Why? Read on…..
We started 2017 with some truly cracking January gigs at the Chelsea Arts Club, Sindercombe Social and – to be forever remembered for all sorts of reasons (see below…) – in the Lake District at a private birthday party for Dez and Karelle in a barn in Cartmel near Grange-over-Sands. The food, funk and family fun were first rate – and minor inconveniences like complete failure of electricity, rain, paucity of taxis, dank and dripping hotel bedrooms were overcome with a British enthusiasm for endurance that would have left Bear Grylls checking into the nearest Premier Inn.
We continued to play at our favourite regular venues, The Sindercombe Social, Black Horse in Barnet, Jagz in Ascot, Boisdale in Canary Wharf and Blues Kitchen in Camden to name but a few. We also added some new venues – including Pitcher and Piano in Hitchin, Waterside at Ware and Lee Valley Water Park. The latter two are wonderful outside (weather permitting!) places to play and we have already been booked at both in 2018.
In July and again in August the Bads packed their bags, bikinis, sun-cream, surfboards, guitars, corkscrews and folding bikes and headed off to play in Sete in South of France. We were lucky in having the massively musical bass, keys and drums talents respectively of Bad regulars (and universally acknowledged band gourmets) Trev Boxall, Emily Francis and Jason Ribeiro on the July trip which was to celebrate a rather special birthday for Roger – our long legged, suffering and in the tooth leader and guitarist. Roger has now calculated he is older than all other band members (and their spouses and pets) added together – and who is numerate or sober enough to tell him otherwise?
The July weekend started with a Friday night birthday dinner at the Bistrot du Port with plenty of honoured guests including the soul queen of Limerick, the sensational Jane Fraser + the reggae queen of Derby, Melanie “Sapphire” Whittaker, Paul “Mr. Redemption Song” Stoba + wife, June (as emissaries from the Antipodean branch of the Bads Fan Club HQ at North Manly Bowlo in Sydney) and LinDa from the Sindercombe. Fuelled by a bottle or three of Picpoul de Pinet the Bad Girls sang a wonderfully harmonised “Happy Birthday” which Roger rather liked and which moved Brahim, the head waiter, to tears. The next night, the band rocked and funked up a packed-out Bar St Clair until the early hours. Jean-Luc generously (and dangerously – check the firework) not only presented Roger with a magnum of champagne he was also persuaded to play a bit of French keyboard boogie, the local cops were so impressed that they joined in the fun and abandoned the midnight noise curfew. A weekend to remember.
Again in Sete, the August gigs during the St Louis Festival were super successful – and FUN – this time with Jason “No Treble” Tebble on the low end…– 3 consecutive nights at Bar St Clair and (by kind permission of the Festival organisers) the last night on a specially constructed stage in the square adjacent to the Hôtel Port Marine. (We must acknowledge here the help and advice of the delightful old lady sipping her Pastis who helped our bemused engineer, Marcio, locate the electricity supply) We rocked until the early hours, the locals loved it and danced and drank into the night. We should also acknowledge that – after cajoling, training and mud wading on the Etang on the outskirts of Sete – Trimmer has acquired a new skill viz how to spend all day without food or water watching Marcio skim over water and fly through the sky strapped to various winged appliances. This new-found skill will be integrated with the cowbell performance when Trimmer works out how.
Joining us on keys in August – in the absence of regular Emily Francis – was a Sete virgin in the form of Henry Dearden (and a rather special friend – see below). Henry gathered many French fans including the impossibly beautiful waitress at Bar St Clair with whom he fell so hopelessly (and wordlessly – next time, Henry, we suggest you bring a French phrase book,) in love that he was moved to present her with a close fitting Bad Girls T- shirt. L’amour for sure.
In late summer we got busy recording our first EP with Paul Stanborough http://www.paulstanborough.com/ The tracks are recorded, mixed and mastered – and sounding great. Artwork is under way for the disc. We aim to have the EP ready for release early in 2018 with videos filmed at the world famous Konk studios in North London. https://www.konkstudios.com/
The EP will feature 3 of Roger’s originals “Waste of Days”, Pass the Remote” and “Life of Lily” plus 3 rather special covers. Watch this space.
