#TGE16: Toothless revs the engine at debut The Great Escape show

Toothless revs the engine at debut The Great Escape show

Bombay Bicycle Club bassist Ed Nash takes centre stage as he brings his new project to Brighton.

“Bear with us,” jokes Ed Nash after a tuning break goes on for a teeny bit too long, “this is our third gig ever!”

Toothless might only be taking to the stage for the third time, but as bassist of Bombay Bicycle Club, Nash has certainly been around the block a little bit. It’s a hell of a mix-up this evening though, the crowds in the tens of thousands swapped for a few handfuls of intrigued punters scattered around under Coalition’s dingy arches. Back to the beginning (and swapping stage left for the spotlight) though it may be for Nash, there’s evidence of his road miles in every note.

Debut track ‘Terra’ proves to be something of a red herring – live, Toothless take a far more Springsteen-indebted road. Driving forward, there’s an Americana edge to Ed’s new noise when backed by a full band. As Sivu takes up second guitar, while Bombay sticksman Suren De Saman gets behind the kit, it’s warming to see a decade in the game hasn’t dulled the camaraderie in the Bicycle Club.

It’s far from perfect, those tuning breaks not the only evidence that there’s screws still to tighten. But like The Hold Steady and Gaslight Anthem before him, Ed Nash’s new work harbours a sense of adventure few groups this young can muster. Given time, those massive crowds are sure to come flocking back.

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