With ‘Rather Be’, classical/dance crossover act Clean Bandit created a record breaking anthem. Not only did the Grammy Award winning, Jess Glynne featuring number become the most streamed track of 2014, it also became the fastest selling January single since Babylon Zoo’s ‘Spaceman’, when it was released at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately for the four-piece, the reaction to the song in comparison to the rest of their set was clear on Friday night, as though the sold out Ally-Pally crowd were willing to pay the entire ticket price and wait 90-minutes in order to hear the one track live.
While singles ‘Real Love’ (also featuring support act Jess Glynne) and ‘Come Over’ garnered a shuffle from the crowd, only their cover of ’90s dance anthem ‘Show Me Love’ could compare, with other tracks from New Eyes fading into one, as the audience waited for one they knew. As with fellow festival favourites Rudimental, Clean Bandit’s hits were made to soundtrack sun-soaked, cider sipping days in the country, but on their own tour the iconic “people’s palace” might have been slightly ambitious, with only one album to pick tracks from.
Their act is unique and their ability to pick featuring artists is faultless, so by the time album number two comes along Clean Bandit should be tighter and more focussed on who they are as artists. They could keep a crowd on their feet all night with more upbeat, floor filling numbers, breaking more records and picking up more “dance act” awards as they go, or they could focus on their classical background, bringing it further into the limelight, regardless of whether people dance or simply witness their talents. Both are possible and could be successful in their own fields, Clean Bandit just have to decide which act they’re rather be.