Bombay Bicycle Club are nothing if not extremely generous.
In the day and age of bands releasing ten-track albums, and rocking up at a venue to play eighty percent of these, a cover, and a couple of golden oldies, Bombay Bicycle Club’s lengthy Earls Court set was a thoroughly pleasant surprise.
This wasn’t a one off either. This is the norm for the band who have received great acclaim this year off the back of the release of their fourth studio album, So Long See You Tomorrow.
Not only did the show provide two very capable, and indeed fun, support acts in the shape of Sivu and psychedelic rockers Peace, but in the interlude between second support and the main event an amusing fake-doc, based on the Bombay Bicycle Club performance to come, was broadcast to the venue, featuring Elbow frontman Guy Garvey among others.
After all the pre-entertainment, the main event could well have been a disappointment, but it turned out not to be the case. In fact, it was a fittingly strong, confident, and fun performance worthy of being the last ever to grace the famous London venue, which will soon be torn down.
The strength of the band’s latest LP came across from the word ‘go’, ‘all killer no filler’ as they (whoever they are) say.
A rousing semi-medley of Overdone, and Come To, led the way as the band confidently unleashed some of their more recent offerings, but this soon made way a few tracks in, when a jaw-hit-the-floor moment occurred.
Invited onto the stage as a complete surprise to all was Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, who joined BBC (as they’ll now be known) on lap steel guitar for their track Rinse Me Down, before startling the crowd with his own Wish You Were Here.
After Gilmour had rendered many literally speechless, he left the stage with no one in any doubt that this was a fantastic touch on the part of the organisers to mark the momentous occasion for the venue, and the band.
With this shock few minutes of brilliance behind them BBC would be forgiven for failing to live up to the atmosphere built by these few glorious moments, but they didn’t.
Sure it’s hard to match the genius that is Gilmour, but they certainly tried and did so with toe-tapping gusto, treating loyal fans to some of their back catalogue including the dreamy How Much Sleep Can You Swallow, Always Like This, and folky favourite Ivy & Gold.
Reserved for the latter part of what truly was a feast of a show were the more anthemic tracks from their current offering. Luna, Feel and Come To were designed to be played at such a large and lively venue, and led to stars being shot out of the sky, and empty plastic pint containers being joyfully moshed into submission as the show built up to its finale.
The encore featured one of the band’s most famous and angsty tracks What If, a song tinged with semi-adolescent confusion, and ultra-anthem Carry Me from the current album, which made sure Earls Court went out with a deserved bang.
One of West London’s most famous modern landmarks sadly isn’t going to be around for much longer, but on the basis of this nonchalantly smooth and slick performance, Bombay Bicycle Club certainly won’t be on the receiving end of any wrecking balls in the near future.
…Unless of course they experience the considerable displeasure of bumping into a scrawny and very inadequately dressed Miley Cyrus that is.