Monday, January 04, 2021

Bombay Bicycle Club: I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose Live at Brixton Album Review

Bombay Bicycle Club are an English indie-rock  band hailing from Crouch End, London, UK. Consisting of Jack Steadman [Lead-Vocals, Guitar and Piano], Jamie MacColl [Guitar], Suren de Saram [Drums], and Ed Nash [Bass].  They are a guitar-fronted force and have experimented with different genres throughout their musical succession, dabbling in  Folk, Electronica, World-Music and  penultimately Indie Rock. 

Finding fame after the band were given the opening slot on 2006’s  [V Festival] after winning a competition. Following, they subsequently released two  [EPs] and their debut single “ [Evening/Morning]. Since then, the band has released four albums including /[So Long, See You Tomorrow] which topped the album charts in February 2014.  ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose- Live At Brixton’ was recorded on November 8, 2019 at the band’s sold-out O2 Academy Brixton show, which was held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of  their 2009 debut album.

The crowd is vibrant bringing life in an abundance at the very start of this album, we’re transported back to the glory days of live music. The beautiful times full strangers seating next to you and slipping beer down your back, the attendees shake this show with roars of approval back in November 2019 to immortalise the 10th anniversary of Bombay Bicycle Club’s debut album ‘/I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose/’ Bombay Bicycle Club’s Live at Brixton album is surrounded by an air of Nostalgia, certainly for the time being.  Beckoning all indie fans patiently waiting upon the return of gigs: this album is for you, close your eyes and slip back into the warm air of Brixton Academy sold out.

After the iconic instrumental of  an intro in the form of ‘Emergency Contraception Blues’, the quartet proceed to perform the entirety of their debut album live. The dedicated crowd carry back the entire album word for word, with an almost ethereal echo. They are tuned down for the majority of the album’s 54-minute duration, understandably allowing for the instrumentation and vocals to be heard in their full capacity like never before. But the few moments where the audience slip through and can be heard though, are exceptional, when singing along to the guitar riff from ‘Evening/Morning’ in the truest form of British festival mentality is universally a welcoming feeling.

The mystic finale serenades us with gentle tones, touching the folk loving fans, BBC captivate us with ‘The Giantess’  A strong set drop to the calmer notes in comparison to all the typically rugged indie-rock anthem  that have just been painting our rooms as the vivacious Brixton Academy. For the show to draw to an end peacefully, with added female vocals for harmony. Is a soft and settling touch, that i think was well chosen to frame the final moments of the show.  The song does pick up in the final moments, unlike its  studio version, Giving the crowd one last shake rather than a calm farewell. The extended instrumental outro is the poignant final embodiment of the band's presence on the album, as the audience’s cheering ends the set in the same nature it began.

The raw success of this live album is a sediment  to how timeless the original album was, released a decade yet still demonstrates how Bombay Bicycle Club are innately able to resurrect their strongest accomplishment. Giving us all hope that perhaps in the upcoming year, after much uncertainty and disappointment globally, maybe we all can shake loose our blues.


1. Emergency Contraception Blues – Live At Brixton
2. Lamplight – Live At Brixton
3. Evening / Morning – Live At Brixton
4. Dust On The Ground – Live At Brixton
5. Ghost – Live At Brixton
6. Always Like This – Live At Brixton
7. Magnet – Live At Brixton
8. Cancel On Me – Live At Brixton
9. Autumn – Live At Brixton
10. The Hill – Live At Brixton
11. What If – Live At Brixton
12. The Giantess – Live At Brixton

— Patricia Poulton

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