Never let it be said that the West Country, better known for glorious beaches, cider drinking and pasties, is the backwaters for rock music 'cos let me tell you, as a life-long rock fan and scribbler of words, our home-grown bands know how to rawwwk up there with the best of 'em!
The venue for this gig is The Wharf, arguably among the most respected and popular music venues in the region and everyone and their dogs want to play there. It's geared more to staging the bigger established tribute acts but has become an increasingly popular stop off over the last few years for bands like UFO, Imelda May, Fish and Joe Bonamassa.
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So for Badland Bandits to be headlining the venue under their own steam is a major step up for a band more used to the pub gigs.
First up was support band Sleaze from Plymouth who really are the ultimate Spinal Tap tribute band, wonderfully over the top whilst becoming literal caricatures of all that was excessive about the 1980s Rock God era of Bon Jovi, Poison, Guns N Roses, Def Leppard and Whitesnake etc; quite simply, what's not to love?!
I don't know if any of the Sleaze boys write their own music but if they did it's a nigh on certainty they'd come up with their very own 'Suck My Love Pump!'
The band are immensely popular throughout the local pub scene for good reason; faced with a packed venue full of people ready for some serious good time 'rawwwwking', they can be relied on to turn the power and the sleaze right up to No 11. Here they were truly on fire but it somehow doesn't work without a baying crowd so shame on sleaze lovers for not making it out to the gig, it really was their loss.
And then we had Badland Bandits and their set actually surprised me. Having not seen them for a couple of years they've evidently come a long way and honed their craft quite remarkably with some incredibly mature guitar playing that belies their young years, not to mention Adam Vickery's strong presence as an immensely confident singer.
To encounter such a young band writing their own music and lyrics with a real raw passion to succeed in the industry today is quite humbling, so easy would it be to just become another covers band playing the same old tunes.
Quickly rising up as one strong contender for bigger and better things the Bandits have developed an array of songs with rock solid grooves, good melodies and hooks on which to hang your coat. They are definitely a band on a mission.
A wide ranging self-penned repertoire ranging from Motley Crue-esque fist punching rockers like 'Scream N Shout' to slower softer moments like 'Those Eyes' and the wonderful radio friendly 'Lost In Berlin', a firm fan favourite, the BB's are heading in the right direction.
It's easy to see why one producer they worked with proclaimed: "If AC/DC heard this band they'd shit themselves!"
I believe what AC/DC would probably do is shake each of them by the hand and say: "Thank fucking God, with bands like the Badland Bandits coming up through the ranks the future or rock and roll is in safe hands!"