Having burst onto the scene back in 2013 with their debut album “Bad Blood” Bastille went from playing small undersold venues, to selling out London’s Shepherd’s Bush Academy in a matter of months and they haven’t looked back since.
Their blend of anthemic indie pop with upbeat synths looks to have connected with a wider audience with their follow-up album “Wild World” breaking into the top ten around the globe. The album also received praise from music critics too as they tackled a tougher narrative whilst still retaining their positive outlook on another album full of floor fillers.
As they took to the stage with a brass section in tow they launched into “Send Them Off”, a hip hop inspired track which saw frontman Dan Smith covering every inch of the stage as he jumped around with unlimited energy whipping up the crowd.
The band continued through the new album with “Warmth” and “Snakes” as the large video backdrops came into their own, showing news clippings, whilst they managed to keep the energy levels up with their synth pop stadium fillings singles.
Although Smith was taking up every inch of the stage, this didn’t seem to be enough for him as he made his way into the crowd and meandered his way to the back high-fiving the audience whilst still delivering faultless vocals on “Flaws”.
The stage show itself was as slick as the songs, with choreographed videos and interplay between the band as Smith took time to engage with the crowd at every opportunity before launching into “The Draw” which with its chaotic wall of synths, guitars and brass all fighting for attention, created a rare but welcomed moment of clutter in a all together slick production.
As the evening began to draw to a close Smith once more made his way to the back of the venue climbing onto a platform in front to the sound desk asking the crowd to join him in jumping around to their rendition of “The Rhythm Of The Night” and “Rhythm Is A Dancer” mashup as he asked the whole crowd to crouch down before launching themselves into the air as the beat kicked in.
The group closed the night, as ever, on ‘Pompeii’. After all the mock propaganda and apocalyptic undertones of the song, one of the central lines “How am I gonna be an optimist about this?” certainly feels more poignant now than when it was released only three years ago.
Rockhal – 31.01.17