After seeing Bastille supporting Two Door Cinema Club and listening to their EP's and their debut album 'Bad Blood' on repeat for weeks & weeks on end, it would almost feel sinful to not see them headlining their own tour. The show was sold-out with people outside trying to desperately buy tickets.
Meadowlark opened the evening at the Kasbah to announce that this would be their second gig..ever. Very brave to face a packed out Kasbah but a lovely and gentle way to lead into the evening. Lead singer Kate McGill has a wonderful voice to listen too and as they are just starting off they have the vital requirements to do well. It must be difficult to open for a band with such dedicated fans but the majority of the crowd listened politely and could appreciate the nerves but talent the new band had.
To Kill A King were the second support act of the evening. A 'folk & rock band' currently based in London, they have an album out called 'Cannibals with Cutlery' and the single of the same name was my favourite. Frontman Ralph Pelleymounter has the Youtube episodes entitled 'Ralph's Balcony' which sees artists, including Bastille....perform on a balcony. Simple. The band invited Bastille onto the stage to duet on 'Choices' which obviously sent the audience wild. It's a really lovely song and the harmonies were great. "...You never showed me what you want..I never told you what I need..." A great band and one that you leave a gig wanting to buy the album.
After quickly popping upstairs to see the band before the show, we made our way to the safety of the balcony. There was no way I wanted to be involved in a mosh pit. I'm only 5 ft 5 and would get trampled on. Plus it was far more fun to watch it evolve from a safe distance.
I was photographing the band as they arrived on the stage from the photo pit and suddenly hundreds of arms and hands began hitting me in the head as the audience tried to reach out for lead singer Dan Smith, dressed in a very fetching wolf jumper. The one day that I needed to be A) a bit shorter and B) bring some ear plugs damn it!!
Bastille are everything that I think makes great music. They don't use guitars and they don't need them. Why clog up their music with a guitar when they can make a great sound from drums, a bass and the keys. Dan Smith, who is hailed as from going "From one-man band to frontman and creative fulcrum" is the guy behind Bastille. The band is then made up of Kyle, Woody & Will. All lovely chappies.
Bastille's set reflected everything that have done, which is what Dan said was the aim when I spoke to them earlier in the day (see interview). It really incorporated their album in the best way and their EP 'Other People's Heartache' which took famous 80's/90's songs and movie quotes & turned them on themselves. Bastille performed their take on Snap!'s 'Rhythm Is a Dancer' and Corona's 'The Rhythm of the Night' and City High's 'What Would You Do'. These songs were amazingly produced and a great insight into the genius of Bastille of what they can do with music. Many of Bastille's songs feel anthemic and throughout the set it felt as though anything could happen. You don't know where you may be taken next.
My highlight of the night came in two places (I could say a third but we will keep to 2). Firstly, 'Things We Lost in The Fire'. A favourite from the album, the live version outshines it. Secondly, 'These Streets'. Every time that I hear this song it makes me want to strut down a street, no matter where I am. Just so happens that during this gig I was strutting up and down the balcony.
'Pompeii', which was the single which went straight in as number 2 in the charts, saw the band invite support To Kill A King to join them on stage for the performance. It as great to see two bands workin together as To Kill A King provided the backing vocals on the song. Bastille performed 'Pompeii' at the opening of The British Museum's 'Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum' exhibition. Crazy right?!
For the encore, Bastille came back out and performed 'Get Home' which is slower and cliché to say but felt a bit 'haunting'. The line "...The birds are mocking me..." is probably one of my favourite Bastille lyrics. I have no reason for this but I love the way that it is sang **fangirl scream** The band ended on 'Flaws' which saw Smith climb up to the balcony to perform to the audience below. It was probably a good idea that rather than climb around the crowd like at previous gigs, he stayed away because I completely believe that he would have been dragged into the middle of the many mosh pits going on.
Bastille appear to be being embraced...quickly. Last year saw them playing in the small room at the Coventry Kasbah to this year playing at Glastonbury. I can sit and read all these differing opinions of Bastille, be them good or bad but you know what it doesn't matter. They aren't going to appeal to everybody but come on, embrace them! Bastille are bloody fantastic! Who are any of us to judge a band who clearly work hard and don't want to do the 'stereotypical' band crap? "Ooooo they don't use guitars!" Who cares?! Meeting them earlier in the day, they are just normal guys who love music and if this is what they produce for a first album, I cannot wait to see the second, third and who knows what else.