Clean Bandit at Camden Assembly
It’s not often that concert-goers can experience a song with 500 million YouTube views in a venue with a 200-person capacity: Wednesday the 7th was an exception. Clean Bandit are a homegrown electronic band who have earned stardom through musical fusions, their songs Rather Be and Rockabye have garnered transatlantic support and Grammy Awards. The band have collaborated with global acts such as Sean Paul and given gems like Jess Glynne their big break. We were welcomed onto a chartered journey, an assent to the peak of the music industry.
The Camden Assembly, formerly Barfly, is a venue where chart toppers (Coldplay and Adele to name a few) earned their musical stripes. Yesterday’s concert was in support of Nordoff Robbins, a charity dedicated to supporting vulnerable people through music therapy. Indeed, the creative arts can be both cathartic and inclusive. As exemplified by the crowd singing along to the chorus of Real Love, basking in blue-gold light we began to dance and the stress of a midweek work night subsided.
The sound system was in keeping with the venue’s historic status and during Stronger and Extraordinary the bass reverberated up dancers legs, causing forgotten pints to jiggle to the beat on the bar. There was a carnival, atmosphere in the air as the bandits implored Camden to “go crazy” and the intimacy of the venue made it feel more house party than concert.
In an age of conveyor belt, auto-tuned chart music it’s refreshing to hear classical strings blended in with rave-the-night-away beats and stellar vocals. Clean Bandit brought with them an infectious sense of fun and Grace Chatto and the girls danced as if they were getting ready for a night out – only much better. The whole crowd was dreading the taxi arriving, reluctant for the set to end.
The fans were exuberant from the off, however, during Rather Be their enthusiasm reached a zenith. The Camden Assembly threw down their best Wednesday night shapes: octagons, triangles – you name it. Cellist Grace Chatto shredded her strings, grooving with a sass on parity to the female singers, proving to musicians everywhere that classical instruments can be chic. The audience were in a trance, their faces mirrored the band’s ecstasy. It was invigorating to watch the performers, who made no attempt to stifle their glee, visibly smiling whilst having their songs sang back to them. There was no place we would rather have been.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information about Clean Bandit and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Rockabye here: