Bombay Bicycle Club’s first tour since 2014 has been “pretty seamless” so far, says guitarist Jamie MacColl. Besides the British indie band’s ride.
“The wheels did fall of our bus literally three days ago,” MacColl says before a show in Toronto. “The last three days have bee quite stressful.”
The wheel-challenged bus will roll into Brooklyn for two shows at Brooklyn Steel Monday and Tuesday. Monday’s show had sold out, but a few tickets opened up as of press time.
After five years off the road, a band can’t predict the demand for tickets when it returns.
“I just feel so grateful to be able to do this,” the guitarist says. “We’re very lucky to be able to do this and just even luckier that people care about it. For my generation, the way people are consuming music — streaming, Spotify, whatever — people carry on listening to you. You’re always there on a playlist. So I don’t think people quite forget about you as they might have done 20 or 30 years ago.”
Formed in London in 2005, Bombay Bicycle Club took a hiatus after 2014, their most successful year, which saw their fourth album, “So Long, See You Tomorrow” reach No. 1 in the UK and the band sell out hometown Earls Court Exhibition Centre — the final show at the famed, 20,000-seat, London venue, which featured a guest appearance from Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, a MacColl family friend.
“If anything, the process has been much easier than in the past” since reconvening, says MacColl. “I think it was good for us to have a break away from it. When we started in a band we were all teenagers, we were 15, and for 10 years it was all we knew, so it was good to have some time away and do some personal development that you can bring back to the band.”
Some of the members of the band — which includes Jack Steadman (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Suren de Saram (drums) and Ed Nash (bass) — worked on solo material, but MacColl “did a lot of weird things.” He earned degrees from King’s College London and Cambridge — war studies and a masters in international relations, respectively — and worked at a think tank in Washington, DC, and as an intelligence analyst at a social security company.
When the band started playing live again, “I was less used to it than the others were,” he says. “It was newer and fresher to me. I think outside of that, it also made me realize that life being a touring musician is all I’ve known since I was a teenager, but life for the most part is incredibly different to that, and it probably made me realize I had to grow up and develop.”
Bombay Bicycle Club’s fifth album, “Everything Else Has Gone Wrong,” will be released Jan. 17. The first single, “Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)” was released in August. The album is “broadly about finding solace in music,” MacColl says, “when everything around you is going to s–t, whether in your personal life or politics or kind of whatever you perceive is going wrong.”
For Bombay Bicycle Club, the New York shows represent a return to the soil that spawned much of the music that inspired the group.
“Really formative stuff, a lot of the New York bands like LCD Soundsystem, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs,” MacColl says. “That was incredibly cool to us as 13-year-olds in London and still is now. But I think even then we were really at the start of the streaming generation, where I think it was probably like those illegal peer-to-peer, file-sharing sites like LimeWire and Napster, and that just meant you felt you had so much music available to you at your fingertips. I think we were eclectic even as 13-year-olds.
“When I speak to teenagers now — which doesn’t happen that often — I’m always surprised that they jump around from different genres so much. They’ll listen to like rap music and emo and everything in between.”