Now Playing: Bicycle ThiefJuly 10, 2013
I found it pretty weirdly awesome that I was trying to crack the code to my bike lock the day I first googled Bicycle Thief to start researching this article. I have no idea why I’m telling you that. Except that maybe it was what finally made me get onto writing about the Cape Town band that I’ve been meaning to seriously listen to since Jay first spoke about them as part of the MK MVP last year.
Anyway, a few years ago, Tim Lester was making some sweet solo music under the Bicycle Thief pseudonym and he approached friends Dave Thorpe and Pete More to ramp the sounds up a bit and make this a band thang. They released their first EP, When Planets Collide in 2011. It held the subtle yet sombre tune “Goodbye Ian Curtis”, whose video featuring Josie Borain is a great piece of South African music TV:
Bicycle Thief – Goodbye Ian Curtis (Motion City Films) amazing cinematography, awesome song and a hot lady with the most androgynously attractive hairstyle ever recorded on film, and she showed some nip in good taste. Kudos to you ma’am.
Bicycle Thief – Goodbye Ian Curtis
Then last year, the threesome put together another EP for free download, because they’re cool like that. Compared to “Goodbye Ian Curtis” (which is also on the new EP), I think the rest of the new Ammunition EP keeps its grown up, ponderous feel, but gets a lit more fun and flirty in its rock style, particularly on the EP’s title track. “It’s by far the most aggressive track we’ve released so far”, says the band, and I like it. In fact, I’d like to see more of this from their future music. Especially if you’re singing about alienating oneself from those closest to you, like this song is.
Something I really enjoyed from Bicycle Thief was the document of song meanings they have on their website to go with the Ammunition EP. While I’m not normally one for being dictated to about interpretations (they wouldn’t be interpretations if they were fixed, after all), reading that really opened the subtleties of Bicycle Thief’s music up. It ain’t just beautiful noise, it’s meaningful beautiful noise!
For someone on the Highveld, like me, Bicycle Thief remains a relatively untapped well of modern art rock, and I hope 2013 sees them making their way onto radio stations and stages around the country a lot more. Go and support them today!
- Join Bicycle Thief on Facebook and follow them on Twitter: Follow @bicyclethiefsa
- Download the Ammunition EP for free.