Review: Bastille

Date: 24th April
Venue: The Harley, Sheffield

“A little bit Owl City” is never the most comforting prior information to be given before heading to a gig. However, on arriving at Sheffield’s notoriously “cool” Harley to throngs of eager fans happy to shell out £6 to see South London based pop band Bastille, I was intrigued to see what all the fuss was about.

Bastille aim to please, with frontman Dan Smith sporting an amusingly crafted coiffure and cheeky stage presence that was well reciprocated by those supporting his performance. Smith’s move from a solo artist, making records alone in his room, to bolstering his sound with a group immediately pays off, with the keyboards and drum parts creating memorable and undeniably infectious melodies. Their use of electronic loops and samples added a glimmering synthesized layer to the band’s sound.

The band may not be the most original synth pop group, but their mix tapes demonstrate an expertise and creative inclination that helps to distinguish them from their similar music counterparts. Be it bringing back Year Six school discos with their nostalgic cover of 90’s band City High’s ‘What would you do’, or reinterpreting classic dance anthems like ‘Rhythm of the Night,’ they seem to be having a lot of fun experimenting musically.

The band might have benefitted from a larger venue in more ways than one, as the Harley’s capacity felt slightly restrictive, and as Smith amusingly got himself stuck on a speaker during ‘Flaws’. Despite this, things moved smoothly for a first night of a
tour.

I can highly recommend downloading their free mix tape, or their new Radio 1 played single ‘Overjoyed’, which the tour takes its name from.

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