In October we were delighted to be asked once again to play in Ireland at the Cork Guinness Jazz Festival. 4 consecutive gigs at the Metropole Ballroom, Reardens, Chambers then – with Jane Fraser as Special Guest – back to the Metropole for the farewell party. Fantastic reception at all shows. Chambers was particularly memorable with Emily Luke-Taylor demonstrating Extreme Badness by throwing caution and personal safety (and stilettos) to the wind and doing it all over the dance floor with the punters. A VERY friendly crowd that considered “Don’t Let Go” to be an anthem that should never end – however many times we tried! Thankyou, Cork, – you never disappoint – and, for the first time ever, it didn’t rain!
As Christmas approached – and after our last gig for 2017 at Chelsea Arts Club, where we all wished Alice good luck with her new adventures – we decided to update our website and other media and for this purpose we engaged Jenny Burdon aka Delaire and her pal the wonderful Oli Fowler to advise on the Bads’ image, and take some photos. Oli excelled herself and the new photos of Bad Girls – Sophie, Emily, Susana and Leigh – collectively and individually now attaining heights of such Extreme Baditude previously thought unattainable ( except by Kim Kardashian obvs.) …. will soon be appearing on a screen near you.
Now then, let’s again raise a glass to the man who fixes absolutely anything, anytime, any place. – the man with a plan, who mixes pushy with polite, negotiates fees so enormous that we shall soon be able to buy him a Roller…(or at least his favourite Salt Beef Roll..) our promoter, Peter Nyman. Peter, the Bads salute you and can never thank you enough for all that you do for us.
Finally we would like to offer a massive “Thankyou” to all our friends, family, fans and followers for their help, support and encouragement, coming to the gigs, chatting to us about stuff, buying a drink or two, dancing like demons, shaking their bootys, and generally making the whole thing …FUN..! Don’t ever stop. Included in this group are some very special people, definitely in no particular order – but let’s start with Marcio and Andres who together have not only nailed the sound – they also drive the van, arrive early and leave late for the load in and out, carry out repairs on the hoof – wonderful effort;thankyou….., Paul Stanborough, Claudio Corona – amazing Hammond B3 on our recordings, Mike Horne, Nic Marongoni, Alberto Manuzzi, Tim Jacobs, Jono Helsby, Jonny Ford, The Lewis Family – Max the man with the moves, Astria and Lauren – wow!!! all the way to Sete (again…)!, Joe Spedding, Lena Langford, Melanie Whittaker, Lynne Nyman, Jenny and Joe Burdon, Susie, Julie and Crispin Bolt and the small Bolts of Muswell Hill, Pat and Jimmy from Sandy Beaches, Lynne Burdon, Alice, David and Darren and Jonathan and John who all made the July Sete trek, Andy – the tree-feller, Jo and Peter Gibson, Chopper and Rachel, Paul Donatantonio + family, Amy Nyman, Patricia Ford, Jean-Paul, Jean-Luc, Brahim, Alain, Marco and Vincenzo at http://saponarapizzeria.co.uk Nancy McGee at http://absolutelysouthernfrance.com Teri Francis, Andrea Papa and https://www.facebook.com/Music4Barnet Andy, LIn-Da and Scott and all the hard working team at https://www.thesindercombesocial.co.uk/ Ray at http://www.blackhorsebarnet.co.uk Debbie Bine at https://bfblogger.com ,,the Bad Girls’ Mums and Dads, Olivier and Catherine at http://www.agence-vias-taxi.fr/ les équipes amicales at https://www.facebook.com/saintclair.saintclairsete/?rf=122251337830033 and https://www.facebook.com/Le-Bistrot-du-Port-386116471451006/ and http://www.allo-pizza-sete.com/ and Bar Idéal (ooooh! smell the coffee!!!!), Gloria at the IBIS, Laurent Maraval and all the truly lovely warm hearted people of Sete, the Goodwin Family in Cork, Richard Siggins for his website action, and dozens of others – you know who you are. See you all over the place in 2018. And thanks again.
I’m not signing off without saying a Special “Thankyou” to the most patient and lovely manager (and wife….) who tolerates – endlessly – the madness but never contributes to it – my very best friend – Julie, the Bads – especially me – love you.