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Live review/ Bad//Dreems & The Chats @ O2 Academy

I have never been to a gig before that presented me with such a stark juxtaposition of quality before entering Bristol’s O2 academy to see Bad//Dreems and The Chats.

By Joe Boyd, Digital Music Editor

I have never been to a gig before that presented me with such a stark juxtaposition of quality before entering Bristol’s O2 academy to see Bad//Dreems and The Chats.

Bad//Dreems  are fundamentally an ageing all male five piece “outsider rock” band that had an aesthetic closer to that of an early noughties indie band than their wannabe punk image. Credit to the lead, Ben Marwe who at least acknowledged this, which almost made it feel non-conformist and a little less cringy.

Their style is important here, as it largely reflected the quality of their music. Maybe my negative reception of them stems from what followed being one of the most stellar gigs I have ever witnessed, but their music just seemed generic and without substance. They did manage to entertain the crowd briefly following a track about Donald Trump, that in the aftermath of the general election result led to chants inevitable of Jeremy Corbyn.

Overall the band were as uninteresting as their hometown Adelaide is made out to be by the Australian youth culture that The Chats have managed to capitalise on. Simply just another all male rock band with awkward crowd interaction and stage presence.

The Chats on the other hand have clearly grasped the roots of punk music and applied it to the Aussie youth culture with incredible success. While I like the music the Aussie three piece has put out, it doesn’t remotely compare to the energy they bring to their live performances.

They entered the stage to Queen’s We Are The Champions before giving the crowd a plea not to be violent and aim to just have fun, before informing the crowd that if you got caught crowd surfing they would just let you around the back. This was the start of what ended up being one of the rowdiest gigs I’ve been to, to date.

To say there was an absence of a pit, could be easily misinterpreted, a distinguishable pit did not exist as the whole downstairs standing area was the pit. The security were seemingly endlessly yanking people over the barrier and pints were flying left right and centre. At any given time, there were more people crowd surfing than you normally see at a gig in total.

The self-described ‘shed rock’ band blend the ethos of traditional politically charged punk with comical references to Australian youth culture which clearly resonates wrongly with the mullet population of Bristol. Songs such as Mom Stole My Darts, Smoko and Pub Feed clearly encapsulate the Australian youth as they have launched the band into global stardom in their infancy as a band. All of these tracks sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Politics wasn’t absent from their new age punk sound, with the guitarist Pricey proclaiming “fuck the nazis, fuck the pigs and fuck the tories” before playing politically charged tracks like Billy Backwash and Left Right, a track originally titled Nazi March which sounds as if it could be a reference to Australia being seen as a Nanny State.

The best way to describe the track Smoko is the musical embodiment of internet series’ like The Big Lez Show and Damo and Darren through a punk lens. Pricey joked before they played the track, while laughing that it was the tracks global debut. The song took the chaos of the gig to a new level with Pricey climbing up to the stairs to the balcony with his guitar. The bands drummer dived into the crowd later followed by Pricey who seemingly doesn’t run out of energy. The bands other support Crocodylus look over on drums and guitar while this chaos ensued.

The Chats brought the gig to a close with an encore of Pub Feed, another incredibly popular track. Eamon the lead was sellotaped to his mic stand while the bands entire supporting cast entered the stage largely replicated the energy of the crowd.

It isn’t often that you leave a gig having had a completely different experience to what you anticipated when you entered, following a disappointing build up, The Chats absolutely blew the roof off Bristol O2. A gig to remember.