The Barrowland Ballroom is a wonder land of historic romance. Voted best small venue in Europe, it’s a place where most of our grandparents met one another as young hell raisers; now generations on, it’s enjoyed in much the same way as an amazing music venue. Its retro dance floor and dated interior bring brilliant character to compliment any live music event, and so, when Bombay Bicycle Club came to play here on the 2nd of October imagine the beauty of their music rumbling around the auld rock-a-billy joint.
The tender vocals of Jack Steadman ring out amidst dance-able 90’s piano as ‘Shuffle’ introduces itself as the first song:”Once you get the feeling it wants you back for more…”; hooky lyrics and pop loveliness just envelopes the audience, and of course, of course there’s going to be a mosh pit! What was I thinking?! It only becomes real carnage when classic track ‘Dust on the Ground’ is played, and I hear the brilliant progression in their style, not to mention the loyalty from die hard fans. ‘Your Eyes’, ripples through the sweaty bodies which jump around like there’s nothing left on this earth left to do. Then of course there’s that slow ‘break down-build up’ half way through the song which teases us, has us poised, ready for release like a sling shot ready to be fired! The haunting vocals, distorted loops, and sublime harmonies ease us into a sweet come down which is the beauty of their control over everyone.
A superb mix of past and presents songs like ‘Always Like This’, ‘Ivy & Gold’, and ‘Lights Out, Words Gone’ remind me how talented these boys are. It’s not only their variation in style, but their age which astounds me when I listen to their music. Poignant and touching moments are magnified and made to seem okay to let happen.
Having seen them many times before, including an occasion at the same venue, I can only keep looking forward to the next performance. What’s more, their new arrangements and introduction of new members is an exciting development. The beauty of their music, their gigs, this new album; is what makes you love them all over again. The second last song is an encore; a solo piano performance from lead singer Jack Steadman, ‘Still’. We are hypnotised and fixed on the beauty of this incredible performance. I don’t believe there was a noise from any of us. Ed Nash then leads the rest of the band on afterwards for the final song, their old but perfectly amazing ‘Emergency Contraception Blues’ blends into ‘What If’. The words “If only one of us had the guts tonight” just batter into me and fire up the crowd with such a force.
(I do apologise to any readers who were in fact present at the gig and can remember the set list differently to me, but I do get caught up in the moment and often have trouble being exact.)
Perhaps it’s the setting, or perhaps it’s my sentimental ways, but Bombay Bicycle Club will capture you and this gig was another one which I won’t be forgetting.