It’s Friday evening, and rather than wasting away their student loans on Jaeger bombs and double vodka and cokes at the Old Firestation, Bournemouth’s students have traded their Friday night freedom for a different venue; the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC).
Indeed for many students, and I must admit myself, The BIC is a space in which I had not set foot since my Fresher’s Big Welcome Party two years earlier. However, rather than drunk over enthusiastic adolescents stumbling around, middle aged men could be seen juggling half pints of Carlsberg in one hand and toddlers in the other, am I at the right venue? This is a Bastille gig right?
It appears the Indie Rock band which took the charts by storm in 2014 have picked up a new fan base as well as a Brit award, confirming their transformation from Indie Rock band to Indie Pop band. As the lights fade around the BIC, I realise I am the minority. Although, I am confident the band will deliver an extraordinary show, with Bournemouth as the first stop on the Wild World tour.
Suddenly a bold voice echoes around the BIC and the central screen towering above the stage lights-up showing a man who could pass for both Mark Hamill and Ron Burgundy, sitting in a green room ready to present the news.
He shouts: “Welcome to Wild World Communication’s and our first supporting band, Childcare.” Suddenly a topless man wearing Adidas trackies bursts onto the stage followed by his crew of men and woman armed with guitars and drum sticks. Through the bold blue lights the topless man begins shaking his hips from side to side, channeling Mick Jagger before making his way across the stage singing aggressively. Despite his energy the best song Childcare performed was a slower tempo duet with the female guitarist, who if anything was underused by the band.
The show was filled with funny anecdotes from Bastille’s frontman- which included the acknowledgement that a lot of the bands songs are slightly depressing…
From the balcony the number of dancing audience members could be counted on one hand. Suddenly Childcare’s frontman jumped down from the stage, hoping for a bigger reaction then began to spray the audience with water. However his efforts to get the crowd going seemed to have failed with many members of the audience now partially soaked and pissed off at 8pm.
Following Childcare, Rationale took the stage. And instead of a large group emerging like I had imagined, one man introduces himself as the supporting artist. With a strong sense of politeness and regular nods to Bastille, Rationale achieved something which the rigid Childcare could not, he got the crowd going. His music also carried an easy listening funk feel which got some of the more eager balcony audience shaking. Although his sound was unique, I couldn’t help but compare his voice to that of Tracy Chapman- if she was male and played to a quicker tempo. However, the singer seemed truly blessed to be performing on the first leg of the tour and came across really well to the audience.
After yet another break and more from the Wild World Communications guy, the audience eagerly waited for the headline act. In hindsight the Wild World Communications broadcasts held the audience interest in times which could have been filled with mindless waiting.
Finally the Broadcast introduced Bastille and lights flashed around the BIC, with frontman Dan Smith, bursting onto the stage, dancing enthusiastically. The Indie Pop band opened their live performance with Send Them Off! Which the crowd screamed for. 80s style visuals appeared on the screen above and NASA style images of men in spacesuits exploded into sight. It is clear that the album carries a satirical theme for the state of our world’s governance.
Although the whole band played their instruments impeccably, it was Smith who really stole the show. Not only did he sing consistently, with little time to rest between songs, but he was able to dance his socks off throughout. At one point he even began to walk through the crowd, with a single light on him whilst he serenaded members of the audience and gave out high fives.
The band performed a number of songs from their latest album Wild World including the titular song, which attracted a huge reaction from the crowd. Bastille also played some of their earlier songs such as Things We Lost in The Fire and my personal favourite; the bands cover of Rhythm of the Night, which got the whole venue on its feet.
The show was also filled with funny anecdotes from the bands frontman- which included the acknowledgement that a lot of the bands songs are slightly depressing… with Smith admitting that Four Walls wins the award for most depressing Bastille song before singing the track. It was therefore no surprise when audience members began shining their phone torches and swaying from side to side.
The gig finished with the best conclusion I think I have ever seen from a live musical performance. They played their most successful song Pompeii and invited their supporting bands to join them on stage to sing. Then a very loud series of “AY AY OH AY OH, AY AY OH AY OH’s” travelled around the BIC.