- 11 Feb 20
Bombay Bicycle Club are truly back and better than ever. Hot on the heels of Everything Else Has Gone Wrong's release, the indie pop band brought an overwhelming sense of euphoria to the first of two sold-out nights at Vicar Street.
In 2016, Bombay Bicycle Club left the indie community in shambles when they sold their equipment and announced an indefinite break. Upon their return, the English indie rockers joked that British society crumbled in their absence. Even with a new album under their belt and a tour in full swing, I can’t say that the Bombay Bicycle lads have the ability to solve Brexit, but what I can say is that their first sold-out night at Vicar Street made everyone’s real-life anxieties disappear with a night of carefree indie pop tunes.
The band were clad in matching outfits – white button-down shirts with simple black pants. They opened with ‘Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You),’ their first post-hiatus single. It was a fitting choice, considering they hadn’t been in Dublin since 2013. The crowd roared, heads bopped in unison and everyone sang along to the infectiously catchy track.
Throughout each song, it was hard to stand still. Even from Vicar Street’s balcony, people stood up and danced. The band radiated positivity, now back together playing music they wrote at 16 with an air of happy nostalgia. Their latest album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong is about the comfort music provides in times of need and they fully leaned into it, introducing the title track with a chat about music curing bad days.
They mostly played songs from their last two records, which sounded incredible in the live setting with the support of English singer-songwriter Liz Lawrence. But it was also great to hear some older tracks, like the more rock-tinged ‘Evening Morning.’ As expected, the band closed with ‘It’s Always Like This,’ an essential on anyone’s late 2000’s indie pop playlist. The reception was incredible – frontman Jack Steadman didn’t even need to sing the penultimate chorus as the crowd overtook him in a chant of “I’m not whole”.
By the end of the night, my cheeks were sore from grinning ear-to-ear the entire set. I felt 14 again, discovering the ripe world of indie pop for the first time. “Is it real? Times have all changed, and I don’t want that,” Steadman sang on ‘Is It Real.’ Ironically, it was as if times hadn’t changed at all. I’d grown disappointed and bored with modern indie pop, but all of my criticisms melted away when I lost myself in the show. Bombay Bicycle Club are back and revitalized, and they’re truly a breath of fresh air.