Phew! what a night this was. The 'A Very Bad X-mas' event at the Fat Controller showcased some great local bands whilst giving the baddies a chance to play back home, not too long after their Dogs at Bay album tour. The results show a firm thumbs up to the album from everyone there.
To kick the night off, both Adelaide stalwarts The Hard Aches and Special Patrol, excelled in their sets. Special Patrol's honest folksy tunes were soothing and well liked by all, while The Hard Aches were well appreciated in their upbeat and energetic set. Their song 'I get like this' was definitely a crowd favourite, as some punters who seemed not to know the song at first were singing along regardless by its end. Both bands served to warm up the already excited crowd, leaving a bristling air of anticipation.
Before getting into Bad//Dreems' set, it's worth mentioning that some months ago when I first saw them they were a different experience entirely. They hadn't released the Dogs at Bay album and were playing a mix of songs from their 'Badlands' EP, along with a few singles. The band and the crowd's energy back then was certainly intense, but nothing like Friday night's show. What we saw Friday night was a gig that was so good, it was literally out of control. It felt as though Bad//Dreems have gone from local legends, to a downright National phenomenon. Adelaide and the rest of the country are definitely very approving of the pub-rock revivalist's poignant music.
The set itself was a roller coaster of old and new songs, each belted out by front man Ben Marwe; the crowd going harder with each track. It was evident that fans had found the same meaning, sentiment and feeling within Bad//Dreems' music as we have, seen during 'Hoping for'. While it may be a less intense song comparatively to other belters, 'Hoping For' was absolutely loved by the crowd.
Many of the newer songs from Dogs at Bay such as 'New Boys' and 'Sacred Ground' were seamlessly enjoyed as much as older tracks, further confirming the album's resounding success. Knowing that 'New Boys' draws heavily from the Adelaide Bikie Wars, is a testament again to the band's uniquely local sound that we love. Perhaps the most intense song of the night was 'Bogan Pride', which worked the already cathartic crowd into an absolute frenzy, or maybe it was 'Naden'? or 'Cuffed and Collared'? Either way, all of the above were insane. A collapsed stage barrier, hoarse voices and countless bruises later, we have evidence of the night's brilliant chaos.
Ending their set with 'Dumb Ideas', we went home with a sense of awe at Bad//Dreems' presence; their die hard following is well deserved. Please keep doing what your doing guys.
(Coincidentally voting for triple J's hottest 100 opened up the other day, so why not give these absolute legends a vote and support local.)
All images taken by Wade Whitington