Gig Review: Bombay Bicycle Club, FOUND, The Seventeenth Century


Miller Filtered Music: Bombay Bicycle Club, FOUND, The Seventeenth Century.

Oran Mor, Glasgow.
30th March 2011

Due to public transport being rubbish, then getting stuck outside in a queue, we join The Seventeenth Century already in progress. Entering a room to the familiar swell of the band and Mark Farmer’s distinctive vocals is no bad thing at all really, and thankfully I haven’t missed much. Having seen The Seventeenth Century umpteen times before, and having hosted them at one of my own gigs, I know what to expect from them by now, but that doesn’t make it any less thrilling. Their on stage energy is infections, and when everything, the almost military drumbeats, violin played as if Mark’s life depends on it, blasts of brass, tender guitars and the soaring, sweeping vocals and harmonies – oh especially those harmonies – combine, most notably tonight on set closer, err, Notes a tingle runs down the spine and hair stands on end. This is a band that still gives me goosebumps when I hear them. A recent jaunt to Holland seems to have kept them sharp too, as they remain an incredibly tight band live.
Next up are FOUND, just a few weeks after the last time I saw them (also the first time I’d seen them) launching new album Factorycraft to a packed Captain’s Rest. Over a short six song set we get edited highlights of that album, something that just flags out how good the album is. More straightforward than some of their previous material the songs from Factorycraft the “new” (FOUND have been playing these songs for so long that the tag doesn’t really apply) material goes for smart, catchy indie-rock. FOUND are never a band short on ideas though, so just because the songs are more straightforward doesn’t mean they are even close to dumbed down. Ziggy Campbell’s voice has a homely, charming rough edge to it, which when wrapped round some of the cheeky, mischievous lyrics (a choice example being I’ll Wake With A Seismic Head No More’s “I only ever wanted to put my tongue in your dimples”) can’t fail to put a smile on my face. Coupled with guitar, bass, and all sorts of percussive and glitchy noises coming from Kev Sim’s toys, FOUND make music that practically commands at least an involuntary bobbing of the head, it not a full on excursion into dancing like a loon. Nothing ever outstays it’s welcome in the set, where some other bands would milk a song for all it is worth FOUND have a fun habit of coming to a stop on this material, keeping you on your toes. The Phil Spector-esque drums of recent single Machine Age Dancing make a play for being highlight of the night, but that honour falls to You’re No Vincent Gallo, a song I’ve had stuck in my head for roughly 24 hours now without minding a bit. It took me long enough to catch FOUND live, now I find myself wondering how I’ll cope without seeing them every few weeks.
They say that familiarity breeds contempt, but on this night the opposite is more appropriate.
Headliners Bombay Bicycle Club aren’t well known to me, and unfortunately nothing they do makes me want to delve into their back catalogue to become better acquainted. Opening song Magnet, from debut album I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, was bouncy and fun enough, but to my ears the rest of their set could have been the same song played repeatedly. Capable musicians, but it all got to feel a bit one dimensional and samey, very quickly.
The young and sizable audience seemed to be having a swell time of it, but this grumpy old man left not offended – Bombay Bicycle Club weren’t awful – but unimpressed.
Photos by Claire Thomson


  1. Ben says:

    Summed up how i felt about it perfectly.

  2. BBC are second stage headliners at Latitude. Baffling.