I had never pegged the English indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club as fans of the Grateful Dead, but here they are with a 16 minute long cover of the Dead’s 1977 tune “Terrapin Station”, featuring fellow English rockers Flyte. Not only does this cover stand as the longest Bombay Bicycle Club song by far, it also does justice to the original, if I do say so myself.
“Terrapin Station” is legendary in the Grateful Dead live catalogue for being one of their finest jam vehicles, often placed at a crucial tension-building or breaking point in the set. The Dead performed it in improvised fashion (just like everything else), with many changes in tempo and mood throughout that give the song an aura of adventure.
Bombay Bicycle Club bring this adventurous feel to their version of “Terrapin Station”, with a dose of their own personal flavor that brings this aging gem of a song into the modern era of electronic rock music. Hearing this makes me wonder how Bombay Bicycle Club are going to work this into their set. I’m wondering if we can expect to see them work a more improvisational, jam-oriented style into their live shows going forward, or if this cover of “Terrapin Station” is just a one-off. Either way, I’ll be sure to catch them the next time they come stateside, because their song “Always Like This” has long been a favorite of mine.
Bombay Bicycle Club released their cover of “Terrapin Station” on May 23rd, along with a visual that features the band riding around on sea turtles in the ocean. This is definitely worthwhile entertainment, whether or not you enjoy this band or the Grateful Dead (it’d be a lot cooler if you did).
Listen / watch below.