I remember when my friend Regie was on a frenzy over Twitter because he was seeing his most favorite band in forever, Bombay Bicyle club, abroad. I could not help but share his excitement as well as share the love for the band he was about to finally meet. A few days after Regie sent me a DM telling me that the band had a booked plan for Manila. You could guess what happened next.
Karpos Multimedia announced the date of the show for Bombay Bicyle club last May leaving me in a frenzy of my own. I really am thankful because more and more producers are now bringing in hip indie bands to the country, giving us all a chance to revel into the world of our highly-selective taste in music. With that in mind, Bombay Bicycle club is definitely a bucket list concert for the Philippines concert scene. I just want to share that Bombay is the third band that I have ever paid good ticket prices for – the first is Owl City (three times) and Foster the People (which just punctured holes into my bank account but it was totally worth it.)
A month before the concert, Karpos held a live chat over their Facebook page with the band and lucky little me had an almost direct conversation with Jack Steadman himself! Thanks Steph for this!
The concert was held at the World trade Center last July 23, 2014. I cannot express enough on how the show left me devastated, totally crying for more. For the past few days, I have done nothing on Spotify but scrobble my Bombay Bicyle playlist – silently remembering every time Jack Steadman danced silly and sexy and most especially how this band caged me in their perfect set that night.
The show was opened by Filipino indie-rock band She’s only Sixteen, who really rocked the stage with their fresh taste in music. It was my first time to hear SOS but people all over the internet has been praising them for their zesty take at the band scene here in the Philippines. I highly agree with the majority, SOS is a fan-worthy Filipino band that I bet will create more buzz as they continuously work their place in the industry.
I went to the concert with one of my favorite college buddies – Archie, who was a certified Bombae from the start. We were adorned with the company of other college buds Reine, Sha Sha and Nin (who was reporting for duty for a broadsheet company). It was my first concert with Archie and I believe we may have shared a good chemistry in dancing, flailing and screaming lyrics together. I also would like to think that Reine, Sha Sha and Nin were full converts as they were transfixed to the music all throughout the set. With such rare and joyous company, the night was a sure win for me.
Bombay Bicycle Club opened their set with Overdone, the first song off their new album So Long See You Tomorrow. The song was absolutely perfect as a set starter as it comes off as a soulful siren, inviting you to step into their world of fancy. I find it really enthralling to hear the first track of an album open a show because it gives a sense of familiarity to what you hear and how you listen offline. I for one, usually hate the shuffle functions of music players (unless I am really bored) because I am OC like that. I take my albums very seriously and I always start with the first track. As a bonus to the treat, It’s Alright now (the second track from the album) was next on queue. Then and there, I found myself cringing at the thought on how this band could spoil a fan like me, an OC fan like me so to say.
I have to say that as much as every concert is as good as the other, Bombay Bicycle Club was just a class in itself. The visuals were stunning, I was left gasping as the stage came to life perfectly paired with how the band delivered themselves in tune with the spectacular light directions. Everything blended perfectly and it was a true testament on how great the band performs in and out of the studio. Jack Steadman on vocals was flawless all throughout – there’s no feeling like it when you hear the voice you’re so familiar with from your earphones on to the stage, in front of you, going beyond your expectations. Ed, Suren and Jamie on the other hand were exploding with such vigor and passion, such stage presence can’t be missed as they reach out and really invoke the music aficionado in you.
What I love most about Bombay Bicycle Club’s music is the air of mystery that envelops their musicality. Their music intrigues, creeps and sucks you in that you can’t help but just give in and live in it. I think Bombay is the kind of band that grows in you. Their music tends to seep in your heart. I am openly admitting that it took me a couple of days, a few repeats, a nudge here and there to wholly accept their music and I just hated myself for not acting sooner than I should have.
Now I also have to give credits to my fellow concert goers that night, it was an amazing crowd. We all know that Bombay is labeled as an Indie-ish band but their music is well received by the fans here in the country. It was very heartwarming to hear a collective harmony from the audience whenever the band asked the audience to sing parts of songs. I was squealing like a little girl, all excited whenever collective claps were asked and all 4 of them up there were donning the most sincere smiles I’ve ever graced upon. I just melt in a puddle of emotions whenever that happens. It’s so reassuring to see love emanate from the bands you unconditionally love for what they do. Truly, there is something really magical on how we Filipinos earnestly prepare ourselves to give the band in return one gratifying show.
Prior to the show, Karpos held a Meet and Greet contest for ticket holders. I cannot just let that pass, can I? I came up with an entry and photo-shoot with the help of my most favorite Graphic Artist in the world (Hi Chris) and a dear friend (I called you dear, Eldrin!) I know I look silly but you have to give me totes on my creativity for this one!
All of them were really nice, warm and humble. I cannot believe how simple they were, welcoming us with open arms and the warmest of smiles. I flashed the picture of my entry to Ed and Jack while the others were chatting with Suren and Jamie and they were all “HAHAHAHA, really HEHEHE” when they saw my face. It really had me thinking if I did the right thing but a hug from Jack was enough of a consolation to my face from that picture so it was really worth it.
I have heard stories from some of my friends who were able to meet the band on a more personal level outside the official meet and greet space. Regie, for one, met the band (and watched them live abroad 4times!) and was all happy to tell on how great the band is in meeting with their fans. Then there was Rap who even got to hang out with Bombay at their hotel after the show. Coming from these stories, Bombay Bicycle is a genuinely nice band that is the best kind of investment for us fans who can only ask for so little from the bands we love.
It’s so occasional to have such bands grace our shores and we all owe Karpos for giving us the chance to take a peek to this band’s bubble of greatness. I just know by heart that Bombay is off to reap bigger stories of success. They’re that band that haunts you, loves you and never lets you go. Their music formulates a relationship so addicting and beautiful that you keep on coming back and end up falling in love like the first time.
So there, I think I’ve explained my point well enough. So if you ask me, how did I find the concert?
If the Light is out and the words have gone – Let me be the one to say it, Bombay Bicycle Club you will always own me heart and soul.
All concert photos were taken by Archie Algara and his long limbs. Bless him.
Setlist for Bombay’s show here is courtesy of my friend, Rap- who after the show was approached by Jack Steadman himself just to hand him this.