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Britain’s Bombay Bicycle Club back in Philly

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STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN  
bbingaman@thereporteronline.com
@brianbingaman on Twitter

They took their name from a London Indian restaurant — or as they’re referred to in British slang, a “curry house.”
“We started back when we were 15 years old. We didn’t know what to call it,” said Ed Nash, bassist for Bombay Bicycle Club. “We thought: ‘This probably won’t last … and we can change it’.”
When the indie rock group first launched its Facebook page, Nash said, they got comments from misguided-and-hungry users like: “Where’s my curry? It’s really late.”
Nine years ago, “we went to school with people in bands that, at the time, were doing better than us,” Nash said. However in 2007, it was Bombay Bicycle Club that found favor with England’s “NME” (“New Musical Express”), who declared them “the hottest band to come from North London for quite some time.”


Their early music was influenced by guitar-based alternative bands like Modest Mouse, Built to Spill and Pavement. For 2010’s “Flaws,” BBC channeled artistic and introspective ‘70s songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake. Since then, Nash said, the band’s sound has been informed by dance music and hip-hop, as well as world music.

Bombay Bicycle Club . Photo by Jamie Stoker

Bombay Bicycle Club .
Photo by Jamie Stoker

Today, Nash, Jack Steadman, Jamie MacColl and Suren de Saram are all 24 years old; and not only did they keep the Bombay Bicycle Club name, but they’ve grown an even bigger following than the restaurant ever did. Touring in support of their fourth full-length album, “So Long, See You Tomorrow,” BBC has performed across Europe, and in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia — and once in a great while, India (where audiences look bewildered after they discover the “Bombay Bicycle Club” on the marquee is a band).
The video for the song “Feel” is a full-on Bollywood dance number. “Me and Jack came up with that years and years ago. We were watching Indian music television. We said: ‘They look amazing. We should get them in a song and let them do whatever they want’,” said Nash.
The stars of the video for “Luna” are a synchronized swimming team. The band members appear in the artsy video for “Carry Me.” See more at www.bombaybicycleclubmusic.com.
Despite successful album sales at home in the U.K., BBC has never had a true hit single. “That’s just what we do. We’ve been out there so much and played so many shows and built the fan base up slowly,” Nash explained.


He invited those that will be in Philadelphia for their all ages Oct. 21 concert at Union Transfer to “come by and say hey.”
“We’ll be looking for stuff to do,” he added.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Bombay Bicycle Club in concert, with opening acts Milo Greene and Luxley.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Oct. 21.
WHERE; Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia.
TICKETS: $25.
INFO: Call (215) 232-2100 or visit www.utphilly.com.

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