THE BEST BAD INFLUENCE @ The Bungalow, Paisley – 3rd October 2019

Back in the day, and I mean a day a LONG time ago, I was, on more than one occasion, chased through the streets of Glasgow city centre by either Punks or Teds, depending on what clothes I was wearing that given day.

See, I didn’t affiliate with just the one tribe. My earlier musical preferences were heavily influenced by rock ‘n’roll, but then in 1976, I saw The Rezillos play one of the first punk gigs in Glasgow (before the local councilors banned such future events.) Punk music took over my record player for few years … until the second coming of Rockabilly at the end of the decade / early 80s.

Both genres have remained close to my heart since, though it has to be said that despite a vibrant and committed underground scene, Rockabilly has lacked the more mainstream exposure of punk and all its sub genres over the past years.

It’s fantastic therefore, to see young bands like Ayrshire’s The Best Bad Influence pick up the Rockabilly torch and not only run with it, but run like they’ve stolen it!

The Bungalow, in Paisley, was the latest stopping off point for this hard gigging band. They’ve been together for a couple of years, I believe, and they always seem to be playing shows or busking.

It’s certainly paying dividends.

Alexander (guitar / vocal) Mark (bass / vocal) and Nyal (drums / vocal / weird facial expressions) put on a tight, tight, high energy show that lasted about seventy-five minutes. Three guys of disparate appearance, but so similar in stage ethic – these lads are committed to putting on a show.

There’s crowd interaction, but just at the right level; there’s the hyperactive drumming from Niall and the undoubted guitar skills and typical rocker frontman antics of Alexander. And of course, central to any self respecting Rockabilly act, are the incessant, thumping bass lines provided by Mark.

It’s easy to see The Best Bad Influence have a great deal of fun on stage, and this is reflected by the crowd, many of whom were on their feet and bopping away right from the opening number.

The set itself was a high octane mix of rockabilly / rock ‘n’roll standards, plus many self penned tunes, of which ‘Miss Shaker‘ and ‘Polka Dot Cadillac‘ (below) were outstanding. I should also mention their cover of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘Bang Bang,’ which was really inventive.

This was my first live experience of The Best Bad Influence. It certainly won’t be my last.

(A wee word for any promoters out there maybe booking tours for more established touring Rockabilly / Psychobilly / Rock’n’Roll bands – these lads are the perfect warm-up / support acts. They most definitely merit some high profile genre-specific support slots. They hang out here. )

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