There is just something about a band with the word “club” in the name that seems to always pique my interest. I don’t know what it is but it’s just one of those band name recurring phrases (I’ve already written about the “wolf” phenomena) that I am drawn to over and over again. Somehow, I’m always pleasantly surprised to find out that the band is great on top of having a cool name. Win/Win.
For evidence, I offer up such kick-ass “club” themed bands as: Tokyo Police Club, Two Door Cinema Club, New Young Pony Club, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club…and of course, the king of clubs…Culture Club. Pretty decent lineup, right?
Well, now you can add Bombay Bicycle Club to that esteemed list. A melodic, guitar-driven indie rock/folk group from North London, I first found and fell in love with them courtesy of their breezy song ‘Shuffle’ that has been getting lots of rotations in my own iPod’s shuffle as of late. Three of the young lads (frontman Jack Steadman, guitarist Jamie MacColl and drummer with possibly one of the best names in music, Suren de Saram) have been indie-rocking together since they were 15 and still in school way, waaaaaay back in 2005.
Sidenote: Thanks for making me feel super old, fellas.
Back then, they were called The Canals and spent the next year gigging and studying for exams while switching up band names and bassists until finding current bass-slapper Ed Nash and settling on their final name – an ode to a local chain of London Curry Houses. Soon after, the club members found themselves entering and winning Virgin Mobile’s “Road To V” battle-of-the-bands contest in 2006, garnering them a chance to be the opening act at the huge and career-making V Festival that year. Launched out of obscurity and into the spotlight, hyped as one of the best new British “bands to watch” by that win, record deals came pouring in, but instead they decided to self-release their debut EP while at the same time finishing school (smart boys).
Now secondary school graduates and buzz-band up-and-comers, over the past five years they have put out two more EPs, two well-received singles, a fun acoustic record Flaws in 2010 and just this past August, plugged back in and gave us A Different Kind of Fix. This new record has that effervescent single ‘Shuffle’ and a post-punk pop sound that evokes the similar British outfits who have come before, but with a new layer to it that is distinct and effectively catchy. The opening keys riff on ‘Shuffle’ is disjointed and at first seems off somehow, like a mistake in the recording that could get annoying and fast, but then when it melds into the rest of the song somehow becomes quite lovely.
I completely dig the video for this jam because it’s just a band…playing live and hanging out on tour. No deep, cryptic message to convey with vague imagery or leggy models running around confused for seemingly no reason other than because that’s what you do in a music video. They just offer up some snippets of them playing so you can get a sense of what their shows are like along with shots of them hanging out backstage or eating on the road – and it just makes you like them even more. For sure, if Bombay Bicycle Club showed up at a house party you would want to share a pint. That is if you can get over the fact that they were getting famous writing awesome music at an age when the biggest accomplishment most people can claim is getting their braces off.
They are about to launch a huge European Tour next week so if you are somewhere across the pond right now, I highly suggest you check out their website and go see if you can become the newest Bombay Bicycle Club member.
See Also: ‘Evening/Morning’ and ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’