Live Review - Bastille at the Manchester Academy

On Tuesday night, London based four-piece band Bastille (stylised BΔSTILLE) swept into Manchester as part of their biggest tour to date, on the back of the success of their chart-topping album Bad Blood. 

Supporting Bastille were Manchester band Swiss Lips who, despite being a lesser known group, had the home crowd dancing to their upbeat melodies within minutes and even posing for a photograph taken by frontman, Sam Hammond. Highlights included their undeniably catchy song U Got The Power (certain to be a hit in the near future) and the 80s electro-pop heavy In The Water. The song's ominous lyrics and the bright green lighting combined with the smoke machines turned the stage into misty swamp. In The Water will definitely be somewhere on my Halloween party playlist! 

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The second supporting act, vocalist Chlöe Howl, had an impressive voice but the crowd grew impatient with her incessant grinding around the stage and when Bastille finally appeared they were much welcomed. 

Honestly, I wasn’t very familiar with Bastille's music before the gig but they soon had me dancing along with their most hardcore of fans. They are an interestingly genre-defying band with unusual sources of inspiration such as the 90s cult series Twin Peaks as referenced in Laura Palmer and several of their music videos. The night's greatest moments, for me, were Dan Smith's goosebump-inducing gentle falsetto in Oblivion which was truly, utterly beautiful and the moment he, to the crowd's delight, stepped into the audience during the chorus of Flaws. Despite having only one album behind them, they treated the audience to some new material in the form of their new song Blame and an extremely cool mash-up of Snap!'s Rhythm is a Dancer and Corona's Rhythm Of The Night.

The soaring, intimately haunted vocals in the opening moments of Icarus filled the room just as much as the anthemic Pompeii which closed their set. The crowd was surprisingly diverse, ranging from young teenagers to middle aged parents with an even mix of girls and guys. The entire band maintained impressively high energy levels all the way until the encore and the audience were with them the entire way. I would be surprised if even one person left the Manchester Academy without having punched the air half a dozen times and sang-screamed their way to a sore throat.

Words by Juliette Curran

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