Festival No.6: Bastille triumphant in epic headline performance (Review)

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Bastille Headline Performance Festival No.6 02/09/2016

*****


Bastille are back!, armed with old classics such as “Pompeii” and new favourites like “Good Grief” they make the effortless leap to headliner, in doing so they have the whole of Festival No.6 in the palm of their hands….


It’s been a long 3 years since the release of their debut album but with their new LP ‘Wild World’ out next week, Bastille are finally ready to take the leap and headline a major festival and the audience at Festival No.6 in the beautiful surroundings of Portmeirion in Wales couldn’t be more luckier for it.

It’s not easy headlining a festival, no matter the crowd size or location, there is always the pressure of being the final act, the main draw and the anticipation of being better than all that has preceded you and for Bastille they had the extra pressure of having to follow special guests Kaiser Chiefs whose high energy, loud and fantastic performance was headline worthy all on it’s own. However none of that mattered in the slightest as Bastille proved they have enough hits both old and new to keep the crowd immersed and enthralled for a complete 90 minute headline set

From the second the opening drum beats of ‘Bad Blood’ kicked in the whole crowd erupted, It was unclear which was louder frontman Dan Smith’s unique voice or that of the screaming crowds, nearly 4 years on since the song’s release it must be fantastic to see the older material still has such a fond place in the hearts of the crowd.

Other classics fill the earlier part of the setlist as ‘Laura Palmer’ is as epic as it’s ever been with Dan even joining in on the drumming sections, something he will carry on to do infrequently throughout the set, including on early single ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’, the crowd continuing to singalong to every note.

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Bastille had a throwback when they played their TLC cover of ‘No scrubs’ from one of their earlier mixtape’s, it seemed a bit lost on the younger audience but it definitely went down a treat with the crowd in their 20’s and older, Dan apologised to TLC fan’s but his voice is definitely up to the job and for me their cover can be considered as good as if not better than the original

With a new album out in only a week it was no surprise to see around 5 song’s placed amongst the set, what was a surprise to me and most likely the band was just how effortlessly it mixed in with the set and how well received it was not just by fans but the whole crowd, Their latest single ‘Send Them Off!’ which premiered only a few days ago on Radio 1 went down a storm only a few songs in with the diehard fans already knowing each and every single word, the track is hip-hop in nature but it is very reminiscent of their first LP and early mixtapes, it also has arguably the best backing beat of their discography, as the track climbs and climbs. Other new material includes the ballad ‘Fake It’ which see’s Dan put his voice to the limit, the chorus of “oh my lover, my lover, my loooove” see’s it reach it’s highest pitches with Dan not even visibly struggling.

The best reaction to new material has to go to their stellar single ‘Good Grief’ It’s in my opinion the best song they have released and it seemed the crowd agreed producing some of the loudest cheers and sing alongs of the night, the joyously dark tune, had everyone’s arms in the air.

Bastille are a band and of course it would be a disservice not to mention the other fantastic member’s of the band who were all on fine form on the night. Chris, Will, and Kyle were all performing at their best with insane guitar solo’s and drumming that never once missed a beat all alongside Dan’s stellar lead vocals.

As the set reached it’s conclusion with the final one-two of their epic mashup/cover ‘Of The Night’ and their classic hit ‘Pompeii’ the exhausted crowd somehow found energy to joyfully dance along to every note, Dan instructs a willing audience to try something and get down with him, they oblige before everyone leaps into the air as the speakers roar “this is the rhythm of the night”, the crowd fall silent following it’s climax before what I assume the whole of Wales heard as the entire crowd join Dan in chanting “eh eh oh eh oh” to a triumphant final song

If the reactions to new songs are anything to go by then it’s clear to see that Bastille have yet another fantastic album on their hands, The new material translates brilliant to the live environment which Bastille have shown they have managed to perfect over the past few years, Festival No.6 was treated to a very special headline performance, don’t be surprised to see them make the leap to full time headliners of Latitude, Reading or even Glastonbury in the next couple years because Bastille are back and seemingly bigger than ever!

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All photo's featured are (copyright) (c) Philip Giouras - The Perfect Tempo