Bombay Bicycle Club pt. 1

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By Conner Munson / Inscape Editor

When you walk through the doors of the Henry Fonda Theater, it is as if the threshold unveils a biome that is unimaginable from the streets of Hollywood.

You are immediately confronted by the sounds that were somehow hushed before by the vintage entryway. It is as if the antiquarian-yet-renovated venue is shrouded by a purposeful mystique; rewarding only those who venture forth.

The bass shudders across the checkered ballroom floor like a massive snake, shaking the baroque moldings that adorn the walls and ceiling. The head of the serpent scans the room, preying on its targets and the treble of the shrill electric guitars flit across your ears like the tongue of the beast.

On Oct. 17, Bombay Bicycle Club took hold of the reptilian’s reigns, as it were.

With a sound marked by Afro-beat rhythm influences and effervescently melodic vocal and instrumental composition, the band is unique in every way possible.

Jack Steadman, lead singer, guitarist and lyricist for the band, utilizes the dichotomy of emotional and physical woe in his lyrics with the contrasting esthetic pleasure of melodic instrumentation.

This method of expression is the most earnest in translation to a live setting.

You see Steadman furrow his brow as he tells tales of discordant relationships, but you feel the emotional presence that he evokes with every word.

The Henry Fonda Theater is, if anything, a landmark in entertainment history.

One can be assured that whoever sweeps the stage at the end of the night has swept away the particles of worn-off tread from the soles of some of the largest acts of all time.

Backstage waste-bins filled with the long-forgotten shoe dust of legends like Thom York of Radiohead or Stevie Wonder.

It is fitting that Jack Steadman, and the band Bombay Bicycle Club, may now be part the history of the venue.

They command such a prowess over their instruments, they could most likely play the tunes of those who came before with striking similarity. That is where Bombay Bicycle Club excels; it is as if they subtly nod at various musical trends, using catchy riffs and harmonic backup vocals whilst still being wonderfully unique.

You could try to place it, but it always comes out in a particularly Bombay Bicycle Club way.

The mastery of their craft shows when they are all succumbing to the vigor of their unique, individual parts.

Ed Nash, bassist for the London collective, turns out some of the funkiest grooves with drummer, Suren de Saram.

All the while, Steadman can be heard pumping out some of the most intricate, yet complementary guitar melodies on his lively, reverbified, satin-black Stratocaster.

Part of the collective’s set was a return to the second studio LP, “Flaws”, an 11 track folk-acoustic album.

Breaking out a banjo and acoustic guitars would, in most cases, detract from the energy of a performance, but proved to be as lively and hard-hitting rhythmically as their electric jams.

Seeing Bombay Bicycle Club play their live showcase is enthralling. It somehow foreshadows the future, giving the concert-goer the peace of mind that the future likely holds a manifold of new, and possibly even more refined, Bombay Bicycle Club material.

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