What a difference six months makes.
Back in December, on the back of a few festival appearances and one double A side single, Bastille rolled into Southampton to play at POP in front of 30 people. This month, having recently signed to Virgin and received airplay on daytime Radio 1 they had a sold out Joiners devotionally singing their songs back at them.
With the stage full of Bastille’s equipment, the task of warming the crowd falls to two acoustic acts-always a risky move with such a large, excitable crowd but Tom Biggs and Bryony Marie Fry both do exceptionally well to quieten the room. Especially Bryony who visibly grows in confidence after every song.
By the time Bastille battle their way through the crowd towards the stage, all of the tour posters have been stripped from the wall by the ever excitable teenagers (always a sign of a band on the up) the temperature is at boiling point, body’s are crushed together and the atmosphere is at fever pitch. As they dive into Icarus (the double A on the first single) the crush of bodies became a spralling, dancing mass and dozens of girl’s hands reached forward over the front of the stage to try and touch frontman Dan Smith.
The pace is relentless from the stage, lead EP track Laura Palmer is nonchalantly played early on as potential hit song after potential hit song continue the barrage. As the temperature continues to increase the band reach the pinnacle of their set-the genius cover of City High’s mid 90’s R’n’B hit ‘What would you do’ A song they’ve twisted so brilliantly it takes a while to work out. Following that with future number one single Pompeii-full of sing along eh oh’s and a chorus you can’t resist dancing to, and having every word of recent single Overjoyed sung back to them, Dan and his band look visibly shocked and genuinely blown away by the crowd’s reaction.
Introducing final song Flaws to a deafening cheer, the spirit of the night clearly gets to Dan as he jumps from the stage and takes a tour of the venue causing people to get on any available chair, table or mates shoulders to get a view. And what about Flaws as a song, once a heartbreakingly romantic lament, it now seems to have taken on a life of its own filling every corner of the Joiners with its perfectly crafted layers.
As we leave the venue, sweat dripping from every pore, we stumble across the four members of Bastille surrounded by young adults thrusting perfectly rolled posters under their noses, amazed and frankly dumbstruck by the attention they are receiving-with gigs like this under their belt, they had better get used to it quickly.