The Gig: Bombay Bicycle Club w/ The Darcys and Lucy Rose
Where: Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, Canada
When: 1 March 2012
In One Word: Girlboner
My youngest brother, a nerdy audiophile, turned me onto Bombay Bicycle Club quite a few years ago. I was probably stumbling past his room with news from the far reaches beyond his bedroom. He was playing a super catchy song and I demanded to know the name of the band responsible for the glorious music that was penetrating my ears. At the time, Bombay Bicycle Club had only released a 4 song E.P. When B.B.C released their album I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose, I really started to pay attention. Since the release of their last two albums: A Different Kind of Fix and Flaws. B.B.C have been the band I listen to most (the other songs in my iTunes library are jealous).
When I heard that B.B.C were heading back to play at The Phoenix in Toronto, I was ecstatic. As a new Toronto resident, I appreciate that bands actually tour to this city. I’d finally get to see Bombay Bicycle Club! With help from Lucy Rose and Toronto’s own band: The Darcys, last night’s show was brilliant from start to finish.
To kick off the night, the petite, Lucy Rose walked to the front of the stage with her acoustic guitar. She plugged in and sat down. She then proceeded to experience technical difficulties for a few minutes, but handled things with ease. This instant endeared me to her right away, but it wasn’t until she started playing that I fell in love. Lucy’s pitch-perfect vocals were hauntingly beautiful. To compliment her darling voice, Lucy accompanies herself with an acoustic guitar. With lyrics such as, “Take what you want, and leave what you didn’t need,” wrapped tightly in between the strings that Lucy plucks so well, the audience stood captivated. When Lucy finished her short set, B.B.C fans knew that they hadn’t seen the last of Lucy Rose for the evening.
Next, The Darcys took the stage. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the Darcys, but I couldn’t help but feel that they were out of place opening up for Bombay Bicycle Club, nevertheless, they put on a good show and primed the audience for the feature performance. The musical trend of the evening among all the acts was the climactic build. Just when you’d think a song was over (the band would halt for a split second), the music would explode and the band would up the intensity. If The Darcys’ music was a metaphor for sex, it would represent the best sex ever. The Darcys did not disappoint.
As fans impatiently waited for Bombay Bicycle Club to start playing, a few began to chant “Bombay! Bombay! Bombay!” – almost simultaneously the band started to play their popular song “How can you swallow so much sleep?” I don’t think anyone was sleeping at that point, and if they had been, they wouldn’t be for long. A once still crowd began to move, clap and sing along to the upbeat musical stylings of B.B.C. Lucy Rose reemerged to sing alongside front man Jack Steadman; she acted as an integral element to the majority of songs performed.
Bombay Bicycle Club reworked songs from the new album, Flaws, such as the song “Dust On The Ground.” The album version is recorded with acoustic instruments, minimal percussion and a much slower tempo. Alternatively, the band transformed the song by playing a fast-paced, full band version that employed electrical instruments. Fans embraced the creative license, and with every song and every surprise, the excitement grew.
Toward the end of the show, the heat radiating from the stage was visible. The band drew the audience members near and brought out the dancer in most everyone. (I tried not to let the monstrous girl that was dancing like a circus clown in front of me, put a damper on my evening, though I secretly hoped she’d injure herself and disappear from my otherwise excellent view.)
It’s difficult to pin down a single description of B.B.C’s music. The music is diverse and every song must be appreciated for it’s individual qualities. It’s really all about feeling. Take the song “Lights out, words gone,” when I listen to it, I can’t help but feel as though I’m on a beach in the tropics somewhere sipping a pina colada from a coconut. Or the song “Shuffle” it’s the type of song provides the perfect soundtrack for a solo stroll, watching the world go by. You can respect a song for it’s lyrics or it’s degree of catchiness, but with Bombay Bicycle Club, it’s really the sum of its parts. Every aspect of the music seems to be carefully considered. Some songs are layered with varied instruments and vocals, whereas others are appropriately simplistic. From the toe tappers to the slow, deeply emotional songs of heartache, each song has its place.
There was never a dull moment during Bombay Bicycle Club’s performance at the Phoenix last night. At the end of the night, Jack remarked that Toronto had been the best crowd of the entire tour! I suspect he was being genuine. Bombay Bicycle Club have left a lasting impression that will surely resonate within me (and fellow fans) until we meet again. For now, I’ll resume my addiction to B.B.C’s recordings.
© Rebecca Connor, Music Vice
Photos of Lucy Rose, The Darcys and Bombay Bicycle Club (click to enlarge on attachment page):
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