Almost 3 years since they announced they would be taking an extended break to work on solo projects, Bombay Bicycle Club have recently revealed they are back in action. Having re-ignited their passion for project Bombay, they’re now working on new music together, meaning we’re set to see some exciting stuff from them hopefully very soon.
Whilst the news of their temporary split was heartbreaking, their promise to create music for us through individual projects, meant we got our ‘Bombay’ fix whilst they were away. Here’s what the world gained from Jack, Suren, Ed and Jamie in the three years we’ve been missing their collective presence:
Mr Jukes – God First
Bombay’s frontman, Jack Steadman blessed us with a solo-collaborative project, in the form of a new album: God First (2017). As the mastermind behind Mr Jukes, Jack curated, featured on and self-produced an album that graced us with a modern fusion of jazz, funk and soul. We saw glimpses of solo projects from Jack throughout the Bombay years. We knew he had an extensive creative output to gift to the world, and this album exceeded all expectations. Seemingly very different to the indie riffs and festival favourites we heard from Bombay, this LP showed a development in Jacks musical style. Having travelled across the North pacific on a ferry, from Shanghai to Canada, Jack set up his own studio on board and set to work producing God First. This trip clearly presented worldly influences to the production of the album, with notable contrasts running throughout. Featuring talented names such as Lianne La Havas, De La Soul and Horace Andy, the collaborations added an extra energy to the album and allowed Jack to show off his musicianship.
Toothless – The Pace of Passing
Ed Nash, bass player of BBC also had musical plans of his own. Forming a band (Toothless) and releasing an album The Pace of Passing (2017), Ed revealed himself in a whole new light. His charming lyrics, electronic melodies and catchy riffs became the soul of his solo project. As lead vocalist, guitarist and song-writer, he has truly wowed Bombay fans by stepping up to centre stage.
His album sounds completely natural and yet so well thought out, comprising of effortless melodies and signature Bombay ‘fuzz’. Co-produced by Steadman, this project was clearly a labour of love, with all BBC members in full support of Eds solo ambitions. The album features Liz Lawrence, who also makes up the live Toothless band, a name that collaborated and toured with Bombay Bicycle Club on So Long, See You Tomorrow (2014). Marika Hackman, Tom Fleming and The Staves, also offer vocals that are perfectly placed as the album plays out.
Suren de Saram – Drum, Drum, Drumming
The band as a whole have been very much involved in each others solo projects. This is reflective in the sounds that have come from their collective absence. Whilst Suren drummed for Ed in around half of the recorded album, and formed the live Toothless band, he also features on Jack/ Mr Jukes’ album. Suren could also be found making appearances elsewhere as a session musician during this time. His drumsticks were certainly not at a loss, and his stage presence with Toothless proved to be an explosion of energy. As the band bounced off one another during their live shows, memories of Bombay Bicycle Club doing their magic on stage come flooding back.
Jamie – University, Politics and Brexit
During the hiatus, Jamie went to University and graduated with a Bachelors degree in War Studies. Throughout this time, he was very much present online, speaking all things politics, with particular reference to Brexit. He ran a campaign to get young voices to be heard as Brexit negotiations began. He launched Undivided, a platform designed to bring everyone together and heal some of the division in the country in order to figure out how we can best go forward. His online presence was great. He interacted with younger people, and helped to create a manifesto of what the younger generation ideally want from Brexit.
Since revealing over their social media platforms that they are now making music again, Bombay Bicycle Club have undoubtably pleased many. I for one could not have started my year with happier news. They are the soundtrack to my teens and offer a happy nostalgia that I often re-visit. Whatever comes from them next will unquestionably be incredible, and after their worldly, creative hiatus…new.
Read what they said here.