Having only just released his debut album at the start of the week, Bastille mastermind Dan Smith has finally revealed all his cards, musically bearing all of what previously had remained very close to his chest.
However, with the roller-coaster success Bastille seem to be experiencing lately, it’s no surprise that fans have been echoing back his lyrics to him long since before the release of ‘Bad Blood’. Having last seen Bastille at The Great Escape Festival 2012, what’s in store for us at Norwich Waterfront nearly one year on?
Well, as Bastille took to the stage, one difference was particularly evident ― the herd of hysterical, screaming girls. As I contained my own girlish screaming, the London synth-pop quartet kicked things off with the opening bars of the brooding anthem, ‘Bad Blood’. The track acted as a perfect reminder as to why we fell in love with Bastille to begin with; Smith’s voice is as powerful and distinct as ever and of course continually supported by exceptional instrumental and vocal backing throughout.
New album tracks such as ‘The Silence’ and ‘The Weight of Living Pt II’ make themselves right at home among other Bastille classics as the aforementioned gaggle of screaming girls continued to convulse whenever Dan strayed too close to the railing. It was of course always a pleasure to hear ‘Overjoyed’ as the lads lined up at the synth once more whilst Smith’s voice leads this climactic, melodic journey.
With the wonderful organic quality Smith has added to his debut album through the addition of stringed instruments, it was always going to be a curious matter as to how these tracks would manifest themselves live, sans string accompaniment. However, tracks such as ‘Laura Palmer’, ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’ and ‘Icarus’ still manage to maintain the same rich energy heard on the album and even begin to take on a more aggressive form; as Smith began to rain terror down on his lonesome floor-tom, these tracks began to exude a slightly more abrasive energy in contrast to the fairly good-natured tone of the album.
Midway through the set, Dan must have been a little parched on stage as he spontaneously burst into the crowd before eventually making his way to the bar. Even whilst climbing onto it and wading through the crowds, he continued to deliver the flawless vocals you would expect at all times from a Bastille gig. Nobody served him at the bar though, which seemed plain rude after his difficult commute.
Following the anthemic ‘Pompeii’, Bastille left the stage before quickly returning to perform the tender ‘Get Home’ and finally, the infectious melodies of ‘Flaws’. A rousing round of applause followed the exit of the band from the Norwich Waterfront stage, whilst the younger female fans began immediately trading in their One Direction posters for Bastille equivalents. Oh and also, there was more screaming.
It was yet another brilliant performance, just as every one of our previous encounters with Bastille has been in the past; that’s what always keeps us coming back for more. However, having first seen the band in 2011 with around twenty other people sharing the room, it was a bit surreal to see so many young girls swooning over Dan and uncontrollably screaming. I have a feeling that I’ll just have to get used to this though, especially having learned that Bastille have just achieved number one album in the UK. It has to be one of the best starts for any indie artist’s career to date and after this performance; it’s all too easy to see why.