Live Review: Bastille

Indie | Wednesday 23rd October 2013 | annalisemarguerita

Arriving to a dark stage with torches lighting their way – the atmosphere greeting Bastille onto the stage in Brixton Academy on Wednesday 16th October was out of this world. As Bastille kicked off the night with "Bad Blood", screams echoed all the way around and burst through the ceiling. You could feel the energy from the band raging like fire, and you knew it would not be extinguished for the rest of the night...

What a year for Bastille so far - their first studio album Bad Blood debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. The band joined Muse as a supporting act in May 2013 and played the Reading and Leeds festival in August 2013. Their experiences at festivals have given them that extra flavour when performing live, being able to connect to a larger crowd with just as much passion as a small scale event, not a skill that every live act can perform well. 

"Things We Lost In The Fire" held strong vocals from the entire band – sharp and ethereal echoes that beautifully matched the white sheets used for lighting on the stage. Amazing polished drum beats and only stopping for breath just in time to set lively strobe lights upon the crowd. “It's very weird for us to be here, good weird” Dan Smith tells us in between songs. Charisma and energy set to 100 –  he is at home on stage, and an excellent front-man for the band. They play us a new song – "Compass" - it has as much intensity as the tracks we know and love, and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

As soon as he mentions Bastille's mix-tape sessions the crowd goes wild – introducing Ella to help him sing their rendition of "No Angels" - a mix between TLC's "No Scrubs" and The XX's "Angels". Their set has a real festival atmosphere – Dan simply raises his hand to a strong drum mirroring his actions – timed to perfection. Even listening to quieter moments of the set – you could hear the audience begging for more.

Jumping onto the side speakers – we could observe Dan Smith at a higher view. As "Flaws" kicks in he becomes lost in the crowd, running in to join the aficionados. Despite the crushing, screaming audience around him, he manages to perform perfectly and passionately, even whilst being elbowed and drooled over.

I'm a f****** terrible dancer” he tells us, as the beat kicks in for "Of the night" (a mash-up of the songs "The rhythm of the night" and "Rhythm is a dancer") – complete with twinkling lights and twinkling beats. The set is finished on a high with "Pompeii" – hard-hitting and hook-laden. “Eh-eh-o-eh-o” has never sounded so sweet, Bastille have the uncanny knack to make you fall in love with them at the drop of every beat. An evening of loud, bold music – “how am I going to be an optimist about this?” well Bastille, where do I even begin...

Here's a video of "No Angels":




Annalise Marguerita Watson