Luckily I managed to gain access to Bastille‘s show at the Bournemouth International Centre on the year anniversary of Bad Blood being released. The tour sold out almost instantly making these shows almost impossible to get tickets for, and this was before their glory at the recent Brit Awards. With Bad Blood back at number one in the charts, this show confirmed the reason behind their sky high success over the past year, despite coming from such humble beginnings.
Brother and Bones were the first support act and they were phenomenal. A term not used lightly here, these guys were born to play in big venues such as the BIC, with the sheer force of their live performance. Frontman Rich Thomas, looking like a dishevelled Jared Leto circa. this year’s Oscars, and had so much power in just his vocals alone. Two sets of percussion meant the band stunned the crowd with the power of their performance. Merging folk, rock and even metal on one of the tracks, the band showed diverse and expert musicianship. It’s impressive to see such an awesome band like Brother and Bones reaching the crowds that Bastille bring to their shows.
Next up was Angel Haze, a lot of people in the crowd had no idea who she was, so it was pleasant to see the shock on their faces when the tiny little New York rapper bounded onto the stage f-ing and blinding like a hurricane had shook the BIC. She was entertaining but I can’t help but notice she has very little tone in her rap style; it felt forced, like she was shouting very quickly into the mic. I have to admit that I most enjoyed her set when she was covering Beyoncé’s ‘Drunk In Love’. She demonstrated that she actually has a pretty good vocal range in between the aggressive shouts of her rap style. Understanding the sort of audience she was performing to she decided to perform a rendition of ‘Counting Stars‘ by One Republic, another example of Angel Haze being most impressionable, whilst covering someone else’s track.
Bastille came onstage around two hours after entering the venue, almost too long a wait for some of the more impatient fans around me. However, as soon as the band began first track ‘Bad Blood’ these woes had disappeared as everyone around me sang along. What struck me as the most impressive element of this current tour is the aesthetics. The final chorus of ‘Bad Blood’ dropped and so did a black curtain revealing the biggest triangle to date on stage with the band. As a backdrop to their set their music videos or other cool visuals were projected into the centre of the triangle. These sorts of updates to their live shows really allow frontman Dan Smith to explore his love for film, and incorporate that into their shows. A huge amount of money must have been spent on lighting and for me the only massive difference to previous shows was the aesthetic look of it.
The band have the Bad Blood set nailed, absolutely perfected, down to a tee, so a glimmer of hope for someone who has seen it 15 times comes along when a new track is thrown into the mix. More so than ever English fans are begging for new material from the band, some of us have been hearing ‘Pompeii’ for almost two years. Salvation came in the form of some brand new tracks that are tipped for album number two. The first in the set being ‘Blame‘, a track featuring such an infectious chorus line it could be the next ‘Eh eh oh eh oh’. Another new(ish) track was ‘The Draw‘, the band have released it onto their YouTube channel so quite a few of the crowd were always singing along to this one. With it’s heavier guitar part and soaring vocals, I wouldn’t be surprised if this track becomes the lead single for the second album.
Another moment that made this performance a step up from previous shows is the inclusion of ‘Laughter Lines’ in the set. The track, that features on the extended version of the debut album, All This Bad Blood, and has in fact, been around for a while, has an intricate string part as well as beautiful harmonies, all of which were executed perfectly in the live setting. The band also performed a brand new track called ‘Weapon’. For this song Dan invited Angel Haze back onto the stage. A catchy chorus with rapped verses from Angel Haze made this song seem very different to Bastille’s earlier tracks. With Hip-Hop being an influence for Dan when writing music, it’s not surprising that having Angel Haze featuring on a track is something they’re moving towards. Known for their collaborations with up and coming artists such as Ella Eyre and Gabrielle Aplin, I’m sure this track will go down just as well upon its release.
Overall the show was great, however, I’m craving new material from the band. The new tracks were stunning in the live setting, I just can’t wait to hear them in recorded from on a second album that, hopefully, isn’t too far in the future.