The big interview: Bastille

The British band are set to bring the party to Abu Dhabi's Club Social festival

The big interview: Bastille

We love a good festival here in Abu Dhabi, but when it’s an event that’s being headlined by one of Britain’s coolest bands, it’s pretty hard for us to think about anything else.

Bastille will be tearing up the main stage at Club Social on Friday March 29, and they’ll be bringing with them a set-list of huge singles (including Pompeii and I Know You), endless energy and generally happy vibes.

They’re just one of those bands that have something that appeals to everyone. Whether you’re into rock, pop or dance, they’ve got a tune that is right up your street.

We caught up with guitarist Will Farquarson ahead of their Yas Beach gig, and he told us why the band couldn’t be Happier (see what we did there?) to be performing in the capital.

Are you excited to be performing at Club Social?
Very. We’ve never been to Abu Dhabi before and it’s always really exciting to go to new places. We can’t wait.

Do you think you will get chance to do any touristy things while you’re out here?
Hopefully. It’s always a bit tricky as we sort of fly in, do the show and then have to go home. We’re going to try and squeeze in some sightseeing, though. It seems like there’s lots of stuff to do.

Will you be playing a mix of old and new tracks?
Yes, I think we have to play Pompeii, people would get annoyed if we didn’t. We still play all the big singles from the first and second albums. We have Happier, our track with Marshmello, now as well and I Know You, which we did with Craig David. We’ve got lots of big songs from the last six years to play, and also a couple of new ones from our upcoming album. Hopefully it will be a fun, upbeat, festival set.

Do you prefer playing festivals or gigs?
It’s nice to have a mix. We’ve just finished a two-month tour and before that we were in Australia for a week, so we’re getting to a point where it would be quite nice to go and do some festivals and have a different type of audience and different vibe. But it’s also nice to get back to your own shows where you’ve got fans who have specifically come to see you. The practicalities of a festival are totally different, too. When it’s your own tour you have much more of a set routine. But festivals can be a bit more chaotic and random. It is kind of nice to have a balance.

How was working with Craig David?
It was really surreal. Obviously we all grew up listening to Craig David so to find ourselves working with him was just insane. He came and performed with us at Apple Music Festival in London and it was just one of the most fun things we’ve ever done. He’s just the nicest person you’ve ever met in your life, so beautiful and muscular.

Who else would you like to collaborate with?
We always say Rihanna in the hope that she’ll eventually take us up on the offer one day. She hasn’t responded yet, but we’re still hopeful.

How would you describe your sound?
We try not to get tied down to one genre or one sound. So every time we make a new song, we try not to worry too much about whether it has a ‘Bastille’ sound and instead just make something that we think sounds cool. It’s all tied together because Dan [lead singer and founder member Dan Smith] has such a distinctive voice. Like a song like Happier couldn’t be further from some of our other songs, which are a lot more rocky. And then we’ve got Flaws, which is totally different, too, but the anchor to it all is Dan’s voice.

Your songs have been used on lots of TV shows like The Vampire Diaries and Made In Chelsea. Why do you think that is?
I’m not sure, I find it really interesting, too. Maybe we should be worried that we’re just good background music, but I have no answer really. Obviously people enjoy our sound and whatever we’re doing is super popular in the TV world.

Are you pals with any other bands or artists?
We’re good friends with the 1975. They’re lovely guys and we’ve kind of co-existed with them since the beginning. We first met them outside a tiny venue at South By Southwest festival in 2013, around the time when we were both releasing our first albums. We got to No.1 and then the next time we saw them their album was No.1, too. We see them all the time on tour and things as well. We’re also good friends with Haim. They’re such nice people, and so talented. 

Will you be trying out the boxing classes or anything else at Club Social?
Oh definitely, boxing sounds great. It would probably be good for us as well after being on tour for so long.

Dhs195 (concert ticket), general festival entry is free.  Mar 29-30. Yas Beach, Yas Island, www.ticketmaster.ae.

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