LIVE: Bastille and To Kill a King @ Shepard’s Bush Empire

Bastille + To Kill a King

Heads up, this is being published long after I’ve left the country. Away for a family wedding so somewhat out of action. Thankfully I can schedule this bad boy now! Anyway, pointless self-centered ramble over, here is a review of gig.

So, after waltzing into the always dependable Empre with a guestlist pass (alone :(..), I was excited to arrive to catch all of the magnificent support set from To Kill a King. Magnificent is not an overstatement. For a gig packed with newly indoctrinated Bastille fans (see later), To Kill a King not only entertained but were by far the best act of the night. There was the nice touch of Bastille coming out to play Choices with TKAK but God, does Ralph know how to command a stage. As the band belted out the stunning Funeral, I felt genuinely moved and compelled to tell everyone around me to go buy Cannibals with Cutlery (you all should by the wway). So overall, the best possible support act I could have asked for! I wish they played Bloody Shirt though..

What to say about the Bastille phenomenon? First of all, we told you so. Like lots of times. But as I was pointing this out to the members of the audience around me (most of which were either tweeny girls or 35 year old men) I realized that it was a phenomenon that didn’t really interest me anymore and that Bastille didn’t really interest me either. I don’t know what’s changed, him or me, but as I watched from 20m back, my view perfectly visible staring over the heads of girls yet to be allowed out without their parents standing bored in the back of the room, I knew this wasn’t where I belonged. Watching Dan run around the stage with a drum stick, beating occasionally on a variety of pointless drums as his army roared his lyrics back at him, I was left cold. Sure, I still enjoy Flaws and Overjoyed but I can’t help but feel that much of what made Bastille different has made his fans so monochromatic (case in point, like 40% of the people there were wearing stash they had just bought from the merch stand on the way in) and his songs so predictable. I AM OVER IT.

This last rant too felt quite conceited and ranty (maybe I’m in a bad mood because our flight has been cancelled but whatever…) but all I have to say is that thank god for To Kill a King because they made my night. They and the rando couple that chatted to me and stop me feeling like a loner.

About Michael Crewe

He writes about all the artists you’ve never heard of and never will again. He loves film noir, Southampton football club and Jeff Winger. You can join the world's least effective cult by following him @michaelcrewe or contact him via

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