Bombay Bicycle Club, Flashguns
Laura Prior 24/09/2009
Opening a gig with your current single can be a dodgy thing to do, but when Bombay Bicycle Club bound onstage in front of a mobbed Concorde 2 with their latest - the interstellar, wistful, extravazanga Magnet - it's obvious why. You want hits? You want hits? I'll give you hits. Hits to the jaw, son. Bombay Bicycle Club have got fistfuls.
It's a joy to see such unpretentious, talented people give an awesome time without any of the faffing (Pete and the Pirates' sophomore album, due somewhere around late 2038), poshing (wanky, overrated knob-commerce-bucket Florence and the Machine) or crapping (dreadful, tuneless poseurs Doll and the Kicks, anyone??) around you'd normally expect from a young indie band.
They're prolific and focussed, and although having been in the spotlight for a relatively short time, are fast becoming one of the best-loved bands in the UK.
Obviously though, without patronising them of course, let's not forget they are still really young- awww, their little young faces! They literally finished high school about year ago. I'm nearly 24 and can rarely be bothered to put on even socks/any pants in the morning. It's comforting how much, even at this stage, you can believe in their intelligence and conviction. Jack Steadman's voice breaks with emotion during “How Are You”, an ode to communication breakdown in love - “We're not talking like we used to! So long! So long!”, his style recalling Hefner's Darren Hayman at his least twee and cloying.
"Always Like This", as always, is pretty, funky and sweet. Tonight, Steadman and guitarist Jamie let the gaps between choruses cut like knives as they absolutely tear things up immediately after their songs' intentional silences.
"Dust on the Ground" is the song White Lies meant to write initially, before they make the mistake of recording any other songs. Dark, anthemic, but actually original, live it's even darker and more crowd-pleasing. For, let's not play, Bombay Bicycle Club absolutely come to life in front of an audience. They seizure through every song, loud, bold and brilliant. Mere months after the release of their debut album, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, BBC have a captivated Brighton crowd hollering every word. They should safely expect a nomination for next year's Mercury Music Prize.
The dirty rock of “Evening / Morning” closes what feels like a slight, over-before-you-know-it set. Tonight's set feels short, but it's more likely they just left us wanting more. They're supporting The Pixies next month. That should tell you something. On the evidence of tonight, their destiny for great things is already well underway.