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Up From Below #10: Bombay Bicycle Club and Project House
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In this week’s Up From Below, we venture off to the outskirts of Leeds to have a look at the city’s newest venue and see one of modern indie’s greatest bands christen the stage.
Bombay Bicycle Club @
Anyone who knows me is aware that Bombay are probably my favourite band. I was blessed by first coming across them in a live setting at Leeds Festival 2012, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
In my decade-long love affair with the band, they’ve released just two albums, both of which are glorious, but their back catalog is still as shiny as ever. The crowd at Leeds’ newest venue, Project House (more on that a little further down), certainly seemed to agree on Wednesday night.
The band always pick smartly from their stacked discography, but with this one-off gig the setlist felt a little looser, including covers of Selena Gomez and Disclosure, as well as a rendition of Grant Green, a track off frontman Jack Steadman’s first solo album, God First, as Mr Jukes, which originally featured the inimitable Charles Bradley.
Also featured were a few tracks from Bombay’s upcoming sixth album, My Big Day, due out in October, which all sounded like they got a step up in a live setting from the pretty subdued recorded versions, although Diving, featuring Holly Humberstone but here substituted with the great Saint Clair, shows something a little more interesting and dynamic.
It was absolutely pissing it down, a common theme with my gigs from the past month, God hates 2000s indie legends, and the venue is outrageously warm. It seems to be the first sold-out event they’ve held there and I’ll be interested to see if things change, as it doesn’t seem particularly sustainable, especially given the venue’s odd location on the outskirts of the city centre, away from any real neighbouring bars/restaurants or even proper car parks (although there are plans to turn part of the adjacent area into a car park for the venue).
Drinks are priced pretty well, although still more expensive than sister venue The Brudenell, which just can’t be beaten and, as I’ve written about extensively in this very newsletter (and will probably do again in the future), holds a special place on the hierarchy of gig spots in the city.
All in all though, the sound was decent, it feels a very nice size and I can imagine it drawing a lot of good acts who were struggling to find somewhere not run by a university that can hold a thousand people on a random weeknight.
I’m reticent to call this a discovery, but Sundara Karma are back, and after a pretty unremarkable last few releases, I’m really into this new single. It gives me big Spector vibes and is, importantly, catchy.
Their debut album hit a real indie pop/rock sweet spot and has chorus after chorus that gets into your bones, something they’ve struggled (probably intentionally) to get anywhere near in recent years, and they seem to permanently hold second or third billing on a lineup of bigger indie bands (your The Wombats’, your Two Door Cinema Clubs etc) but this new one is a big banger and has a face-melting solo in it.
Sure, why not, there’s nowt else - Popworld Festival at Millennium Square featuring Ronan Keating, B*Witched and Claire off of Steps, Saturday 5th August
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