Advertisement
Music

Bombay Bicycle Club, Abbey Road

“In iconic studio two Bombay Bicycle Club plays an hour-long set, and it’s clear from the off that they’ve moved up yet another gear”

For a band who clearly know their way around a studio – those complex arrangements will entail some clever button-pushing – it’s fitting that their new album is being launched at the world’s most famous.

Beneath the gaze of the Fab Four, Pink Floyd, Jagger and others whose pictures adorn the white walls of iconic studio two, Bombay Bicycle Club play a neat, hour-long set, and it’s clear from the off that they’ve moved up yet another gear.

The new material soars and bounces, allowing a bit more breathing room for the catchy hooks

Frontman Jack Steadman recently told the NME that ‘sampling’ has been an inspiration of late, which could have meant a worrying detour into Soup Dragons territory. But for an outfit adept at seamlessly adding multiple colours to their indie palette, this is no baggy-rock cul-de-sac.

Quite the opposite. From the serious groove of opening newbie Overdone to the rhythmic, reverb-heavy Luna, the new material soars and bounces and lifts off, allowing a bit more breathing room for the catchy hooks and choruses.

The band’s globe-trotting has also been an influence, evident on Feel, which flips a Moroccan, percussive vibe into a brassy pop mover. It sounds like Madness jamming with Tinariwen, and gets the young crowd shaking their beard fluff.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The bigger sound requires more hands on deck, so the Crouch End foursome are joined by a three-piece horn section, plus extra drums and keyboards, the latter adding a dusting of ’80s retro to one or two tracks.

A few from the back catalogue are aired, and whilst welcomed like old friends, they play second fiddle to their new, exciting cousins. Always Like This from the debut is the penultimate song, and Steadman misses his cue. “It would help if you sang along,” he chides the audience, but he’s too nice a guy, and later apologises for “being defensive”.

The set finishes with Carry Me, a dark, primal beat layered with a wash of choppy, passionate guitars. Destined to be a BBC classic.

So, very much looking forward to the new album – and the one after that, too.

Advertisement

Support your local vendor

Want to buy a copy of the magazine? We have over 1,200 Big Issue vendors in the UK. Each vendor buys a copy of the mag for £1.50 and sells it for £3, keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor and support them today!

Recommended for you

Read All
The Big Issue 2022 festival guide
Festival Guide 22

The Big Issue 2022 festival guide

Six months on, as music festivals begin again, it’s like the Astroworld disaster never happened
gig safety

Six months on, as music festivals begin again, it’s like the Astroworld disaster never happened

Kathy Sledge: ‘Seeing everyone come together for Black Lives Matter meant so much to me’
Music

Kathy Sledge: ‘Seeing everyone come together for Black Lives Matter meant so much to me’

Play it again: The remarkable revival of cassettes
Music

Play it again: The remarkable revival of cassettes

Most Popular

Read All
Homeless man who built wooden house on pavement: 'People understand I'm just in a bad situation'
1.

Homeless man who built wooden house on pavement: 'People understand I'm just in a bad situation'

The remarkable rise of Ncuti Gatwa: From sofa surfing and Sex Education to Doctor Who
2.

The remarkable rise of Ncuti Gatwa: From sofa surfing and Sex Education to Doctor Who

Exclusive: The UK's rarest and most threatened wildlife sites are not being protected properly
3.

Exclusive: The UK's rarest and most threatened wildlife sites are not being protected properly

Martin Lewis: 'The link between money problems and mental health problems is just so strong'
4.

Martin Lewis: 'The link between money problems and mental health problems is just so strong'

Keep up to date with The Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.