One of these artists is Bombay Bicycle Club. I came across them quite late with the release of 'Always Like This' in April 2009. The band actually formed 5 years ago when the four members (Jack Steadman, Jamie MacColl, Ed Nash and Suren de Saram) met at school. Their first release actually came in February 2007 with 'The Boy I Used To Be' EP. Since this time the band have slowly been building their reputation, gaining a lot of interest from magazine's such as NME who are great supporters of the group.
Their debut album, the brilliant 'I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose' LP, was released in July 2009 to both great commercial and critical success, which has led to a large number of tour dates, as well as being selected to play on the 2010 NME tour. The great debut album (it's a really great listen, not a bad track on the album, it's worth buying for the final minute of 'Magnets' alone) has been quickly followed up with a new second album due for release later this year, and if sources are correct this is set to be an acoustic album.
I have been lucky enough to grab a quick interview with Bombay frontman Jack Steadman. Here's what he had to say on the band's new album, future plans and also on his solo work.
Last year was a highly successful one for the band, what are your thoughts on it in reflection?
"It was very surreal, I don't think about it too much. There are only a few moments when you suddenly get freaked out about what is happening. I am very grateful for the position we have stumbled into, getting to travel the world for free is pretty sweet."
Do you feel there is any pressure on you to quickly follow up 'I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose' with a second album?
"I guess that was one of the reasons we wanted to release our album of acoustic songs. It will be an "in-between" album, and takes a lot of the pressure off. Creativity seems to come in waves, so there are moments of panic followed by moments of enthusiasm."
Will there be any surprises on the new album?
"There aren't many surprises I guess, unless you've never heard us play with banjos and mandolins. There is a cover of "Swansea" by Joanna Newsom."
Are there any particular artists or genres that interest you at present?
"Right now I'm going through a very cheesy Burt Bacharach phase. Mainly his songs sung by Dionne Warwick. And I just got an MPC1000 which means I'm starting to produce a lot more hip-hop at the moment. Those two seem to go together well because her songs are great for sampling."
Would you ever consider recording your own solo album?
"Without a doubt."
What are your hopes/plans in the near future for Bombay Bicycle Club?
"I hope to travel as much as possible, and I hope people like the acoustic album, because I'm very proud of it. I hope I don't go bald."
Before the interview I had no idea Jack was producing his own stuff, so after I went away and had a listen, and I was pleasantly surprised. The tracks he's made so far are more hip-hop/electro based, and I was really impressed by the quality of the tracks. This was a style of music I would never have expected him to be making, which is testament to his incredible talent for music. You can find these tracks on his myspace page which is http://www.myspace.com/jacksteadman. Look out in particular for the tracks 'November', 'Like This Like This', 'Travelling Song' and also 'I'm Only 19 But My Mind Is Older', which is a really cool reworking of the Mobb Deep classic 'Shook Ones Part II'. I really hope he pushes his individual work, he's without doubt got a talent for this style of production.
I was also luck enough to see Bombay play live at the HMV Forum in Kentish Town, London on Saturday. This was my third time seeing them, and they produced another fine performance, playing the majority of their older material with the addition of a few new tracks that are set to be on the new album. These new tracks were impressive, and if they are anything to go by the new album will match the success of their debut. Bombay will be playing a number of acoustic gigs in the months of June and July, and these I'm sure will be well worth going to, with Bombay having a great reputation for their acoustic sets. For more information on dates for gigs and new releases visit the bands myspace page which is http://www.myspace.com/bombaybicycleclub.
I would just like to say thank you very much to Jack Steadman for the interview, and make sure you look out for the new acoustic album which will be unveiled very soon.