Bastille at Portsmouth Guildhall (09/10/2013)


Bipolar Sunshine was the first support act. These days touring with Bastille is quite a big achievement so I had huge expectations. However, I was left feeling very unimpressed by his music. A few fans were getting impatient as he literally just filled time before the other two acts of the evening.

Next up were the already pretty well established band amongst Bastille fans, To Kill A King. With a new line-up consisting of a new drummer and guitarist I was pretty anxious to see if they still had the amazing chemistry they used to have. It appears they do! Despite missing the former members of the band I feel they haven’t lost anything with the new line-up. They played a set consisting tracks from their debut album Cannibals with Cutlery including crowd favourite ‘Funeral‘. A special moment for everyone involved was when Bastille  joined TKAK onstage for the beautiful track ‘Choices‘ (as seen on the Ralph’s Balcony session). All in all, a great set from the five piece. I believe To Kill A King have a bright future ahead of them.

Bastille walked on stage in the usual fashion – accompanied by the Twin Peaks theme tune. However, this set was far from what I have experience in the past. They have upped their live game by tremendous amounts. My favourite addition to the set had to be the background visuals. The bigger stage and venue in general allowed for a multi-sensual experience as they played snippets from music videos on the backdrop. My personal favourite being the galaxy projection during new single ‘Of The Night‘.

During the set Bastille performed three brand new, never heard before, tracks. In my chat with the guys before the set they told me a bit about the songs which made me extra excited to hear them for the first time. ‘Campus’ is a cool electronic number with a very catchy hook; I woke up the morning after the show with it stuck in my head proving that Dan Smith must be doing something right with his song-writing. The other new tracks were titled ‘Blame’ and ‘The Draw’, both of which included the introduction of a guitar giving the songs that extra edge and difference from the tracks on Bad Blood. 

Overall a fantastic performance from the band. They work so well together now after months and months of touring with Bad Blood that nothing is out of place. There are even little embellishments on previously heard tracks that make each show special.


About Author

I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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