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REVIEW: 'ReOrchestrated'

What Bastille's new documentary film ‘ReOrchestrated’ really does is appeal to both fans of the indie pop hit makers and non-fans alike (although you would find it difficult to not become a mega fan, like me, by the time this film is over). Say what you will about the four-piece, they do not take the easy route.

We learn the band’s history as they lead up to one of the biggest night’s of their professional lives - a show at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie with a 50+ man orchestra (Baltic Sea Philarmonic) and also a show at London’s Palladium, which was their last show pre-pandemic.

Now, Bastille aren’t the only band to rework their music with orchestras and choirs as ‘ReOrchestrated’ might have you believe (Snow Patrol have had success with a similar concept), but the amount of determination they put into the shows and the level of details *and* progress they made is shown..and I can personally attest to how brilliant these shows were. 

These shows were innovative, especially for an ‘indie’ band and we see them come to the decision to put the third album on the back burner to go on the ‘ReOrchestrated’ tour in 2018. Not all bands would do a live show that was so risky and be so honest about the process.

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Reluctant frontman Dan Smith and keyboardist Kyle Simmons hopped onto Instagram Live (@bastilledan) the night before the release to talk about ‘ReOchestrated’ and claimed that it was an intimate look into their lives and, to be fair, it is more revealing than fans would usually expect - we learn a lot about Dan’s insecurities and how fame “fucked him up” and also how Kyle was very nearly let go because, as he says: “I wasn’t good enough” - but they could have delved much deeper, I feel. I guess the film was aimed at a more general audience, to include people who may not be familiar with the band too.

Live member Charlie Barnes and “genius” arranger Jonny Abrahams (Public Service Broadcasting) are also interviewed alongside the choir director (Senab Adekunle) and orchestra conductor (Kristjan Jarvi). We see Charlie Barnes doing forward flips and jumping jacks with his guitar strapped on. He is so happy to be a part of the experience and yet he also discusses feeling low at times and the pressures of playing with such a huge band.

‘ReOrchestrated’ is a surprisingly emotional / feel-good watch, especially if you are a fan of the band or have attended the shows. There are full length songs (one of which was filmed at Abbey Road Studios) featured in the film and these give you a glimpse into what it was like to be in the audience at those truly magical nights at Royal Albert Hall, Elbphilharmonie and The Palladium.

The film ends with *the* most stunning performance of ‘The Waves’ and I am guilty of playing it back many times since I first heard it. As a fan, I am so very proud of the journey Bastille have been on and very glad that this film commemorates that.

ReOrchestrated’ is available on Amazon Prime Video

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