Wednesday, 13 July 2011


Being a fan of Bombay Bicycle Club, I was pretty excited to see them at Glastonbury for a second time (I saw them at the John Peel Stage in 2010). They're a lovely bunch of lads who play indie alternativia fronted by the charismatically humble Jack Steadman, whose heartfelt lyrics about (mainly) girls, love, and romance leave a long note of resonance wherever they are heard. I'm even more excited at the prospect of a new album in the wake of first single 'Shuffle'.

Sounds like someone in the band's been listening to Wild Beasts' first album Limbo, Panto - or perhaps it's just the honky-tonk piano and the occasional falsetto from Steadman that makes me think this. Either way, this song marks a definite move away from the guitar-band indie dancefloor killer anthems of the first album I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose ('Always Like This' and 'Evening/Morning') and the revivalist Brit-folk acoustic softness of second album Flaws, and a transition into perhaps something more experimental.

Released on 23rd June, 'Shuffle' sounds like neither of the above. Although the piano adds an almost timeless quality to the song, as pianos do, it might turn off some fans who were there for the twiddly guitar bits and chunky bass riffs that defined them as a band before 2010 - but that's inevitable. The most recognisable quality in 'Shuffle' is actually the beat, those skiffly yet precise and distinctively "indie" drums provided by drummer Suren de Saram are second cousins of those found in the hit 'Always Like This'; first cousins of the drums that accompany the lovely 'Ivy & Gold'.

Overall it's a song with enough going on to warrant it being a single, but understated enough to allow it to wash over your ears instead of infect them with repetitive strains and refrains. There's a wonderfully gentle breakdown that comes after the halfway point, demonstrating BBC's skill with and execution of effortless changes in pace and dynamic. I'm hoping it's a taster of what will be come next - a new album and another change in sound for the band whose loyal following will be happy with the result.

• New album A Different Kind Of Fix out 29th August
• Check out their official site
• Their Myspace for more music
• And their SoundCloud
• Also, follow them on Twitter

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