Bombay Bicycle Club @ Oxford o2 Academy – 07/03/11

On Monday, hipsters from all around congregated in the upstairs venue of the o2 academy to see one of the best upcoming British bands from Crouch-End, London; Bombay Bicycle Club. Tickets sold out within a blink of an eye and much scouring of ebay was done by those who missed out on tickets the first time around.

Despite a reduced number of tickets being sold for this gig the room seemed packed to the rafters and was filled with a great atmosphere. Late arrivers to the venue will have been met, upon entry, with a quiet and obedient audience being held perfectly in the palm of Oxford band Jonquil. Their set consisted of an equal mix of the old and new including an exclusive first airing of an untitled track, which they had written the day before. No faults can be picked in the mastery of each band member’s instrument and their cumulative sounds added to give something that makes you proud to be an Oxfordian.

The bar was definitely set high for BBC and with this being their first gig in a while after recording their third album you could imagine them being quite nervous. As the band stepped out you could see an expression of gratefulness on all their faces, apart from drummer Suren, whom I later realised keeps the same unimpressed face all the time. For such a plaid shirt wearing, roll-up smoking, floppy hair sporting audience you may think showing even mild appreciation towards the band would be too mainstream. This was not the case. They launched right into the thrashing guitars present on their first album ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose’ and the reception from the audience can only be described as euphoric.

No sign of the acoustic tracks of Flaws were seen and in my eyes this was a smart move; giving the audience exactly what they wanted; riff filled tracks that they could bounce along to. The high energy set was broken down only for Jack Steadman to sing Jonquil’s praises and to thank the audience; oh Jack, you charmer! Two tracks from their new album were played and they showed a clear return to their first album and showed great signs of things to come.

The definite highlight of the evening was ‘Always Like This’. The crowd were whipped up into a frenzy and during this track alone, four people managed to crowd surf, could that be a record? This gig was an unmitigated triumph and little could have been done to improve it, maybe giving out clear-lensed wayfarers would be an idea for the future.