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Bad Sounds, Bristol, 26/10/18 (photo © Martin Allen for Sync)

Bath band Bad Sounds brought their UK tour home for a local show that made for a fun-filled 70 minutes of energy, balloons and confetti.

Even before they took to the stage though, openers Dylan Cartlidge and Indoor Pets were very worthy support acts. Cartlidge captured the imagination with a genre-defying display that encapsulates rap, hip-hop, soul, funk and plenty more besides, before Indoor Pets turned up the volume with a raucous indie-rock set that got the temperature rising very nicely.

Then it was the main act, and Bad Sounds well and truly took advantage of the upbeat Friday night feeling in the room. Fronted by brothers Ewan and Callum Merrett, the five-piece have been gaining in profile since the release of debut album Get Better earlier this year. That, plus a clutch of showstopping festival performances over the summer, has earned them some well-deserved attention.

They bring that festival feel to their live show in a pretty big way and have the tunes to go with it. Most of the album was given an airing, with highlights including Wages, Evil Powers, Couldn’t Give It Away, and Thomas Is a Killer.

There was a missed opportunity perhaps for the track Milk It. Hopes that Gloucestershire-based Katy Pearson of Ardyn – who sings on the record – might have made a guest appearance at this local show were dashed, with the brothers covering the vocals between them.

But that aside, Bad Sounds left nothing out of this performance. Even some microphone issues seemed to add rather than detract from the show, as Ewan Merritt lifted his stage technician in the air as he tried to fix the problem and proceeded to spin him around the stage.

And as well as plentiful red and yellow balloons, and regular flurries of confetti, they leapt into the crowd, leapt on each other, and delivered an energetic performance that was as tight as it was joyous. They’re not only masters of the earworm, but they damn well nail it live too.

 

Words & photos by Martin Allen

 

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