Live Review: Bad Sounds @ Thekla

Live Review: Bad Sounds @ Thekla

It’s clear from the initial confetti canon and opening strobe light that this is going to be a gig to remember. Two men in boiler suits strut on stage to raucous laughter and rampant applause… before taking off their wigs to reveal that they aren’t Ewan and Callum Merrett; brothers and charismatic frontmen of Bad Sounds.

They’re pushed off stage and replaced by the actual band who promptly bang their way through Hot Head Chippenham – a hip hop infused ode to dog walking in the Wiltshire town. The audience is spellbound by their infectiously gleeful energy and jump along to new songs with the same fervour as old favourites. The crowd bounds their way through Zacharia, each audience member competing with the next to see who can shout the chorus louder. Their vocal chords are given no rest as Bad Sounds segues into their best known and most loved hit to date – Living Alone.

Holding hands with the party spirit gives the feeling that this is a friends and family event, kicking off their UK headline tour at Bristol's very own Thekla, which sold out weeks in advance. Friends join them on stage to play new songs including a four-piece brass band and Katy Pearson from indie pop twosome Ardyn. There are a couple of “love you” shout outs from Ewan and Callum to their mum who’s also watching this joyfest take place. The boys standing to the left of me literally spend the whole show shouting “we love you Charlie” in heavy fake Gloucestershire accents and explain that one of them is the proud brother of bass player Charlie. My mate standing to the right alternates between "I love them", "wow" and "I love you" for the entirety of the show. Bad Sounds finish the party with an avalanche of Bad Sounds emblazoned balloons cascading gloriously down from the ceiling onto an adoring audience. Ultimately all I can say is this - if you're looking for a good time, want to make your friends love you a little bit more for your awesome music taste and boogie your ass off, look no further than a Bad Sounds show.

Sam Stone