Bombay Bicycle Club @ Cambridge Corn Exchange 20/01/2020

After a three year hiatus, indie artist Bombay Bicyle Club made their return last year with a few select shows and a headline performance at Wilderness Festival. The band also announced that they were recording a new studio album and touring once again in 2020.

The band consists of Jack Steaman, Edward Nash, Jamie MacColl and Suren de Saram.

The first stop of their current UK tour was in Cambridge where they had arranged an instore signing and live set at Fopp. Shortly after the signing, they were due to perform at Cambridge Corn Exchange for their evening show, which was a sell out!

Not only did ticket holders get a great deal for their money when purchasing their tickets for the big return of BBC, but they were also treated to performances from support acts too.
First up was Liz Lawrence , a solo artist from London. She appeared on Bombay Bicycle Club’s latest album ‘Everything Else Has Gone Wrong’. She performed a few songs which saw the night set off to a great start.

After a short interval the second act entered which were four piece all female band The Big Moon. They perfomed songs from both albums in which their second album which had only just released ten days before the show and peaked at position 19 of the UK album charts. Its clear that these girls are going to do quite well on the music scene in the near future.

Soon after the end of the second of the night’s support act, everyone was left eagerly awaiting for the main act of the night to make their way to the stage. The background of the stage had two rock like ramps at the back and four squared lights at the top. The band entered with two other members (including Liz Lawrence).

The first song to hear from them was ‘Eat,Sleep,Wake (Nothing But You). After performing a few new songs, band member Jack said they had celebrated the ten year anniversary of their debut album ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Off’ last year which was a reason the band decided to get back together. The crowd really loved to hear these classics.
With the band’s music, everyone could dance along and have a great time. After the encore they perfomed the title track of the new album and ended with the single ‘Always Like This’.
The band also mentioned they would be doing a signing after the show in the foyer at the merchandise stand.

I have a feeling that Bombay Bicycle Club will be in high demand when it comes to the festival scene throughout 2020.

There are still dates available on their UK tour and European and American shows, so make sure you go and check them out.

Review by Kane Howie

The Darkness @ Cambridge Corn Exchange 6.12.19

On Friday 6th December in the remarkable city of Cambridge, we waited in anticipation outside the doors of the Corn Exchange. A fantastic venue to which has played host to many events including music artists, theatre productions, comedians and more. The reason why we were there was to attend another awesome event The Darkness live!
The Darkness are an alternative rock band originally from Lowestoft. The act formed back in the year 2000. The band consists of musicians Justin Hawkins on vocals and lead guitar, Dan Hawkins on guitar, Frankie Poullain on bass and last but not least Rufus Tiger Taylor on drums and percussion.

Upon entering the venue, our photographer and I came into the foyer, which inclued a bar at either side and also a merch stall selling products for both The Darkness and also the evening’s support act Rews. The venue filled up fairly quickly with eager and excited fans.

First, to take to the stage, were Rews, a female fronted alt/rock band that formed in Northern Ireland back in 2014. Shauna Tohill, Ele Lucas and Scott Hislop really got the night off to an energetic start! Their first realeased albums were titled ‘Pyro’ and ‘Your Tears’. The band were so full of energy filling the stage with jump kicks and lots of dance action. They sang a total of eight hits, including ‘Shake Shake’, ‘Can You Feel It?’ and their latest single ‘Birdsong’. Their music had a great variation in style, so there was something for everyone, including a mix from heavier rock to softer more ballad like tones. A great all rounder. The band showed great interaction with the crowd and you could tell the audience really loved their musical styles. Their new album is due for release in 2020, so make sure to be on the look out for that!

After a short interval, the band members of the night’s headline act, The Darkness entered wearing white suits and Justin Hawkins donning his expected flamboyant and show stopping attire. The band had performed two sets on the night in which they played the whole of their lastest album ‘Easter Is Cancelled’ and then the second half of their show featured their older well known hits. The audience was a wide range of ages, from older generations, to younger ones. Their was one young lad in the crowd who looked only around six years old, who was clearly having the time of his life, sitting on his parent’s shoulders wearing a sleeveless denim jacket with band patches on. His parents must be so proud!

There were 3 arches decorated with lights at the back of the stage in which cartoon clips were playing during the band’s set, this included cows in a field and also characters from the James Cameron’s infamous film Titanic. On the last song of the first half the band all except Justin left the stage. Justin was left on stage with just an acoustic guitar in which he sung ‘We Are The Guitar Men’.

After another short break, Frankie came back on stage with a cow bell and got the crowd to clap along with the beat of the bell. After a quick costume change the band returned to the stage once more. Justin wore a festive red jumpsuit with the front uncovered showing his tattoos and all kinds of nipple.

Justin was brilliant at getting the crowd involved with the show. He was getting them to try and reach the same pitches that he can even chanting out “F**k’. The whole room filled with amusement and ended up singing throughout the whole performance. When the initial bars of their infamous 2003 hit ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ were played everyone was elated and sang along. The night was brought to a close in the only festive way that it could have been, the band ended with their Christmas song ‘Christmas Time (Dont Let The Bells End)’, this was great as Christmas is only a few short weeks away.

Both bands were highly enjoyable to watch live and a definite must see if you get the chance.

Review by Ellie Siemianowicz

Photos by Kane Howie