young, they can pull off an amazing show, which will no doubt see them achieve the festival headlining spots they deserve very soon.