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Bombay Bicycle Club - My Big Day (Album Review)

Monday, 06 November 2023 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Tom Oxley

‘My Big Day’, Bombay Bicycle Club’s sixth studio album, is a collab-laden journey through the neon fairground of the soul, with guest appearances from Damon Albarn, Nilüfer Yanya and Jay Som, among others. The result is a tight and colourful record that keeps the band relevant, but doesn’t break new ground.

This is not to dismiss the creativity on show. There is some really elegant songwriting here. Turn the World on is a skipping ballad, with lovely open strumming and a thoughtful arrangement. Similarly, Heaven (featuring Albarn) opens with gorgeous boom bap hip hop drums and moves into a synth-harp place that feels pretty original.

That said, one peculiar side effect of the generic elasticity of Gorillaz is that any music featuring Albarn, which isn’t Blur, sounds like it could be performed by a certain troupe of cartoons.

To its credit Heaven tries hard to develop beyond this, reaching for the structural prog variety of early David Bowie.

It’s not all so ambitious. The title song is a pretty pedestrian affair. It’s well structured and pitched just fine. It’s absolutely fine. Tekken 2 is also pretty meh despite the arrival of Chaka Khan. It apes the English Riviera sound of fellow noughties indie group Metronomy and once again is fine. It’s just fine.

In the ‘90s and ‘00s the market for British indie bands was hot and there was a bit of a gold rush. Then it eased off in the 2010s and you were left with a sort of ghost economy where audiences were still interested but professional innovation had moved elsewhere. In 2023 we are now in full legacy mode where the biggest touring bands are essentially the same as they were during the gold rush. 

It’s not completely clear where Bombay Bicycle Club fit into this. ‘My Big Day’  is a warm, cultured album and there is innovation there, but it doesn’t really move the dial on anything. If you like their previous stuff, you’ll like this.

Bombay Bicycle Club Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon January 29 2024 - BELFAST Telegraph Building
Tue January 30 2024 - DUBLIN 3Olympia Theatre
Wed January 31 2024 - DUBLIN 3Olympia Theatre
Fri February 02 2024 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Sat February 03 2024 - BRIGHTON Centre
Mon February 05 2024 - BRISTOL Bristol Beacon
Tue February 06 2024 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City Nottingham
Thu February 08 2024 - SHEFFIELD O2 Academy Sheffield
Fri February 09 2024 - NORWICH LCR Norwich
Sat February 10 2024 - CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange Cambridge
Mon February 12 2024 - GLASGOW Barrowland
Thu February 15 2024 - NEWCASTLE Newcastle City Hall (O2 City Hall)
Fri February 16 2024 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Sun February 18 2024 - CARDIFF Cardiff University Students Union
Fri July 12 2024 - LONDON Alexandra Palace

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