A decent crowd started to form around a small band stand in the middle of a park in Southampton on Wednesday evening. The only sign that something was happening to a regular ‘out-of-the-loop’ passer by would be the enigmatic triangle hanging from the bandstand. Not so enigmatic to the fans that surrounded it however. It was of course a sign to show that this would be the location for the second Guerrilla gig in Bastille‘s Triangle Tour. The crowds increased as it came closer to the gig’s start time. To anyone else it would have looked like a bunch of teens drinking in the park. But in fact it was a group of like-minded people with a soft spot for vocal harmonies waiting for, in my opinion, one of the best up and coming bands the UK has to offer. After Dan and Will said how nervous they were about the outcome of these gigs, all of the fans were, in fact, in for a great night of music.
At approximately 7pm the band walked down the hill to the bandstand and asked us all to huddle in closer as the set was to be completely unplugged, no microphones, no fancy effects. Simply their voices and minimal instruments (Will swapped his usual bass guitar for a pretty impressive Cello for instance). A crowd gathered within inches of the band as they played for about 45 minutes. They opened with their awesome version of City High’s ‘What Would You Do’. Dan Smith’s flawless vocals gave me goosebumps as I sang along to the likes of ‘Icarus’ and their brand new single ‘Bad Blood’. The band fully encouraged the sing-along aspect of the gig to make the whole thing that little bit louder. You could instantly tell the songs that most people had heard as the muffled murmurs turned into a pretty decent sing-along. ‘Flaws’ being one of those particular crowd favourites. My personal favourite ‘Laura Palmer’ sounded absolutely incredible. I may be appearing incredibly bias but it was genuinely a very impressive evening and after speaking to some people afterwards (who aren’t that famililar with Bastille) I found out they were equally as impressed. They played ‘Overjoyed’ completely acapella, it demonstrated how brilliantly the four guys work together.
The rain started and the band invited everyone into the bandstand with them. Possibly one of the most surreal moments of my life, about 50 people crammed into a tiny bandstand while Dan stood on a wobbly stool and sang to us some more. They played ‘The Things We Lost In The Fire‘ and the ultimate crowd pleaser ‘Of The Night’ as we huddled to shelter from the rain and that was the end of the set. The band stayed around for almost an hour after they had finished their set, greeting fans and taking photos. Overall a very, very enjoyable night with four very talented musicians.