Maise Wilson

Glasgow Guardian's culture editor reviews Bad Sounds latest Glasgow appearance

Bad Sounds? – more like bloody good sounds. The freshest thing I’ve heard in music for a long time, this five-piece band from Bath were beaming with energy while playing at the prestigious King Tuts on Vincent Street. Fronted by brothers Ewan and Callum Merret the band just seemed to be having an absolute blast.

Before they took to the stage there were Get Better banners lining the venue, referencing the title of the outfit’s latest album, along with a single flashing light bulb and a theatrical voice-over announcing that we were all about to “Get Better”. The crowd were well into it and started jumping from the get go. The atmosphere was absolutely electric and mosh pits started roughly two songs into the set.

Their style of music is so refreshing. With Ewan being interested in hip-hop whilst Callum being more into R’n’B, after taking time apart they came back together and created what is now Bad Sounds; with the addition of Sam Hunt on guitar, Charlie Pitt on bass and Olivia Dimery on drums. Having a sick female drummer just adds to how cool they are.

This was my first time ever at King Tuts, but it didn’t take long to realise why it’s known as arguably the UK’s best live venue. It’s small, pints are reasonably priced, and even when it’s sold out, you are never too far from the front of the stage. Although the stage is on the small side, it did not stop them bounding around, jumping on each other’s backs and generally just running absolute riot around the place. Callum and Ewan consistently got in and amongst the crowd, itself giddy to receive them. Balloons and confetti were fired into the room from every angle, adding a festival-like feel to a small basement venue on a cold October night.

Greg James has just made their song “Wages” Tune of the Week on Radio One, just one of the signs that Bad Sounds are about to go massive. Their music is just something different from the mundane and vanilla stuff that fills the charts right now. They have an all-encompassing image; from their clothes, to their sound, to their album art. It’s worth checking them out on YouTube as their music videos even have a Mighty Boosh-esque vibe to them, so you can never go wrong.

Stylistically, it is hard to place Bad Sounds into any specific category. Somehow, they have managed to create a truly unique sound that I find hard to liken to anything else. Possibly a modern day Hot Chip but with more eccentricity. The gig they played in Leeds the day after was Halloween and they all dressed up as the Spice Girls – truly iconic. They just obviously don’t take themselves too seriously, thus resulting in them having such a great time on stage which radiates to the crowd below. Everyone was so absorbed by what was going on that for once there was not a sea of phones recording everything for Snapchat or Instagram. Everyone was just grooving too hard.

An absolute stand out gig – one of the best I have been to in Glasgow possibly. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to them yet, go and do it now. You won’t regret it.

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