When Bath brothers Bad Sounds spoke to Annie Mac on Radio 1 earlier this month she said it was “impossible not to get hooked in” by their live show. A strong claim for a group still doing their first few rounds of the UK but the indie-funk five-piece aren’t afraid to goof out.
A black sheet drops to reveal Callum and Ewan Merrett like superheroes, joined onstage by two six-foot papier-mâché versions of their heads, which they completely see the irony in. “Who the fuck do we think we are?” they laugh, high-fiving the crowd as a confetti cannon goes off before the first vocals of edgy-pop track ‘Hot Head Chippenham’ kick in.
Only two EPs down Ewan introduces one of their older cuts, the infectious ‘Meat On my Bones’ – “It’s old. Not like Elvis old though” he chuckles. It’s strikingly obvious that despite their bonkers genes, the brothers are musically polar opposite; Ewan wanders around the stage nonchalantly spitting hip-hop rhymes in a beige cap and chains, while bleach-blonde haired Callum dons a white boiler suit and wails louder than MIKA. It’s a compelling blend that works no better than on latest Beck-esque track ‘Are You High?’ before the crowd’s admiration for the group turns into an unexpected mosh-pit during ‘Living Alone’.
Unreleased track ‘Milking It’ is beefed to the brims with funk and Callum’s vocals are fully exploited to squeeze the lyrics “Holy cow, you’re milking it now!” Fitting words for tonight’s show as all the tricks soon come out of their sleeves at once. Early hit ‘Avalanche’ sees hundreds of red and yellow balloons descend on the crowd before the band welcome onto the stage a series of horns named ‘Horning Glory’ for final track ‘Wages’. By now all five band members are dressed in karate gear, mimicking their own video, and lobbing party poppers around Scala. It’s a celebration fit for a New Year’s party and if this tour is anything to go by, next year will be a very happy one for the Bath band.