Bombay Bicycle Club ‘Flaws’

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‘Flaws’ (released, 12th July) is the stunningly beautiful, new acoustic album by Bombay Bicycle Club.  Having finished recording their debut LP ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose’ in February 2009, the band went straight back into the studio (The Church, Crouch End) days after they submitted the master for ‘I Had The Blues’, and started the initial recordings for this album.  Recorded in between touring over the past year and a half, a few early tracks were laid down at The Church and produced by Neill MacColl (guitarist Jamie’s Dad), but the rest was recorded in singer, Jack Steadman’s bedroom and produced by Jack himself.

‘Flaws’ is characterised by a delicate, heart-swelling beauty and lightness of touch throughout. Those that had BBC pegged merely as an indie band may need to re-think. This more stripped down, acoustic sound – though markedly different from the majority of their debut – isn’t new for the band, as almost every single they’ve released since their earliest days has been accompanied by an acoustic b-side.  Jack describes his Dad playing him Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music for the first time as a “huge moment”. Similarly, delving into his Dad’s record collection introduced him to the likes of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, John Martyn and Nick Drake.  Intricate, finger-picked guitar lines and ethereal melodies pull at the heart strings on new songs such as My God, the startlingly pretty Leaving Blues and title track Flaws (a duet with Lucy Rose).

On other tracks – ‘Rinse Me Down’ and ‘Many Ways’ – skittering drum rhythms and distant banjo lines drift in, but in the main, it’s a naked intimacy that makes these songs dazzle. The album’s final track, ‘Swansea’, is perhaps the most exciting in terms of where BBC will take their sound next. All the music for ‘Swansea’ was written by Jack, but uses some of the lyrics from a Joanna Newsom track of the same name. A simple folk ballad that opens with plaintive guitar and vocals, swells and morphs into something altogether different, as a synth counter melody slowly floats into reverb-rich vocals and echo chamber drum rhythms.

Having been crowned “Best New Band” at the NME awards in February, ‘Flaws’ – released almost exactly a year after their debut – looks set to book end a fantastic year for BBC. BBC play Radio 1’s Big Weekend in May, followed by a July acoustic tour of churches and art centres and all major UK festivals throughout the summer.

July acoustic tour dates:
MON 12th JULY – MANCHESTER, ST PHILIPS CHURCH
TUE 13th JULY – MANCHESTER, ST PHILIPS CHURCH
WED 14th JULY – BRISTOL, ST GEORGES
THU 15th JULLY – BIRMINGHAM, ST PAULS CHURCH
MON 19TH JULY – GATESHEAD, SAGE 2
TUE 20TH JULY – NORWICH, ARTS CENTRE
WED 21ST JULY – BRIGHTON, ST GEORGES CHURCH
THU 22nd JULY – LONDON, UNION CHAPEL
FRI 23RD JULY – LONDON, UNION CHAPEL  ** SOLD OUT **

Other UK dates:
14th MAY – Academy, Dublin (supporting Foals
12th JUNE – Isle Of Wight Festival
25th JUNE – Glastonbury Festival
10th JULY – T In The Park Festival
11th JULY – Oxegen Festival
16th JULY – Lovebox festival
17th JULY – 2000 trees festival

Ed.

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