Bombay Bicycle Club and their entourage are visibly thrilled to finally appear on the Reading main stage after countless appearances on lower stages over the last five years. It’s a high-profile slot and a huge crowd but the humble Londoners’ show is a well-rehearsed operation with a number of guests, including a brass section and long-time collaborator and star in her own right Lucy Rose. Rather than adding novelty value as is often the case with these things, some of the additional instrumentation adds the necessary volume to communicate tracks like ‘Always Like This’ on a big stage and that song in particular has noticeably more power than it did when the band first started playing Reading Festival.
Seeing these timid, mild-mannered boys play with the charisma of a band that’s made it is immensely satisfying for the home crowd at Reading Festival, and the fact that they’re regarded as a future headliner by the organisers doesn’t seem at all far-fetched on the strength of songs like ‘Lights Out, Words Gone’. They survived the potential career suicide of the all-acoustic ‘Flaws’ album, came back with a top-drawer third effort and have now made a significant impact on the Reading main stage, and one senses if they can continue to make genuine, credible indie music of this calibre there’s no reason why they can’t make it to the very top. Duncan Geddes