After 3 months of longing for this gig, the four piece finally arrived at Leeds Stylus, a small venue that fits nicely in-between The Cockpit and Leeds O2. With a little help from the Big Apple’s boy-girl duo MSMR, my usually quiet Sunday night turned into, and quite rightly, one of the best gigs I’ve been to, ever.
Fuelled with Nandos and brilliant company we rushed into the packed venue to the last song from first support act The Ramona Flowers. I’d never been there before but I soon discovered it’s one of my favourites. It was personal yet didn’t feel like you were in your grandparents claustrophobic spare room. We settled in between the steps and stalls just as MSMR were about to grace us with their presence. Unaware of them and their sound we listened in awe. With their dark pop and haunting guitars they managed to hypnotise the crowd leaving us trance-like. Accompanied with lead Florence Welch-esque vocals, completely disguising their New York accents, they made their set memorable. Ending with new single Fantasy, the pair gave us a taster of the indie pop that is yet to come from their upcoming album Second Hand Rapture; filled with hand claps and powerful drum beats (from them that is).
Then it was time. The boys strolled on stage. If any of them said anything there’s no way it would have been heard over the relentless screams, mainly for Dan (half man-half quiff). It was clear from the start that this gig meant a lot to the guys, especially because Dan and Kyle (keyboard) spend their uni days ‘waking up on the floor’ just outside the venue. Opening with Bad Blood, the title of their just-announced #1 album, they set the atmosphere for the unsurprisingly student heavy crowd.
Throughout the night Dan proved to us that the stage really is his home. He displayed his beautifully endearing vocals, sounding rawer and more emotional than on the album, whilst being ever appreciative of the fans that filled the room. The energy in their performance shone through in songs such as Icarus, Things We Lost in the Fire and Poet. They then turned that energy into intensity during heartfelt numbers such as Get Home, Oblivion and Overjoyed. Their musicianship was awe inspiring with each of them clearly displaying creativity with melodic keys, unique guitar riffs and the odd hint of xylophone, making Bastille’s sound like nothing we can here at the moment.
They decided to include tracks from their free download Other People’s Heartache, covers of City Highs What Would You Do and Rhythm of the Night by Corona which got everyone singing along, even if they didn’t know the words. They also threw in some slightly unknown tracks from their Album, These Streets and The Silence which seemed to go down well. So well that These Streets has been on constant repeat since Sunday, oops.
Finally, they ended the night (Please don’t leave me Dan) with Pompeii and Flaws. Quite suited really; their massive chart topper and the song that made all this possible, each in turn creating explosions within the crowd. It’s amazing to see the hype the rising indie/pop group are creating. They’ve got great things to come.