Bastille have announced their much anticipated live return with their biggest headline shows to date at the SSE Arena, Belfast on November 9 and 3Arena, Dublin on November 10.
Bastille have built up a solid following in Belfast since their first show at the Oh Yeah Music Centre in 2012. Having sold out the 200 capacity venue they have gone on to sell out Mandela Hall and The Ulster Hall a year later and then the Belsonic Festival in 2015. Tickets go on sale this Friday from all usual outlets.
At first glance the striking artwork for Bastille’s second album, Wild World, may prompt a number of questions.
Who are the two individuals balanced precariously above a cityscape? Why are they there? What will happen next? But Dan Smith’s own interpretation of the image is one that runs through many of the songs on Wild World, “To me, the image isn’t about what’s just happened or what happens next,” he begins.
“It’s not about how they got there or how they get down. It’s about showing a moment — two friends existing in that split second in that exact space, two people framed in the vast context of this huge mad metropolis that we’ve all built. They’re there out of choice.”
It’s just five years since South Londoner, Dan, started Bastille alone in his bedroom, releasing 300 copies of Bastille’s debut single. Relentless gigging, genuine word of mouth and some smartly curated mixtapes meant that within three years, Bastille became a global phenomenon; the band’s chart-conquering debut album Bad Blood selling over 4m albums alongside 11m singles.
In the UK, the twice Number One album was certified double-platinum and named the biggest-selling digital album of 2013. Hit singles Pompeii, Flaws, Laura Palmer and Things We Lost In The Fire helped Bastille become that year’s biggest-selling global breakthrough act, with over a billion Spotify streams and in turn earning the band British Breakthrough at the following year’s Brits, along with two Grammy nominations.
They have also collaborated with acts like Haim, Kate Tempest and Angel Haze, and Dan co-founded and co-runs an indie label, Best Laid Plans, helping to develop acts like Rag ’N’ Bone Man and Rationale.
And that, it turns out, was only the beginning. Bastille’s second album Wild World retains the vivid, rich, filmic song-writing of its predecessor but pushes the band’s distinctive sound in exciting new directions. Lyrically, too, it’s a leap forward.
“If our first album was about growing up and freaking out about it, our second is about trying to make sense of the world around you, both as you see it and as it’s presented to you through the media,” Dan explained. “It’s also about asking questions of the world and of the people in it. We wanted the album to be a bit disorientating – at times extroverted and introverted, light and dark.”