Thursday, 2 July 2009
The Baddies are a band currently gathering hype from the music press, I haven’t read a bad word about the Southend four piece. The gig was organised by two of the gentlemen that bring the two thousand trees festival to Cheltenham each summer operating under the banner Treeprog. The idea is that they will bring big acts to this fine town with support from the best local talent.
The night opened with a performance from Che who blended rock with incredibly tight vocals. As they played to the ever filling room the audience were being drawn into the performance. The tight vocal style of Che was followed up by The Divine Secret, who blend a heavier breed of rock with dramatic vocals to a very high standard. Their style is backed up with huge stage presence from all 3 members. Obvious comparisons to early Incubus or Desa come from the vocal style but elements of post hardcore and metal create an individual sound.
The next support act were Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun who are creating waves within music which will put Cheltenham on the Map. The obvious comparison to Frank Turner will always greet any artist/s who make the punk styled folk that Jim has become accustomed to, the band are by no means a one trick pony . The lyrical styling mixing a Bright Eyes styled beauty and a Billy Bragg styled political message is both entertaining and inspiring.
The live sound of Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun is deep and soulful with a mixture between quiet slow songs to make you think, and folk punk to get the audience on their feet. The band has been mentioned in many must see lists and I would certainly agree with this, if you can see them live this summer, or ever, do.
The headline act Baddies entered the stage to a curious crowd; most people seemed to have heard of the band by reputation alone and came down to see what the hype was about. The stage presence presented made it almost impossible not to watch the performance. Within three quarters of the first song of the set the singer had entered the crowd to up the mood.
Throughout the entire set Baddies seemed to increase in intensity and whip themselves, and the crowd into frenzy. Front man Michael Webster locked the crowd in death stare as he delivered lyrics in an aggressive style usually associated with Punk or even Hardcore. To put Baddies into a scene or style would be almost impossible they mix the modern Indie sound with aspects of Stooges and Ramones punk and straight Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The band have a distinctive look and sound which will aid them in their festival performances throughout the summer. I would, as with almost every band I see live, recommend watching them play and formulating your own opinions.