Playing a show on a Monday night is always a tough ask especially for bands on the starry stairlift to establishing themselves as a major player on the touring circuit.
Nevertheless, the L.A. group Badflower attracted a very healthy crowd of mostly twenty-somethings, plus a smattering of young teens accompanied by their parents, to this historic breeding ground for bands with high expectations. No small achievement with this being Badflower’s only UK date!
Touring the recently released debut album OK I’m Sick, an animated yet flu suffering Josh Katz performed an adrenalised show exuding frontman charisma as the whole band put on an energetic display of melodic, grunge drilled alt-rock vibes.
Rushing onstage with a wave of a hand, Katz and band launched into x ANA x, from the debut album, and so began a set of guitar-angst poppy songs that generated a euphoric mosh pit of mad dancing from a partisan crowd.
The headbanging body slamming polite rage from the audience seemed to spur on the players as bassist Alex Espiritu flung himself around the stage as Katz channelled a Kurt Cobain fixation in look and primitive vocal scream on a bunch of self-harm inspired songs.
In particular, songs Ghost and Heroin seemed to reflect the teenage torpor that most in-betweeners experience at some point in their evolution from reliant teenager to independent adulthood.
Nevertheless, the high energy crowd surfing and swirl of bodies somewhat contradicted the lyrical meaning of most of the songs.
The nifty guitar work of Danny Hechter adds a layer of melodiousness and backed by the tub-thumping, percussive skills of drummer Anthony Sonetti, there is a doubtless chemistry between this band which will develop as their fan base grows with them.
Badflower has a musicality about their songs that will also attract radio airplay the more that they tour this album of teenage grungy anthems. They can also do moody, too, as evidenced on The Jester by directing dark light into bleak corners of their sometimes semi-gothic sound reminding, at times, of early Cure.
Finishing up with a blistering four-song encore including Move Me, