Bombay Bicycle Club @ The Barfly, Birmingham – 15th August 2008


Like a newly born but sadly unwanted child, Everything Everything appeared on stage kicking, screaming and not able to focus. Talk about birth trauma — the trauma was all mine.


At first, not really wanting to accept that they were actually in the room, I averted my gaze several times. The lead singer literally annihilating us with a voice that had all the cats in the neighbourhood running; but strangely, as a mother that eventually develops a bond to their illegitimate child I began to like (not love) what Everything Everything could become. The lead singer needs some work and their live set was, for the most part, awful but a good sound was hidden amongst all of this and some of their harmonies showed promise. I kid you not.


The Scarlet Harlots were, on the other hand, in a different league, however, I may be being slightly unfair as (I hope) Everything Everything are just starting out. The Scarlet Harlots are full of the kind of intensity you would want to see again and again in a band. Good songs, not just played well but played with passion with an almost ‘screw you all’ attitude at times. The lead singer and especially the lead guitarist showed quality beyond their years but more importantly they seemed to enjoy every goddamn moment of it.

When it came to Bombay Bicycle Club I was expecting and hoping for a lot. The hype suggested that I was going to get a rare glimpse of a young band (I think their average age is 17) that needed nothing more than be allowed to do what they do; no tinkering, no pushing, just pure talent oozing from every pore. Perhaps I was expecting too much.


What I got was a good band that, unlike The Scarlet Harlots, obviously believes they have nothing more to do. Jack Steadman, the lead singer, is someone who has the talent but behaves like the intellectual lovechild of Beck and Woody Allen. I know he is developing his onstage persona, but please, someone needs to sit him down and have a long chat about just getting on with it. I don’t particularly want to get an insight to his inner mental turmoil with every song but they are fantastic songs. Evening Morning, The Hill and How Are You are so good they will surely make the Bombay Bicycle Club the darlings of T4 and Transmission in a very short time to come.

What a shame.

Review- George Fleming
Photos – Ian Dunn

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