Bastille @ HMV Institute

Last Wednesday, Bastille played at the HMV Institute in Digbeth. Bastille are what one might call an ‘indie’ band, however they were also named the ‘New Band of the Day’ in The Guardian in July. A talented quartet from South London who formed in 2010, Bastille have recently found commercial success after their first single, ‘Flaws’, was featured on ‘Made In Chelsea’. A more recent track, ‘Weight Of Living’, was also included on the Fifa 13 soundtrack. 

When it comes to their sound, front man Dan Smith describes Bastille as ‘Coldplay meets Friendly Fires: music that’s quite broad, but with edge’. They’re a perfect mix of electronic and indie, and there doesn’t seem to be a single rotten egg in their collection of songs.

Bastille performed in The Temple room, and upon arrival a warm-up band were helping out with the sound checks and having banter with the crowd. Soon after, the supporting group appeared on stage. Swiss Lips were definitely a bonus, rather than a disappointment, and their biggest Youtube hits ‘Danz’ and ‘U Got The Power’ were highlights of the set. Their music was fun and everyone danced to the first song – even though most people were probably unfamiliar with their music. For fans of The Black Keys and/or La Roux, they might be appealing. Plus, the keyboardist promised to check out UoB Blogfest!

After a few minutes of excited babbling from the audience, Bastille appeared. Commencing with the rousing ‘Icarus’, Dan Smith had the crowd going wild within minutes. However, he was not your typical cocky frontman – he and his band were very humble, thanking the crowd after every cheer. You could see in their faces that their huge, and very rapid, success had yet to sink in. This only added to their appeal.

After a few of their bigger hits, for example ‘Laura Palmer’ and ‘Bad Blood’, everyone waited for one of their brilliant covers that have been particularly popular on YouTube. This included a slow, sensual cover of Lana Del Ray’s ‘Blue Jeans’; their fantastic version of City High’s ‘What Would You Do’; and towards the end, the pounding eighties anthem ‘Rhythm Of The Night’. One thing that Bastille do incredibly well is take a song and make it their own, and the quality of their sound was just as high when performing live as it is in their recorded material. After being on stage for a good hour, Bastille rounded the show up. They ended with the bittersweet ‘Get Home’, which everyone sung along to like they had really got their money’s worth. Bastille are truly great performers, in terms of sound and stage charisma, and if you get the chance to see them perform live they are a definite must.

Megan Evans


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