The Bads

By Poppy Tohill

Artist:  The Bads with support from Nightchoir

Date / Venue:  Friday April 19th, Leigh Sawmill, Leigh

It was very much a great wee musical shindig last night as the Leigh Sawmill echoed with guitar twangs and riffs of alt-rock, alt-country, pop and folk music from New Zealand's very own indie rock band Nightchoir, who set the scene perfectly for the exceptional duo The Bads + backing band.

Brett Adams and Dianne Swann are the musically talented duo of The Bads. Previously seeing them perform live as an acoustic twosome made an excellent show which had strong vocal performances and incredibly crafted hooks and riffs. Friday night at the Sawmill, I learnt The Bads can pull it off either way- duo or with a full band.

Joining as a unit for this album release tour, The Bads full backing band, consists of some of the most musically talented people in the country. Dave Kahn, Mike Hall and Wayne Bell provide the perfect backdrop for The Bads high energy songs and beautiful ballads.

Getting the night rolling along nicely, Nightchoir members Matthias Jordan and Mike Hall took to the stage as a duo, rather than the bands usual trio. Obviously not disadvantaging the band in any way as they performed a great set of songs from their album '24 Hours Of Night.'

Thanks to Nightchoir for warming up the audience, the crowd took to the dance floor with The Bads opening their set with their country-blues, pop song, ‘Worried Mind.'

The dancing continued throughout ‘You've Got The Sun' and everyone jumped from their seats for a traditional country hoe-down during ‘Good Lies.'

Album opener ‘California' near the end of The Bads set proved to be another dance floor favourite.

Although ending their set on the gentle vocals and longing mood of their album ‘Travel Light's' closing track ‘Wintertime,' the small intimate crowd didn't hesitate to shout out for an encore. Which of course didn't require much encouragement before Swann & Adams insisted and continued three more songs before the night drew to an end.

Adams rhythmic guitar versus and slick guitar riffs echoed throughout the venue during the night, transfixing many crowd members with his astonishing guitar skills.  Unless you are a professional guitar player yourself, just listening to this sort of guitar playing on an album, doesn't really reveal the full level of talent of what you would actually see and hear at a live performance.

Adams guitar playing and Swann's beautiful voice was very originally backed up by a strong rhythm section and an array of interesting instruments such as the banjo, mandolin and violin played sensitively and minimally by Dave Kahn.

Despite the audience numbers at the gig being far less than this wonderful underrated band deserves. the atmosphere the crowd produced made up for this lack of numbers with every member of the audience being encouraging, joyful and leaving the venue with a satisfied smile on their faces.

If I had to sum up the concert in just one word, I would say... ‘Wow.' The concert was wow, the band certainly has the wow factor and overall, it was just wow.

If you haven't yet seen The Bads perform live yet, I suggest its about time to come out from under that rock and purchase their newest album- ‘Travel Light' as well as tickets to their next show, because I can tell you... You will be wowed!!

You can never go bad with The Bads...

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