A Little Background:
One of the great things about writing and reviewing is that you get some lovely offers from agencies to check out bands on their roster. Sometimes they are bands that you haven’t heard of. This happened to me when I opened an email asking if I might be interested in checking out the “highly entertaining” Bandaid Brigade. There was a video attached and I thought, “I like these guys!” Luckily when I replied saying I wanted to go, between the agency and the band I was given a chance to check them out live.
The band all have other music jobs, mostly in hardcore punk bands! However, like The Night Flight Orchestra from Sweden who by day do melodic death metal in their respective jobs but as the TNFO do cheesy 80s rock, these guys are also bloody good at writing catchy earworms with strong melodies with a sense of fun. Live I can officially say they are a complete hoot! Leave the brain at the door and be indulged by songs with pop sensibility that still rock along with some very silly puerile jokes and stories, some of which may or not be true. Who knows, who cares? When you are having this much fun. I laughed as much as I rocked. The album is great but live takes on an extra life of its own.
The Gig: Dancing Shoes, Destroyed Equipment, Fun and Melody:
From the moment they walked onto the stage to the time they left it, there was lots of banter and an atmosphere that they were as much having fun as we were. They opened with “Everything” which is very reminiscent of artists such as The Cars and Nick Lowe. A slight punky riff but a strong vocal with some tasty harmonies. In fact, throughout the show I was impressed at the vocals, they were pretty clear even though they were moving around with guitarist/vocalist Zach Quinn pulling some wonderful poses and faces throughout. “Travel Light” was introduced with an introduction to get on our dancing shoes in the crowd. No wonder with its funky bassline and smooth melody. The vocals in the chorus really grabbed attention. I found my feet tapping and head nodding throughout the set due to the quality of the material.
Even when things went wrong they improvised keeping the night flowing. Problems arrived when Eric the bassist managed to knock his amp over! He got some slagging (abuse) for that. So they proceeded to play as a 3 piece with drummer Paul Rucker only using his cymbals making the song at the time almost a gentle acoustic number until the bass kicked back in. In fact, Eric seems to bear the brunt of a lot of the jokes as the new boy to the band. They even said that he was going to have to find his own way round the UK gigs with his bass so if anyone in the audience wanted to join them on tour there was a space on the bus! As I said there was lots of joking around.
“Nothing Matters” really impressed me on the night. With some very gentle keyboard playing from Brian Wahlstrom and an almost child-like voice it stood out nicely. It was very subtle and sweet-sounding and had a bit of a progressive rock vibe. It sounded such a simple song but had plenty going on. My note just said, “beautifully constructed song, I like”. I stand by my note!
They finished off with one of the daftest and most fun songs I have heard. Zach claimed it was a song he wrote when he was 13 years old and is his gran’s favourite song that he has written! The song called “Butt Train” was introduced with lots of bum jokes (which seemed fitting). Even though the song is silly, the musicianship and rock out was fantastic. With more false endings than Judas Priest (some of theirs live are longer than other people’s whole songs) it was a Southern swampy blues workout. I am sure during this at one point they threw in the riff to “Enter Sandman” for a laugh. The band wound each other up with each member at some point (most more than once) shouting “1 2 3 4” whereupon the rest of them would have to start playing again. It got faster and faster. Guitars were on the ground and being replayed on the floor. It was manic, crazy and a shitload of fun to watch.
I can recommend the album easily, and I can thoroughly repeat what was in the email I was sent about them being a “highly entertaining band”. The fact is they also have the musical chops along with the songs to go with all the silliness. If they come near you then go along, grab a beer and have a good time. Make sure you dance, sing and clap. They positively encourage it!
Also, find more of my CGCM reviews here: Tom Cornell
Email Me at: Tom Cornell