• Why? Read on…..
• We started the year with some sadness at losing an original Bad Girl, Sarah Goodwin, but, as the management gurus say, “change is good” and we were fortunate indeed, after exhaustive interviews, auditions and wine-drinking, to find some funky friends for Alice in the fetching forms of Susana Soriano, Leigh Hayward, Sophie Ray – and later in the year, Emily Luke-Taylor. So impressive are these ladies (and, it has to be said…so Very Bad…) that, stage space permitting, we now routinely gig with 4 singers upfront.
• Our wonderful sound dude Omri accepted a demanding day (and night) job which required him to travel East and West to some fearsomely dangerous and distant lands. However, the equally wonderful Marcio, who thought he had escaped, was immediately re-enlisted (It’s just like the Hotel California, Marcio, “…you can check out any time etc etc…) and has proved a great success at getting the right sound and protecting the precious PA from clowns who have lost the ability to stand upright without supporting themselves by grabbing a speaker pole with predictably dangerous consequences. Marcio knows his way around E-bay so we now have rack mounted this, that and (obviously) the other.
• Our regular venues have continued to book the Bads throughout the year and we have gathered a multitude of funky friends at The Sindercombe Social, Reds BBQ, The Black Horse, Blues Kitchen, Chelsea Arts Club, JAGZ and others. After many years, one of our favourite Sunday night venues, The Dignity sadly closed its doors to live music and metamorphosed into The Chicken Society. Yes, in the 21st Century poultry have clubs too.
• The Bads (particularly our sound dude) love an open-air gig and we would like to mention 2 in particular – Lee Valley Water Park in June and Jagz in July at Royal Ascot time. (Sound check at 9am ??Are you sure???…) We got lucky with the weather on both occasions. Packed out too.
• August was the month things really went South – well the band van did (thanks to our drummer , and road warrior, Jason R) and the Bads flew (thanks to Easyjet)……where we played 4 consecutive nights at the famous St.Louis Festival in Sete, S. France. The Bads boogied the nights away, all gigs on the open-air stage at Café St Clair, the locals loved it and the crowd yelled for more. (Bads already booked for 2017)
• Still in Sete, after the last show at prize giving time in Luigi’s Italian restaurant, the ever helpful local movers (and definitely , shakers) Nancy and Patricia got to share the prize of their dreams…………yes , things got very sticky in the heat of the night when Brad Pitt appeared and was (I’m sorry about this Angelina…) last seen in a fairly horizontal position heading for Patricia’s boudoir….He only lasted there for a couple of steamy days before opting for a quick change of underwear and seeking refuge at Nancy’s…silly boy, he should have known there was no relief…well, maybe….
• With Jason T busy on a multitude of other projects and thus unavailable for all our gigs, we were truly lucky to secure the services of the terrifyingly funky Trev Boxall on bass (Trev brings a whole new dimension to the word “cooking”…), do check out his solo on Redshift a great track composed and performed by Emily (see below..) on her debut CD The Absent and……
• ……..with keysman Claudio Corona busy making baby No 2 (Congratulations to Claudio and Ang – it’s a boy – born just 2 days before Xmas!!!) , we got lucky again in having the ever effervescent Emily Francis join us for many gigs. Emily’s soulful and melodic playing just gets ever more wonderful – and did I tell you she also sings – and played alto sax with us on several memorable gigs? Amazing talent and delightfully delicious with it; thanks Em. (And, honestly, I’m sorry I mess up a tune now and again ..and again…and again…just keep staring…I might get it in the end and anyway it’s all I deserve…. ) Here’s a link to Em’s website with all sorts of wonderful keyboard magic https://www.emilyfrancismusic.com/
• Our new singers not only bring fresh vocal talent to the mix, they also bring ideas for new songs, dance moves and style influence. Wait until you hear the yodelling (you heard..) breakdowns from lovely Leigh Hayward…..and watch the hip shaking excesses of slinky Sophie Ray. https://sophieraymusic.com/ Susana has totally mastered the venue walkabout with a wireless mic and Alice has pleased her many fans – both in UK and France – by leaping into their pulsating midst and teaching them a few of her more acrobatic dance moves…..R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
• Just have to mention the gigs where we were proud to be joined by Limerick’s (and our) favourite soul sister, the amazing and colourful Jane Fraser https://twitter.com/fraserjanemusic Jane wails the blues and brings flaming fire and funk and (sometimes…) red hair to a gig; thanks Jane.
• In August the Bads were asked to feature in a film by Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche, the winner of 2013 Cannes Palme d’Or for his film “Blue is the warmest colour”. Mr K. had witnessed the Bads in full funky action one hot steamy night in Sete. We had several meetings with the organisers but in the end, declined the offer largely because there was talk of our debut film performance having to be as backing band for an Italian actress singing a cover of Boney M’s re-mix of Neil Young’s Heart of Gold…..nice song but……
• Now then, let’s raise a glass to the man who fixes absolutely anything – the man with a plan, who mixes pushy with polite, our promoter, Peter Nyman. Peter, the Bads salute you and can never thank you enough for all that you do for us.
• The Bads projects for 2017 include extending their setlist to feature a bit of solo acoustic action from our talented singers, some country style music (Yee- hah!!!) and recording a few of the original songs composed by Roger and Sophie to be produced by the highly-regarded Paul Stanborough https://www.paulstanborough.com/
• 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, The Lewis Family – Max the man with the moves, Astria – wow!!! all the way to Sete !, Joe Spedding, Lena Langford, Mel Whittaker, Lynne Nyman, Jenny and Joe Burdon, Pat from Sandy Beaches, Andy – the tree-feller, Jo and Peter Gibson, Paul Donatantonio + family, Amy Nyman, Tamsin from Reds, Megan and David, Patricia Ford, Jean-Paul, Jean-Luc, Brahim, the Saponara Brothers (London’s BEST pizza…https://saponarapizzeria.co.uk) Lee Deadman, Nancy McGee, Natasha – strokey/strokey, Teri Francis, Andrea Papa and Music4Barnet, Fiona Spencer-Thomas, LIn-Da, Ray from the Black Horse, Debbie Bine (the Barefoot Blogger),the Bad Girls’ Mums and Dads, the lovely people of Sete, and dozens of others – you know who you are. See you all over the place in 2017. And thanks again.
• I almost forgot – Trimmer’s cowbell prowess is now the stuff of legend..never stop…likewise – the Jasons engine room is as tight as…………..