Bombay Bicycle Club continue to ride high

Bombay Bicycle Club
Bombay Bicycle Club
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First things first. Bombay Bicycle Club are neither from India nor will they be cycling to the Capital for their slot at Concert In The Gardens this Hogmanay.

What the four-piece are, however, is one of the best young bands in Britain at the moment.

Having got together in 2006, frontman Jack Steadman, guitarist Jamie MacColl (grandson of folk legend Ewan, nephew of the late Kirsty), bassist Ed Nash and drummer Suren de Saram wasted no time establishing themselves.

That same year they won a competition to perform at V Festival, and the year after they released indie-pop debut I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose – all while they were still at school.

Folk-influenced second album Flaws followed in 2010 and, despite the record company not being so sure about this new direction, it went top ten in the UK and was nominated for an Ivor Novello award.

As the title of this year’s third album promised, A Different Kind Of Fix saw Bombay Bicycle Club pedal off in another new direction – this time towards a more electronic sound.

“You can be bad at playing guitar and a song can still sound great, but with electronic music you need to be a bit of a nerd,” says Steadman, who has been making electronic music in private since he was 14.

Asked about what the new songs are about, the singer becomes elusive. The lyrics this time are clues and fragments rather than stories, and he feels more comfortable that way.

“We were so young when we started, we weren’t self-conscious at all,” he says. “We didn’t think anyone would listen to the songs.

“The reason I started making music was because I couldn’t express with words what I wanted to say.”

Bombay Bicycle Club might be highly regarded by critics, but they are aware that they haven’t yet stamped their own mark on the music industry. That is something they are hoping to change, though.

“This record is taking up from where we left off on our first record,” says bassist Nash. “I think we’re getting there, maybe with a couple more albums.

“We’re still a way away from having our own sound,” he continues. “We’re just probably borrowing from other people’s sounds, like a hybrid.”

Live, however, Bombay Bicycle Club are a far more assured beast, which bodes well for their eagerly-awaited appearance at Concert In The Gardens.

“I think that that’s probably when we shine the most,” agrees Nash. “We put on very energetic shows and the shows are complete labours of love.”

He adds, “It’s one of the best things that you can do as a band, and to experience it with so many other people. That’s when you get to be with all your friends and go crazy.”

Concert In The Gardens, West Princes Street Gardens, Hogmanay, stages live from 9pm, £35-£43 (returns only), 0844-894 2011