REVIEW: Clean Bandit – Mandela Hall, Belfast
You are unable to turn on a radio station without hearing the catchy infusion of electronica and classical symphony that is Clean Bandit.
Whether you have heard of them or not, their catchy tunes will definitely become a part of your daily humming without you even realising. The band undeniably delivered in the first live show of their UK Tour as they performed from their album New Eyes. They definitely showed us why they earn so much air time in the UK.
The show opened up with local Belfast band Oh Volcano. They created a calming yet exciting atmosphere with their mix of strong vocals, catchy guitar riffs and the unforgettable keyboard solos. The vocals were a resemblance to a cross between The Stone Roses’ Ian Brown and Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant. His voice carried itself very well across Mandela Hall and kept the crowd very much entertained. Once they had played their first song the crowd began to get involved and by the end of their performance the crowd were dancing around and enjoying the bands alternative electronic sound. Oh Volcano was a fantastic support act.
After a much anticipated wait following Oh Volcano’s performance, Clean Bandit took to the stage. Following their most recent Grammy Award, the band seemed eager to show the crowd what they could do in a live setting. They certainly did not disappoint. The crowd did seem somewhat quiet at the beginning of the show but by the time the second song “Dust Clears” was sang the audience were dancing and jumping around along with the band.
Throughout the entire show, the band was having fun with the crowd and with each other. It created a very relaxed and exciting atmosphere as everyone was made to feel that they were a vital part of the show. This was particularly apparent during the song “Cologne”. The crowd went absolutely crazy as the choreography of the song was both sexy and fun.
Every single member of the band put their all into the live show. The harmonising of the backing singers alongside the lead vocals worked perfectly with each other as everyone performed to the highest of standards. The extremely clever incorporation of string instruments alongside dance music is done amazingly. It was refreshing that the cello and violin remained untouched by special effects and they added a sense of class to the performance. The violinist, Milan Neil Amin-Smith, was the show stealer for me. His energetic stance with his unbelievable talent of playing the most beautiful music in an electronic/dance context was a continuous crowd pleaser.
The audience’s enthusiasm was at an all-time high when the band played the song that everyone was waiting for, “Real Love”. As soon as the iconic violin solo began everyone went crazy. The entire performance was energetic and flawless as every single band member looked as though they were having the time of their lives up on the stage whilst still singing or playing their instruments flawlessly.
“Rather Be”, “Real Love” “A&E” this is just a handful of the fantastic songs that made Clean Bandit’s first live show of their biggest ever UK Tour an undeniable success. With a crowd ranging in age from 14 to 40, everyone was getting involved and moving to the beats that make Clean Bandit one of the biggest played bands on UK radio at the present. It would be hard to argue that Clean Bandit will be a name that we will definitely be hearing a lot more of in the future. Chantelle Frampton, GiggingNI.com