28th February 2014
Bastille may have just won a Brit Award but you wouldn’t believe it with their no frills set at Manchester’s Apollo last week. It was just track after track after track performed brilliantly ranging from the huge ‘Pompeii’ to the older sounds of tracks such as ‘Icarus’ to the brand new yet already a fan favourite of ‘The Draw’.
The band walked out to massive cheers that filled the huge Apollo space, probably deafening quite a few people in the process and sound tracked by snippets of movie clips that have featured throughout some of their older mixtapes. You could see straight away that the band that’ve come so far, deserving all the praise and rewards they are getting, look genuinely humbled that so many people are here for them. Especially when every single one of them is anxiously anticipating a set which is surely going to encompass all of Bastille’s brilliant back catalogue to date.
And that is exactly what it does. Opening proceedings with ‘Bad Blood’ the title track from their debut album and probably one of their most rock tinged tracks to date. It sees the crowd singing along from the very first chords. As the band plough on through a strong setlist of tracks, it’s clear to see that there is only a small group of hardcore fans in attendance tonight with many seeming to lose interest in the set halfway through when lesser known tracks like ‘Poet’, ‘Laughter Lines’ and ‘The Silence’ are played. It’s a real shame because the band are putting on one hell of a set but that seems to be lost on an army of people who are here clearly to have a chat rather than see a band performing for them on stage.
For those that are paying attention though, every moment seems well thought out. From the staging of the songs through to the lights and the wonderful moments on strings that add a beautiful touch to the band’s sound especially on softer tracks ‘Overjoyed’ and ‘Oblivion’. The latter of which is already starkly emotional and stunning to listen to. Those moments of calm were set against the upbeat, soaring sounds of ‘Icarus’, the fast paced ‘Weight of Living, Pt. II’ and the sing along classic that ‘Flaws’ has become with its strong beat and catchy rhythm.
The encore started in a wonderful way with a more surprising yet welcome choice. ‘Daniel In The Den’ is a gentle track with an opening led by quick flowing keys before high pitched swirling synths, a dominant and constant drum beat and backing vocals come in adding a sense of fullness to this quieter, more stripped back track. They finished up the set on arguably the band’s biggest two releases to date in the form of their cover of the 90’s dance classic ‘Rhythm of the Night’ and Number 1 single ‘Pompeii’. The first of which caused a huge sing along from the crowd, the majority of which were not even born when the song was released. It was brilliant to witness and by far a big achievement to take a song and make it a bigger hit for them than it was for the original act. The latter saw the anthemic sounds of ‘Pompeii’ with its huge drums, sing along chorus and massive ‘eh eh oh’ backing vocals that echo around any live venue or festival field the band have played since first releasing the track.
With that the band left the stage to huge cheers, still looking utterly humbled and unable to believe that they are this successful but if any band deserves this it’s Bastille and it seems things are only going to get bigger and better for this band after shows like this.