Category Archives: Rock’n’Roll

THE BEST BAD INFLUENCE: ‘Rock -It!’

Get ready to HOWL!

In such uncertain times, I’m sure we could all do with some up-tempo, fun music for bopping around to in our locked-down living rooms. And these three lads from North Ayrshire are gonna bring it ya!

Having spent the best part of the last two years serving their ‘apprenticeship,’ busking the streets of Glasgow and surrounding area, THE BEST BAD INFLUENCE have today released their debut album.

In true rockabilly tradition, their album extends to twelve songs with an average length of less than three minutes. All but one, are full on, high energy rock-a-boogie, so maybe it’s a shrewd move to position ‘Dream Girl,‘at track seven. Even fit young hep cats need a wee smoochy, restful wander around the dance floor before the crazy rhythms take over again.

The album opens with the original, stompin’ ‘Big Al’s All Night Diner,‘ the title alone transporting the listener to an era of quiffs, burgers and milkshakes. Happy days.

Filmed February 2020

‘Isa Blue,’ has the twang and bounce of early Stray Cats, while ‘What D’ya Mean?‘ rolls along to a rumbling bass line, with a great riff. I can hear a little bit of good ol’ fashioned Glam rock stomp thrown in here too. Any one else hear a touch of Slade influence? It works perfectly!

Simply from the titles, ‘Voodoo Women’ and penultimate track, ‘Wolfman’ instantly have me thinking of The Cramps, even before a note is played. And not to disappoint, both songs do convey that kind of goth / horror pop feel.

Miss. Shaker” is an old crowd favourite when the lads play live, an is followed by ‘Feet Rock,’ which does, I have to say reflect a more frantic ‘Rock This Town,’ in the beat and harmonies. But hey – that’s fine with me. You can’t keep a good rockin’ rollin’ tune down.

The chant laden ‘Rat Rod Mama,’ builds up a head of steam again as the album heads towards its conclusion after the relative tranquility of ‘Dream Girl.’ If you’re feet ain’t tapping and your head’s not nodding to this, you just ain’t got no soul.

‘Interstellar Boogie‘ increases the heat even more, with a fevered Hank C Burnette style riff, while ‘Trying Hard,‘ can’t avoid Eddie Cochran comparisons at various points.

The album races close with a personal favourite of mine, ‘Polka Dot Cadillac’ – a true rockabilly gem that would have found its place at the top of the game, back in the day.

All in all, this is a tremendous debut album. It will definitely go down well within rockabilly / traditional rock ‘n’ roll circles, but also, I think, with anyone just wanting to listen to some good time, feel good music.

AAAAAA-WWWOOOO!

(‘Rock -It!’ is available now via, Apple Music’ iTunes; Spotify; Google Play and others.)

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. )

THE BEST BAD INFLUENCE

I saw these guys busking yesterday in Kilmarnock town centre, and was impressed enough to throw the odd shilling into their (cat litter) collection tray.

I know, that’s hard to believe – short arms, long pockets and all that, but they reminded me so much of a Glasgow rockabilly band that I loved from back in the very early 80s – The Shakin’ Pyramids.

The Best Bad Influence are a young band from North Ayrshire, Scotland who have recently been venturing further afield to fulfill requests for shows. That said, the busking yesterday was to help promote a more local event (K-Fest, in Kilmarnock on 27th July 2019.)

File under ‘ones to watch,’ methinks.