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Bombay Bicycle Club (pic by Ian Wilson)

It is only a year since Bombay Bicycle Club released their critically-lauded debut, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, and already they have taken a different direction to the energetic indie which defined that release.
On their latest album, Flaws, the Londoners have eschewed the electric guitars and pizzazz that earned them the title of the NME’s best new band of 2010, ahead of The XX, La Roux, Mumford & Sons and others, in favour of a more delicate, folksy, acoustic sound.
A sold-out St George’s – complete with lyrics sheets masquerading as orders of service for the congregation   – was a fitting venue for this new stripped-down style, with frontman Jack Steadman and company enthralling their seated crowd from the opening chords of Rinse Me Down to the closing refrains of You Already Know.
Steadman may lack the charisma of some performers – and he looked decidedly uncomfortable when greeted with high-pitched declarations of love from female members of the audience – but, as far as the music was concerned, he and his band were in fine form.
Stand-out moments included a well-received rendition of upbeat second single Always Like This, the catchy recent release Ivy & Gold and a fragile cover of Loudon Wainwright III’s Motel Blues, as well as the tracks Steadman performed with Lucy Rose, which recalled Damien Rice’s work with Lisa Hannigan.
Their departure from the fuzz and zest of I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose may have been a brave call, but it is one which is certainly drawing approval from their followers if this set is anything to go by.
Support on the evening came first from Rose, with a five-song solo acoustic performance, before Melodica, Melody and Me delivered a sparkling set to justify their burgeoning reputation as bright, young, gonna-bes.
With more than a subtle nod and a wink towards The Coral, their endearing seven-song set, culminating in debut single, Piece Me Back Together, would no doubt have had the crowd on their feet and dancing had it not been for the sedate surroundings of St George’s. Expect to hear plenty more from them before the year is out.

Words: Alfred Jackson