(Photographer: Will Steadman)
229, situated deep beneath the bustle of Great Portland Street, is an odd venue – not small enough to be considered intimate, and yet not big enough to draw well established acts – resting uncomfortably in a strange middle ground. It’s part dingy student union (complete with leather sofas, sticky tables and a roller-shutter bar), part modern music venue, and is difficult to fill, especially as most of the acts passing through its doors are up and coming or even just starting out.
Bellevue Days, a four piece from Croydon fit very much into the former. Having released one of the most exciting debut EPs of 2015 (’The Sun Came Up When We Were Young’), Bellevue Days can count Zane Lowe (who featured their single ‘Ripped Jeans’ as his #WORLDRECORD on Beats 1 Radio) as a fan, and earlier this year embarked on a ten-date UK tour in association with DIY Magazine supporting Tigercub.
Combining the raw emotional energy of Moose Blood, the catchy punk-rock crunch of Billy Talent, and the rap-pop edge of Jamie T, Bellevue Days have both substance and style. Tonight they are on top form and frontman Alan Smith clearly doesn’t give a toss that the venue isn’t even half full, tearing into aforementioned single ‘Ripped Jeans’ with absolute aplomb. They bring light and dark in equal measure and are unafraid to completely lose themselves in the music: “Oh my God, I drink to forget, I love leaving cigarette stains on my twin sized bed,” sings Smith in hushed tones, before slamming right back into the chorus like a hurricane hitting a house.
I can say with confidence that Bellevue Days are one of my top London bands right now. Their recent EP: ‘Sad Boy’ continues to play on loud repeat in our house, much to the annoyance of my neighbours. Before we know it, they’ll be selling out intimately sized venues within months and, who knows, even whole arenas within years.
Writer: Will Steadman: @steadman_will
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bellevue-days/sets/sad-boy-ep-1 Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/BellevueDays/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/bellevuedays