Thursday, July 31, 2014


Words by Kix Suarez
Photos by Kris Rocha

Rain poured over Manila last Wednesday night. Traffic was bad and the normal 30-minute car ride to World Trade Center turned in to this epic 2-hour journey – braving floods and enduring the crawl from side streets to main thoroughfares just to get to see Bombay Bicycle Club’s first ever performance in the Philippines.

Manila based indie rockers She’s Only Sixteen opened the show with one of their best performances to date. Their sound was the perfect fit to wet the appetite of fans. Reminiscent of Arctic Monkey’s energy and The Strokes nonchalant wit, they performed originals such as Dying to Meet You to Bombay Bicycle Club fans’ delight. (It also bought extra time for people coming from work inching their way to the concert venue.)

As the boys of She’s Only Sixteen wrapped up their set and the crowd got settled in to their place, an excitement took over. One by one, Jack Steadman (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Jamie MacColl (guitar), Suren de Saram (drums) and Ed Nash (bass) took to the stage.

Visuals lit up on circular screens behind them with kaleidoscope like visuals that kept fans ogling much like moths to a flame. The band didn’t waste any time to get to what they were expected to do: blow the minds of the crowd away. They opened with “Overdone,” the opening track of their current album, “So Long, See You Tomorrow”.

“Overtone” was immediately followed by a crowd favorite, which has been getting lot of airtime on local radio stations, “It’s Alright Now”. Notable songs that were played too were “Your Eyes” and an old favorite “Open House”. “Always Like This” “Your Eyes” and “Come To,” eased the vibe and moved the crowd to sway the night away.

“Lights Out, Words Gone,” “Shuffle” and tracks with that distinct Bombay sound “Luna” and “Feel” were well received with applause and cheer. At times, there were even collective ‘Oh my GOD!’ screams from a groups of teens in love or heartbroken. (I was too busy geeking out to the concert to further eaves drop). As “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep” started playing, the crowd turned in to a choir. At the top of their lungs, they sang every lyric in tune. It was quite a moment, the band’s eyes grew big and smiles were all around.

“Evening/Morning” soon followed.  But it was the song after that that really made the night. Before the song, Jack Steadman asked Liz Lawrence to come up front to join him in performing “Home By Now.” An instant classic in its own right, the song starts out with a good beat and a bass line that tries to build you up but suddenly holds off to let Steadman’s voice ring through. And instantly, it feels like you’re back in high school. You’re back to that awkwardness of your first slow dance at prom but with it comes this purity and sincerity. When palms sweat out too easily from nervousness and your lips tremble as you steal glances at your date trying to figure out if it’s the right time to steal that kiss from her.

The band exits the stage soon after ‘Home By Now.’ The crowd let’s the feeling settle a bit but then ask for more. A low cheer for an encore picks up quite quickly and the band returns to sing “What If” and “Carry Me.”

At the point, the band just left the crowd in gleeful smiles. It was worth the two-hour journey and braving the rain and all the trouble that came with seeing the band live. Many thanks to the people behind Karpos Multimedia for such a wonderful evening. Seems like there’s another concert in the pipeline but they’ve been pretty hush about it. We definitely can’t wait for that.


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