Live review: Bastille @ Koko

Bastille are one most exciting new bands right now. As a warm up to their Bad Blood tour in March main man Dan Smith et al have kick-started their tour with a smaller, more compact and intimate set of shows in London as well as around the UK. Only forming in early 2011, Bastille have grown over the internet due to their intricate musical style of alternative pop mixed with classical instruments, electronics and folk. Nevertheless this muddle of complex, yet unique, sounds has clearly attracted a wide audience of all ages at the Koko; a well-established venue for the birth of many great modern music artists.

Supported by a small ensemble of strings and backing vocals the band open their set with ‘Icarus’, bombarded with heavy thunder-like percussion coated with Smith’s rich and soothing vocals, which immediately sends the atmosphere dramatically escalating. But instead of a disastrous fall, we are faced with a soaring flight as the night progresses with Bastille’s more renown singles. ‘Bad Blood’ was a great crowd pleaser, with its catchy opening vocals. Smith is energetic on stage as he dashes from one end of the stand to another, yet still maintaining full control of his vocals-considering the fact that he also sheepishly admitted half way through the set that he caught tonsillitis. They’re roaring, dominating and intensely rich in the chorus of ‘Overjoyed’ with soft piano chords and electronic drum beats. Their latest single ‘Flaws’ concluded the first half of their performance. The synth-y staccato track is an all time favourite and by this time the crowd is squirming its way to the front with overstretched arms to grab hold of Smith. The band conclude the set with a cover of ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’, a defining 90’s dance track, which they have eloquently adapted to their own musical genre in their EP ‘Other People’s Heartaches’. Electronic xylophones blended with deep bass lines carefully synchronise with flashing lights, creating an exhilarating atmosphere. With their debut album out in March 2013 unlike Icarus, Bastille aren’t expecting a fatal crash-land anytime soon.

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