AFTER two and a half years of writing, touring and travelling since their last album, ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’, the underrated North London band of Bombay Bicycle Club have come out with a new, elaborated electronic approach in the form of a fourth, ten track album.
The bands movement towards a more ‘dance’ sound is named ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ which a member of the band, Suren, thinks fits nicely with the theme of ‘loops’ as the album itself loops back around from the last song to the first.
With their new collaboration of widely influenced songs out today (Monday, February 3), Bombay Bicycle Club are playing across the world starting with mainland Europe, finishing with America and touring their home country in between, the UK.
The tour is to be one to look forward to with their traditional exciting atmosphere created by extreme playing enthusiasm and the new visual projection focused look.
Suren de Saram, the drummer with a guilty pleasure of early UK garage music, said he can not wait to get back to playing for their nation’s fans on a 16 date tour, especially with the transformed electronic sounds and after being in the studio for a year.
I asked the musician about his experiences at UK venues such as the O2 Apollo in Manchester. He said: “I have always experienced a good atmosphere in the city, from playing in large venues to small clubs.”
However, instead of returning to settings such as the Manchester Academy, Suren explained that the band wanted a “change of scenery” this time around and so are playing at the recently opened Albert Hall: an ornate chapel that’s been lost in the city centre for over 40 years but has now been restored and resurrected as an events venue and is set to become one of the most atmospheric music and events venues in the UK.
And with the bands reputation for wild gigs, including having the audience up on stage while they play, Bombay Bicycle Club are bound to provide an atmospheric start.
The LP is the first to be produced in their own studio and was solely shaped by lead man, Jack Steadman, who travelled to various exotic landscapes of the world such as Turkey, Japan, The Netherlands and India.
In these places he would meet new families and friends who inspired his creative abilities as well as looking through old records for imaginative ideas, a few of which are sampled in ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’. Sounds from Bollywood soundtracks are featured in the tunes, such as from the 1954 film ‘Nagin’ appearing in the four-piece’s song ‘Feel’.
From their first album – ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose’ – the group have transformed their style from typical British indie rock to warming acoustic songs to a continuous electronic progression.
Suren states that “our whole rise has been gradual”. He said: “We didn’t aim for a revolution in our style but instead have taken a more unconventional route as we became more and more influenced by the dance genre and it crept its way in through Jack and his solo work.”
The group have still included many recorded sounds to mix in with the electronic feel with a lot less guitar sounds, much different from previous LPs. In their last album, sampling did appear subtly, but was prominent in the song ‘Shuffle’ which proved to be a massive hit when it was released as a single in the summer of 2011.
Bombay Bicycle Club started off playing at a school assembly and the next thing they knew they were playing at V Festival in 2006 while still at college. After this they went back to education and decided to focus on their band and success progressively instead of getting record deals at such a young age.
As for Suren, he advanced as a drummer over this time. With his father, Rohan de Saram, being a professional Cellist. Suren said: “I always grew up with music around me, so was taught piano and orchestral instruments at an early age before I moved on to drums.
“I started off as a jazz drummer with influences like Max Roach and Elvin Jones.”
However, when he became a part of Bombay Bicycle Club, he explained: “I had to learn to hit harder, to suit the indie rock genre.”
As for their new album out today, the artwork was inspired by 19th century English photographer, Eadweard Muybridge, and his profound work in motion. The albums cover, as well as visuals for the singles ‘Carry Me’ and ‘Luna’, is based on a Phenakistoscope which were often seen in Muybridge’s art.
Collectively, this beautifully inspired artwork, worldwide musical influences, unconventional non-eagerness for success, and the time to create the album are what make it so much more developed compared to their previous work. It’s what marks the ensemble as so unique as they attempt to drive away from the stereotypical indie-rock band and into the individualism.
Bombay Bicycle Club’s tour dates for next month in the UK, include:
Sunday, March 2 at Leeds O2 Academy, Monday 3 at Glasgow O2 Academy, Tuesday 4 at Aberdeen Music Hall, Wednesday 5 at Newcastle O2 Academy, Friday 7 at Nottingham Rock City, Saturday 8 at Birmingham O2 Academy, Sunday 9 at Norwich UEA, Monday 10 on Portsmouth Guildhall, Wednesday 12 at Bristol O2 Academy, Thursday 13 at London O2 Academy Brixton, Saturday 15 at Liverpool Academy, Sunday 16 at Cardiff University Great Hall, Monday 17 at Exeter University Great Hall, Tuesday 18 at Brighton Dome, Thursday 20 and Friday 21 at Manchester Albert Hall.
To book tickets go online to http://bombaybicycleclubmusic.com