‘THE BEGINNING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF WHAT’S TO COME’
BASTILLE – O2 Academy Glasgow 10th April 2022
Words & Photography Stephen Wilson
London-based indie pop-rockers Bastille are back on tour to promote their most recent record ‘Give Me the Future’, and arrive in Glasgow ahead of two sell-out nights at the city’s O2 Academy venue to give their huge following of Scottish fans a show to remember.
Support on this tour is from a couple of newer artists. First up are a young and coming 5-piece band, The Native. Hailing from Plymouth, the young lads have worked their way up from starting as a two-piece in secondary school to increasing the ranks to include keys, bass, and drums and being given the chance to support Bastille on an MTV show within a short period of time. Going by the reaction of the crowd, its easy to see why they’re being touted as one for the future. They have a tour in their own right during the summer which could certainly be a gig to see.
The second support is a young female singer breaking thru onto the scene. Natasha Woods, aka Dylan, was inspired from a young age by her mum’s love of jazz and her dad’s liking of rock music. Bands such as Aerosmith, Guns N Roses, AC/DC, and more recently Flume have influenced her approach to music, and the short set she played was well received. Having already had a Radio 1 track of the week with her release ‘Sour Milk’, she certainly has the drive and determination to make it. An artist I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of in the future.
And onto the headline act. Bastille was formed back in 2010 in London, initially as a solo project by singer Dan Smith. Adding keyboards, bass and drums though, the band developed and released their debut album ‘Bad Blood’ in March 2013. This included the hit single ‘Pompeii’. This year saw the release of their fourth album Give Me the Future. Tonight’s setlist will comprise most of the tracks from the album, plus a few older tracks and a cover or two for good measure.
The set is very dark from the off. A busy stage, built to different levels, a reclining bed, spotlights, and a video screen marked Future-Inc at the rear playing short clips and messages throughout the show add to the spectacle. As the band takes to the stage, the roar from the crowd is deafening. Dan Smith appears on the top level at the rear, arm fist-pumped in the air as the music starts. Opening with ‘Stay Awake?’, the show is split into sections, with singer Smith returning to the reclining bed between tracks and the video screen ‘prompting’ where the next batch of songs will come from. A well-timed addition to the sci-fi effect, with complimentary stage lighting breaking through the darkness.
Dan Smith’s energy is endless. He bounds from one side of the stage to the other like a metronome, occasionally stopping to jump about for a few seconds on the spot, but always interacting with the crowd. Joined on stage by fellow bandmates Will Farquharson on guitars, Chris Wood on drums, and Kyle Simmons on keyboards, the music continues with the band in fine form.
‘Distorted Light Beam’, ‘Things We Lost in the Fire’, ‘Laura Palmer’, the big numbers are coming thick and fast and the newer songs are well received. There’s a huge feeling of positive energy from the crowd, as some of the songs build to a euphoric climax, the audience in sync with the music, and in full voice providing backing vocals and dancing away loving every second.
The 2018 track ‘Happier’ sees frontman Smith take a dive into the crowd and allow them to see him up close and personal as he sings the song perched on one of the venue’s bars. Great stuff, the smiles from the audience all around were a joy to behold.
‘Pompeii’, the band’s signature hit nearly lifts the roof from the old building, as there’s a mass bouncy in the crowd and an eruption of Ei Ho Ei Ho vocals to help the song along before the band leaves the stage for a well-deserved break. After a short interval, they return for a two-track encore, ‘Hope for the Future’ and ‘Shut Off the Lights’ closes the evening.
This was a great energetic set from the band, a stage setup that wouldn’t be out of place on a sci-fi movie, and a soundtrack that gets the place rocking. The crowd certainly got their money’s worth, and no one could possibly complain about a lack of intensity or effort coming from the stage. Definitely a band worth seeing live.