Gig Review by Fran Prince with Photography by Carolyn Brown

Almost unclassified in genre, four-piece Bastille are known for their echoic-indie synth vibes, now they present us with their Reorchastrated tour an element that enhances their fan base to all ages.

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The multi-faceted sound defines them under a new species of music as the band has adapted to bring an unparalleled current classical-jazz infused style to our ears.

A silhouetted choir and tableau of string and brass instruments greeted us as a white backlighting haloed lead Dan Smith upon a gospel infused ‘Pompeii’ which opened the set. The a capella hum hypnotically echoed off the operatic dome of Sheffield’s City Hall.

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An up-tempoed ‘Snakes’ broke the intense silence that had settled upon the captivated audience and luminous strips that were reminiscent of music bars pinged a flash of colour like a note being struck.

A fanfare of trumpets and trombones erupted and ‘Send Them Off!’ saw the first of the audience exercise their lungs never mind their minds.

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Breaking the trio of openers, Dan greeted us and claimed he feels “like they are in a cinema, with everyone sat down” which seems to encourage an initial group of stand-ups. Humbled to be taking the stage with “incredible musicians” the audience pay homage with cheers and applauds.

Electrified awake to the alarms of blinding lights plus an eruption of synchronised violins and trumpets, the rock heavy start to ‘Blame’ elevated the entire audience to standing. Immersed in an epic collaboration of symphonic rock, the audience were completely entranced, evidently to me as the guy stood adjacent suddenly fake orgasmed like something out of Harry Met Sally.

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Revelling in the band’s rendition of ‘No Angels’ their well-known mash up of TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’ and ‘Angels’ by The XX exuded energy from Dan as he threw his limbs into an emotional turmoil of motion.

Their slow tempoed ‘Two Evils’ was revitalised with a classical instrumental that reminded me of Athletes ‘Wires’. Transporting us back to our first love ‘Flaws’ the electronica from keyboardist Kyle Simmonds complimented the soulful harmonies of the ensemble.

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Proven to individualise covers, the bands execution of Corona’s ‘Rhythm of the Night’ is activated by a flawless male singer as Dan modestly takes a back seat to highlight the talents of others. Backed by the pulsating beats of drummer Chris Wood and bassist Will Farquarson, the audience are zombified into a two-stepping sway as if Dan their puppeteer.

Dangling a hugely anticipated carrot to their fans, Dan apologises for not playing any new work – yet we are due an album drop anytime soon. Welcoming back to stage the support acts (To Kill a King) lead and university friend Ralph Pelleymounter, Dan duets under a haloed white spotlight as they perform a melancholic indie-folk sounding ‘Cut Her Down’ which turns the tone a little depressive.

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The intoxicating melody of ‘Oblivion’ was augmented with the powerful interlude of violins and the beautifully lit up venue, embellished in gold detailing and a glass sphere light, the crowds created a sky of stars as they hung above the band in their semi-circular balconies.

‘Things We Lost In The Fire’ had us clapping in sequence as glows of red and orange cascaded across the sculpted mannequins that sat above the stage whilst collaborative Craig David track ‘I Know You’ magnetised our bodies to the rhythm.

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Although modest in his approach to speaking, Dan’s amiable nature was intriguing to watch as he admittedly lay bare his uncertainties of the new venue and style telling us “this is our pretend last song” (so don’t leave!) upon introducing radio hit ‘Good Grief’.

A thunder of stamps for Bastille’s encore made me very aware of the elderly buildings time-worn structure that sat above my head and ‘Back Home’ ruptured a clashing of cymbals that glowed blue like rippling water.

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Juxtaposing a truth-telling ‘World Gone Mad’ and final song the optimistic ‘Albatross’ we get the full parade of Dan’s range, from falsetto to deep every word was ricocheted by the audience.

Frontiers for abstracting genres, Bastille continue to push the boundaries of what both fans and critics expect them to produce – something we’ll be sure to appreciate in their upcoming album.

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Support act ‘To Kill a King’ perform a wealth of tracks from Album ‘Spiritual Darkage’ and brand themselves amongst Mumford and Sons come Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, with folk electronica infused songs.

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See the complete photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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