New album. Fresh tour. Same Bad//Dreems.
In support of their new album, Bad//Dreems kicked off their latest tour on Friday night at The Triffid. The band has a reputation for wild shows, and even wilder crowds, so I headed along to confirm if the outrageous rumours were true.
The crowd was already rowdy before the band took the stage, and things immediately escalated as the guys opened into their first song.
Harking back to their first album, Dogs At Bay, ‘Dumb Ideas’ was a strong choice to start with, and it saw one bloke go over the security barrier before even the first chorus.
It set the scene for an evening where the crowd and the band weren’t always going to see eye to eye when it came to the pit. The set was to offer a lot more than a run of sweaty, mosh pit bangers.
Frontman Ben Marwe encapsulated the essence of their working class punk origins. He rocked a pair of worn down leather trade boots and an unkempt beard that looked like it had seen a few too many long nights on the town.
The second song of the night, ‘Morning Rain’, saw him out in front, a tambourine in one hand and a tinnie in the other. A beer he cheekily sipped between verses.
‘Piss Christ’, a punchy punk number clocking in at less than 2 minutes, closed out the first section of the set. From here, things were meant to settle down, as Ben picked up his acoustic guitar.
The new album, Doomsday Ballet, features a number of more mature, Australian suburban ballads. There are plenty of moments of vulnerability and personal retrospectives.
‘Sally’s Place’ was the point in the set where the band was to showcase some of these songs. ‘Sally’s Place’ in particular is a great example of this, where the band openly wears the Paul Kelly influence on their sleeve.
But it was a venue in two minds.
While the band was lamenting on stage, the crowd was still ceiling high. It was just odd watching someone crowd surf to such a sombre song.
‘Northern’ closed out the first slower section of the set. A personal highlight from the new album, ‘Northern’ feels so essentially Australia rock, from the cultural references in its rolling story, to the arrangement of the guitars during the verses.
It was back to getting sweaty with ‘Gutful’, and ‘Salad’ saw Ben with the mic stand over his head. A menace if I ever saw one.
From there it was another organised emotional intermission. ‘Hoping For’, off the band’s original EP Badlands , and ‘Harry’s Station’ took it down a notch once again.
The crowd had nothing to worry about though, because from there it was all up.
The show closed with a run of three songs, the biggest crowd buster from each one of the albums.
‘Cuffed & Collared’ was guaranteed to get a play, and the crowd was heaving as soon as they heard the opening bass line.
‘Mob Rule’ was next, and I saw a few start to tire out in the mosh. But they didn’t have a chance to rest, as Ben come down off the stage and climbed up onto the barrier, leaning out into the crowd.
The idea of an encore was snuffed out the moment ‘Double Dreaming’ started. The lead single from the new album, the live performance only solidified why this has been on such heavy rotation on radios across the country. It’s just bloody good fun.
The tour continues around the country, and the new album, Doomsday Ballet, is available now instore and on streaming services.