A golden setlist of their greatest works to date
Ianthe Warlow
11:19 28th January 2020

On an otherwise dull Saturday, Bombay Bicycle Club return to the north with a heart-warming sold-out show at Leeds O2 Academy, which marks their first Leeds show since their split in 2015. A strange kind of patience, rare at gigs of this calibre, is evident in the crowd. Their return has been a long wait, but there’s no animosity present; just a gentle, excited buzz filling the room. With a freshly toasted new album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong out just a week prior, Bombay Bicycle Club brought their familiar dreamy atmosphere back with a set list of old favourites and new gems. 

With new track ‘Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)’, opening proceedings, Bombay mark their territory and within moments their hiatus is but a distant memory. Just weeks after the new album release, crowd members from all walks of life are singing along, arms flailing in celebration. Bombay bring an aura unmatched by most, with brass instrumentalists bringing their best-known melodies to life. This is prominent in ‘Feel’, where the brass carry the refrain in this Mumbai-inspired banquet of Bollywood and indie rock sitting harmoniously. 

Liz Lawrence, after opening the show, joined the band to provide delicate harmonies in ‘Home By Now’ and ‘Luna’ among others, instantly earning the favour of those who may have missed her ethereal vocals in her opening set a couple hours prior. 

‘Evening/Morning’ brought prominent, youthful bass and dramatic energy to the room. Ed Nash’s bass line is powerful and demands attention as a singular spotlight provides him a moment to reign. The band stop abruptly towards the end of the song and allow suspense to build before bursting into the energetic final section; they savour the moment as the crowd chant and wait eagerly before exploding into a chaotic pit.

Frontman Jack Steadman taunts the crowd while waving goodbye, before predictably but excitedly returning for two more songs. New album title track ‘Everything Else Has Gone Wrong’ provides a relatable and youthful homage to anxiety but with a hopeful tone as the unity of the crowd and band feels wholesome and familiar. Closing on ‘Always Like This’, a crowd united in dancing with no inhibition savour the last few moments of what has been a truly successful return to Leeds for the band.                                                            

With an artfully crafted setlist, a brass band and the raw talent that Bombay Bicycle Club exhibit, it’s no surprise that much of their tour is selling at a rapid pace. 

Photo: Jess Huxham