LIVE REVIEW – Bad//Dreems – The Gov -Saturday 09 November 2019
Words Geoff Jenke
Bad//Dreems have a new album out, Doomsday Ballet and to celebrate they are taking their chaotic live show around the nation. They are welcomed back to home town Adelaide with a sold-out gig at The Gov.
Before the Dreem, we had Cash Savage and the Last Drinks entertain us. Cash’s uncle was one-time keyboardist for Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds. I didn’t know this at the time of listening to the band (in fact I didn’t know anything about this band before tonight) but after the initial few alt-country songs, the sound turned darker and I actually commented to my mate “This is starting to sound very Nick Cave like”. Cash Savage stalks the stage like caged tiger, beer in her hand for a lot of the set. Initial songs about Centrelink fitted in nicely with Bad//Dreems songs to come later. As the songs turned darker the sound filled out, especially with Kat Mear’s violin underlying the tempo. The band kicked ass, big time, although it took me a while to gell to Cash’s vocal delivery. Sorry I don’t know the song names, something I intend to rectify before seeing this band again. Powerful and brilliant.
Bad//Dreems are on a high at the moment. Three great albums in 4 years, Cuffed and Collared with well over a million play on Spotify, touring the world and coming home to sold out shows. Not bad for a South Australian band that just want to play rock n roll.
Make no mistake, a Bad//Dreems show is a high intensity work out, especially for those on the floor in front of the stage. The band commence with a no-frill entrance launching into Morning Rain and Salad, both from the new album Doomsday Ballet. It was a full throttle start and the fever never let up. People already knew the words to the new songs, singing along to the chorus’s with front man Ben Marwe. Ben owned the stage, stalking all points, also often with beer in hand.
Another new song, Sally’s Place, saw young girls climb on boyfriend’s shoulders inciting the crowd to go wild. Gutfulhas Ben spraying those in front with beer, each member of the audience lapping it up. With Ben of acoustic guitar, things did slow slightly with the slow burning My Only Friend and Hume, the closest thing to a ballad you will get from this band.
Lowlife had Ben engulfed in fog next to drummer Miles Wilson before emerging from the mist to terrorise those in the front. During Double Dreaming, I thought I may have been at a Rolling Stones concert during Sympathy for the Devil with all the “ooh ooh’s” coming from the crowd.
Collared and Cuffed and Mob Rule frantically round out the set. No thank you, no goodbyes, just a thumbs up and a quick exit followed by an even quicker return with Ben holding two plates of supper, which he distributed into the audience, who passed them around. Naden blasted out of the speakers and the crowd went mental. This was Aussie Pub rock at it’s best. “A cover song” Ben muttered after Naden and the band played My Pal from Australian band God. Ben launched himself into the audience towards the end of the song and in fact was still in the audience when the song ended and the band had walked off stage.
Bad//Dreems don’t look like rock stars. They look like 5 mates just having fun playing the music they like. There is no stage show, no rock theatrics.
The music is the show!
A band you must see if you have any interest in Aussie rock at all.