So Clean Bandit played at the O2 Academy Newcastle last week and absolutely smashed it. The band from Cambridge are doing some incredibly exciting things at the moment and if you haven’t heard their no.1 hit ‘Rather Be’ that also made it into the Billboard Hot 100 chart then where have you been for the past year?
With great stage-presence, the 4 piece group connected ,and rocked, the audience right from the start. The female singers joining them on stage were flawless, and by the looks of things enjoying every minute of it. Basically, the way the band works is they create their own songs and then proceed to find the right vocalists to feature on them.
The band played songs from their debut album ‘New Eyes’ which was released during the summer. They switched between styles during the set, going from electronic and classical focused songs such as ‘Mozart’s House’, ‘Dust Clears’ and ‘Telephone Banking’, to songs nearer the pop end of the spectrum like ‘Real Love’, ‘Extraordinary’ and ‘Heart On Fire’. One of my personal favourites was the result of an unexpected collaboration between the band and French musician Stylo G on the song ‘Come Over’. It is a well fused mix of Clean Bandit’s staple, featuring electronic sounds and classical instruments with reggae island beats. The artists managed to weave their genres together seamlessly, and not one person in the audience refrained from moving to the track. Another song, ‘Rhianna’, got a similar reception from the crowd. The encore consisted rather obviously of the smash hit ‘Rather Be’ but not before they got the crowd bouncing with a performance of Robin S’ 90s banger ‘Show Me Love’.
What also made the gig so enjoyable was that the warm-up act, the great new band Years & Years, were awesome too. The band possess a seriously talented lead vocalist, and I’m particularly obsessed with their cover of Blu Cantrell’s ‘Breathe‘. Years & Years are most deserving of their gig as Clean Bandit’s support-act.
There’s no single way to describe Clean Bandit, but they do certainly incorporate aspects of classical and electronic music. Their debut album ‘New Eyes’ is an original and versatile piece that stands on its own from other mainstream chart music today, and as Stylo G himself said ‘no-one sounds like Clean Bandit’.