Live Review: bombay bicycle club megastick fanfare metro theatre

9 April 2012 | 12:55 pm | Jessie Hunt

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The evening kicked off with Megastick Fanfare's vocal exercises echoing through the smoke onstage. “Whoooooooop! Blooooooooo-woooop!” they went and the audience peered through the smoke and tried to work out exactly what Doctor Zoidberg impersonator was taking to the stage. But the warbling turned abruptly into an excited shout and suddenly there were shimmering cymbals and a jutting electric guitar and Megastick Fanfare were inducting us into their strange, ethereal domain. With their throbbing rhythms, their delicate, otherworldly synth sounds and their strange, looped lyrics, the band speak a new dialect of indie pop/rock and the sizeable crowd that Megastick Fanfare played to will be clamouring for more.

An hour later, the Metro Theatre was completely gridlocked. Bombay Bicycle Club took to the stage with a self-effacing wave and just a little indie awkwardness, but once they tucked into the opening track, How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep, everything was all right. You see, Bombay Bicycle Club have a deft genius for creating music. Those magical vocal harmonies, those careful, almost subtle rhythms and their heartbreaking harmonies – the band create songs that are aesthetically blissful and then play them with a powerful, passionate honesty.

Under a spotlight, frontman Jack Steadman delivered the beautiful Dust On The Ground. The tragic lyrical beauty of this track, combined with the strange electricity that this band produces in a live situation, made it such an intense, emotive moment.

With a shout of “Who wants a hoedown?” Steadman took the audience through the band's acoustic tracks, full to bursting with quaint guitar string-work and a particularly violent chair-drum solo. The crowd ate it up, dancing and singing along as loud as possible. No matter how many times you've heard Always Like This, no matter how many times you think you've appreciated its stirring vocals and jutting rhythms, you really haven't heard it until you've heard it chanted back to a delighted-looking band by 500 indie youths.

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Under a canopy of friendly, twinkling globes, Bombay Bicycle Club presented to their audience their infinitely awesome sounds – sometimes delicate, sometimes powerful, sometimes heavily lyrical and sometimes heavily musical. The relatively short set left the audience still a little hungry for the Crouch End boys and hopefully they'll be back again soon.