Bombay Bicycle Club ready for Synergy dance music festival

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

When London’s indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club performs just outside Cape Town next month there will be none of the weirdness it has become known for via its music videos.

Its bass guitarist Ed Nash said their headlining performance at Synergy Live dance music festival next month would not feature synchronised swimmers or Bollywood movie dancers, as seen in two of its music videos.

London indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club will perform at the Synergy Live music festival just outside Cape Town next month. Picture Supplied

London indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club will perform at the Synergy Live music festival just outside Cape Town next month. Picture Supplied

“We had the swimmers at a gig we played in London two months ago. The venue had a swimming pool. We had to have the swimmers,” added Nash.

Speaking from Philadelphia, where the band is currently touring the United States, Nash said this week they were “looking forward to coming to South Africa”.

“None of us have ever been there. We’ve been trying to get to South Africa for the last few years. It’s just a difficult place to get to because you have to travel really far,” said Nash.

He had not yet seen pictures of Synergy’s venue, but they “know from Twitter and Facebook that we have fans there”.

Synergy will run for three days of camping on the banks of the Theewaterskloof Dam, in the Overberg region, a 90-minute drive from Cape Town. It is billed as one of summer’s best music festivals and has been going since 1995 when it pulled in 6,000 people.

It has grown since then and last year, at the same venue, featured at least 100 acts, including international DJs, live bands and comedians.

Interestingly, the nearest town to the dam is Villiersdorp, which has an estimated population of 10,000 people.

Bombay Bicycle Club, a band started by four 24-year-olds nine years ago, has toured globally to play music of its four albums. Its name comes from a restaurant it walked past in its neighbourhood.

The band has been associated mainly with rock music events but has played at a number of dance festivals too.

Nash said the shift comes as “our music has changed over the last five years”.

“It has become more danceable. We usually play at rock festivals. Our music was far more aggressive. Now it’s more rewarding to see everyone just having a good time. It’s more chilled out in a nice way,” he said.

He said their music videos were meant to be films, instead of just a means to promote the band.

“We don’t enjoy watching videos when it’s just people in a room. You want to do a video that exists by itself. We’ve made films (of our music),” said Nash.

“For one of the songs on our last album, we decided to make a Bollywood music video because they’re so much more fun. We found a director and production company in Bollywood and told them to do what they want.

“We are less involved in the making of our music videos. It’s better if we don’t ruin it. We find people we trust and believe in and they do it.”

Nash said after their South African gig they return to Europe for a tour until December.

“Then we end in London with our biggest show this year. Our shows are definitely getting bigger,” said Nash.

Synergy runs from Friday, November 28, and concludes that weekend with a nine-hour electronic music line-up on Sunday. International DJs will include names familiar to electro fans, including Captain Hook, Atmos and Mindwave.

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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