Names, Names, Names
Alex Trimble, lead singer in Two Door Cinema Club, mispronounced the Tudor Cinema when suggesting it as a name for the band, hence Two Door. Would Tudor Cinema Club been as successful? I like to think Tudor Cinema Club decided to go with a completely different sound, probably incorporating ska, rockabilly and grindcore into an accessible pop mix that astounded the nation, before taking a nosedive into their second album and becoming a cult favourite. However, that wasn’t the case, and Two Door Cinema Club are currently on their third album without the help of any Tudors. It’s a bit of a toxic connection to make anyway, Henry VIII put a bit of a black mark on the era.
Bombay Bicycle Club get into the realm of gritty realism by naming their band after a defunct chain of Indian restaurants in London. A comment on dwindling globalisation? An ‘English Tapas’-style jab? A love of standardised Indian-not-Indian food? Possibly, but probably not. A bad punk band could have been born out of this name, but we haven’t got them, and we got these people instead, so thank your lucky stars. It sounds like a good band name, and that’s enough. I’ve also found that for some reason I’m not very good at typing Bicycle as well. Somebody needs to tell the band we say bike now, or if you’re my Dad, a pushbike, which I find immensely funny.
Join The Club
A club for cinemas with two doors? Quite a common phenomenon, probably. In fact, it would be more rare to find a cinema with less than two doors. We’re getting into specifics, but surely at least there’s a front door and fire exit to every cinema. So, we’re assuming these are little arthouse cinemas that show Donnie Darko on repeat. Big cinemas have way more doors, too many, actually. Everyone’s walked into the wrong screening, right? In any case, there is argument that a Two Door Cinema Club is a niche to be filled, there’s probably not too many around.
Bombay Bicycle Club rolls off the tongue better. I’m going to make use of my sub-par English A-Levels here and say that the alliteration is what does it. Shortened, the acronym is BBC – very nice all around, boys. Unlike two door cinemas, I imagine there’s quite a few bicycles in Bombay/Mumbai, especially if we’re taking into account this is Bombay in pre-1995 Mumbai, which surely equals less cars. It’s a much bigger audience we’re talking about here, compared to Two Door’s indie credibility with their oh-so-niche two doors. BBC accept that it’s a fairly big audience they’re catering to, and damn it, they’re ok with that.
How Do The Debuts Stand Up
Both bands have defining debuts. They both had huge singles, Bombay with ‘Always Like This’ and ‘Evening/Morning’ and Two Door with ‘What You Know’ and ‘I Can Talk’. I still remember hearing ‘What You Know’ for the first time and thinking ‘hmm’. Then I heard it again and thought ‘ah’. Then the third time – ‘I am converted to the church of two doors’. ‘I Can Talk’ came next. Here’s a little sidenote, have you ever done that thing with music when you have it on really loud, but the music is quiet and you know it’s going to get noisy, and you hold your breath just before? Just me? Ok, well I remember doing that all the time with the beginning of ‘I Can Talk’. The video is pretty amazing as well. The album was banger after banger as well, the climax in ‘Eat That Up, It’s Good For You’ remains my highlight.
I came late to the Bombay Bicycle Club-club. I’ve missed what was meant to be monumental early live shows. This club are much less fidgety than Two Door were upon their arrival, but deployed a similar sort of clean, jittery guitar tone that would make Johnny Marr very happy. But there’s definitely a propulsion behind their songs that isn’t driven by the same sort of guitar/synth barrage on Two Door’s debut. That’s brought along by the drums and bass, especially on ‘The Hill’ and ‘Evening/Morning’. The debut is more guitar-based than their more recent stuff, but I think we can all agree ‘Luna’ is a certified banger, regardless of a piece of wood with strings on it being absent.
The Trembler And The Trimbler – Who Trills The Best?
In one corner we have the Trembler, Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club, who sings with the tremble of playing his guitar very fast or being on the verge of tears, or possibly both. In the other corner, we have the less-imaginatively Trimbler – Alex Trimble of Two Door Cinema Club. He’s Irish so he instantly gets points, because that’s just the kind of bullshit place we like to run around here. However, we have to give points to both sides for managing to sing above the sometimes-racket of the other players in the bands, and we have to give some credit there to the mixers (that’s Eliot James/Philippe Zdar for Two Door’s debut and Jim Abbiss/Ian Dowling/Richard Wilkinson and some guy called Barny for Bombay if you’re asking).