Last night (September 14), Bastille took over the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square to show their documentary, Help Me Chase Those Seconds. In just under 45 minutes, it shows the band’s transition from squeezing onto pub stages as complete unknowns to travelling the world and conquering globally famous events like Glastonbury and Reading, all while recording second album ‘Wild World‘. Here’s what we learnt from the insightful and often hilarious film.
Being in Bastille looks like a hell of a lot of fun
From pratting about in bear costumes on video sets to jokes about how posh member Will Farquarson is, Help Me Chase Those Seconds makes being in Bastille seem like a ton of fun. What really comes through in the documentary, too, is their sense of humour – something you might not necessarily get from their music, with its emotional peaks and epic choruses.
The director’s favourite moment of following the band for five years isn’t what you’d expect
You’d think if you’d spent the last five years touring the world with your best mates, your favourite moment would involve being somewhere exotic, doing something that people dream about. Not for director Tom Middleton, who revealed in the post-screening Q&A that his was something slightly more unexpected. “We got left at the bar at a hotel in Nebraska and there was a couple of guys there who were shady looking characters,” he recalled. “We were snowed in and the bar closed and they suggested we go find another bar. They’d been drinking all night, but professed that they hadn’t. They were dodgy guys and apparently they were selling Iraqi bombs back to Iraq. They said ‘shall we go to a bar?’ half-cut to us in the back of their winnebago called Destiny while driving us around a supermarket car park and somehow we didn’t get killed.”
Will slightly regrets getting a ‘Bad Blood’ tattoo at SXSW
In the film, you see a very happy Will getting a tattoo of the band’s debut album title on his arm while at SXSW in Austin. He might look delighted on screen, but the next day he was less pleased. “I was quite interested looking back at how genuinely pleased I was,” he said in a post-screening Q&A. “That lasted less than six hours. When I woke up the next day I was slightly teary-eyed about the situation.” He might want to prepare for another inking – Dan told him on stage if ‘Wild World’ goes to Number One, Will has to get another tat.
Bastille might be a big deal now, but there’s still no glamour
Yeah, they might have won awards, travelled the world, topped charts and found their place on magazine covers, but don’t think that means things for Bastille are super glamorous 24/7. “The most glamorous bit of that film was me crouching on my knees in our sitting room doing the voiceover,” Dan joked in the Q&A. A lot of shots in the doc are in the never-changing, windowless studio where the band recorded their debut album ‘Bad Blood‘, as well as its follow-up.
Recording while touring is a long process
There are several points of the film where Middleton asks the band how the second album’s going. The answer, invariably, was that they were a bit busy with other things. Never mind the travelling and the shows themselves – when they weren’t occupied by either of those, there was exploring to be done. There’s a really neat bit of the documentary, however, where you really get to see the evolution and process behind one of the songs, ‘Shame’. It begins with Dan singing into a handheld mic on the tourbus, before moving into various studios, adding in backing vocals towards the end of the track’s journey.