Bastille Trace The Best Of British Rock, Including Morrissey's Pompadour

08/30/2013
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(Radio.com) British music culture today has two big prongs: indie dance clubs and giant, sprawling music festivals. The most successful bands from the country tend to be part of one scene or another. While some bands launch from the country's underground discos into greatness, Bastille are a band firmly devoted to the spirit of playing to thousands of bouncing souls at an outdoor festival.

They have mastered the sweeping style of writing songs that play well in arenas, a very specific kind of song that David Byrne would explain is quite different from writing for CBGB's (or, the Old Blue Last in London).

It's also easy to spot the lines of influence from great, beloved British indie bands, like Echo & The Bunnymen their dark videos mixed with a very specific seaside British imagery and The Smiths via the particular influence of Morrissey.

Like him, the members of Bastille seem to constantly reference their preferred cultural touchstones in lyrics and the imagery they use to portray themselves. Oh yes, and there is also the considerable matter of singer Dan Smith's Morrissey-esque pompadour.

"I think [my hair] has always been a bit ridiculous," Smith said in an interview with Radio.com. "My massive afro."

"It got to a point where it was bigger than the rest of your body," continued bassist/keyboardist Will Farquarson.

A hairdo that started out with a relationship closer to that of Robert Smith of The Cure's has morphed into a more controlled and pomaded look recalling Moz. But even in the moodiest and most cinematic of music videos, the largest and most sprawling of music festivals Smith's trademark hair can garner attention entirely of its own.

"I did it in a slight nod to Eraserhead and David Lynch," Smith said of shaving the sides off of his wild mane.

"My sister, she's a hairdresser back home," said drummer Chris Wood. "She's been getting a lot more requests now from teenage lads asking for the Dan from Bastille haircut."

"I love that, you've become a haircut," joked Farquarson.

Hair aside, this idea that a band can craft an aesthetic and even write songs based on the culture they consume is a page directly out of the Stephen Patrick Morrissey playbook. Where he tipped his cap to Oscar Wilde, Bastille have doffed theirs repeatedly in their music videos to David Lynch. Not that "Laura Palmer" necessarily shows it.

"Because the song is called 'Laura Palmer,' we were worried about doing anything that even remotely nodded towards David Lynch so we went off in the other direction," Smith said. "The point of the video is that it's us making the sort of lasers and smoke, forest pop video that we would never want to make and then completely subverting it by having me kidnapped and tortured." more on this story

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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