Bastille + Clean Bandit + Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, O2 Academy, Birmingham 03/11/13

Bastille 1
Bastille have clearly come a long way this year. With a chart-topping album now under their collective belts, and having sold out shows in venues across the globe, they’ve certainly soared to new heights. Playing sold out shows across the UK, the band had nothing left to prove.
Rag N Bone Man
Rag ‘N’ Bone Man
Rag ’N’ Bone Man was first before the crowd, and from the moment he began, he had the venue in the palm of his hand. His powerful voice and instantly-likeable stage presence both charmed and compelled his crowd from the get-go, and with the introduction Stig Of The Dump to the stage, the set took on a new lease of life. Fusing elements of rhythm and blues with soulful vocals and a side-serving of rap, they proved masters of their talents, blowing the room away before anyone could even think to question.
Clean Bandit
Clean Bandit
Clean Bandit were tasked with the unenviable challenge of having to follow such a performance, and whilst they basked in the glow of the stage lights, their set passed most the room by. Mismatched with the rest of the line-up, the band’s radio-friendly sound filled the room but not the audiences attention. Their lack of connection was balanced by their energy and enthusiasm, which, whilst not fully redeeming, did make for an entertaining show.
Bastille 2
Finally, it was time for Bastille. As the theme from Twin Peaks flooded the venue, the band took to the stage in front of a sea of enthusiastic faces. Launching into long-time favourite ‘Bad Blood’ against a projected backdrop of their music video, the four-piece were instantly revered by their audience.
Bastille 3
Arms, cameras, and unified voices filled their air as the band filled their show with hit after hit. It’s a testament to Bastille that their new songs – such as ‘Campus’ – were met with as much excitement as old favourites. Covers of City High’s ‘What Would You Do?’ and Corona’s ‘Rhythm Of The Night’ heralded some impressive dance moves from the crowd, whilst tracks like ‘Laura Palmer,’ ‘These Streets,’ and ‘Flaws’ saw people singing along like their lives depended on it.
Bastille 4
As the Twin Peaks theme filled the venue once more, people filed out the doors with smiles on their faces. With a band who take their performance this much in their stride, you know you’re guaranteed a good time.
Photographs by Jonathan Morgan