Cycling along in top gear

Bombay Bicycle Club - Ed Nash, Jack Steadman, Jamie MacColl, Ed Nash and Suren de Saram. Picture: Jo McCaughey
Bombay Bicycle Club - Ed Nash, Jack Steadman, Jamie MacColl, Ed Nash and Suren de Saram. Picture: Jo McCaughey
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First time in Blackpool will be a big deal for Bombay Bicycle Club, EMMA HARRIS finds out.

They’ve never been to Blackpool before, but the resort will be the second biggest gig on their current tour.

And Bombay Bicycle Club are looking forward to seeing the sights and trying out the local tourist attractions, just as much as playing the Empress Ballroom on April 27.

Guitarist Jamie MacColl said the band couldn’t wait to come to town.

He said: “We’ve heard a lot about Blackpool and all the tourist attractions. We are staying over in Blackpool, so we hope to get chance to see the sights and go out.

“It’s a very iconic venue we’re playing and Blackpool is our second biggest show on the tour, so it’s going to be a good one.

“This tour we are doing places a bit more off the beaten track, rather than the big cities.”

The foursome - three of whom met at secondary school - have been busy touring of late, including in Australia, providing support to Elbow.

Jamie said: “With the first two albums, we didn’t really tour that much as we were looking at what would be the next thing all the time.

“But this time we have toured more. We’ve just got back from Australia a couple of months ago. We’ve been to North America, to Asia. We never really thought we would be touring in places like this.

“I think we are all naturally quite pessimistic and don’t expect much, so when things go well, it’s always good!”

The band shot to fame in 2006 after they were named as one of two winners of Virgin Mobile’s Road to V competition on Channel 4.

They were given the opening slot of the 2006 V Festival.

But the members were all only 16 at the time and at school.

In June 2008, they officially finished school and were able to start committing full-time to music, instead of having to juggle being in a band with studies.

Jamie said: “We couldn’t really focus on the band that much because of our studying and school. Playing a festival at 16 was pretty incredible. We had never even been to a festival!

“We were just kids. I remember backstage there was a beer tap - that was amazing to us.

“We were probably just running around annoying people to be honest!

“I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I recall trying to get into Girls Aloud’s dressing room!”

Now 21 and 22, the band has matured and already had three hit albums, the most recent, A Different Kind of Fix, peaking at number six in the UK album charts last year.

The band will be supported on the tour by Blackpool’s own vocalist Rae Morris.

It kicks off tomorrow and culminates at the Alexander Palace at the end of April, followed by gigs in Dublin and Belfast and then the band jet off to Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Jamie said: “It’s the first tour for us where it’s more of a production.

“When we’ve toured before it’s been more of a gig, just standing up and playing songs.

“It will be energetic. A lot of people are surprised how energetic we actually are. There will be music for every mood.”

And the band members are all quite happy to interact with fans - in true 21st-century style, you can contact them via their website, through their Facebook page or via Twitter.

Jamie added: “We would love to hear from people in Blackpool, especially if anyone has any suggestions of what we can do on our night off!”

THE FACTS

>> Bombay Bicycle Club is made up of Jamie MacColl (guitar), Jack Steadman (lead vocals, guitar), Ed Nash (bass) and Suren de Saram (drums)

>> The band has appeared at the Reading and Leeds festivals, the 2008 T in the Park, The Edge Festival in Edinburgh

>> The band’s website is www.bombaybicycleclubmusic.com

>> The band plays the Empress Ballroom, on Friday April 27, at 7pm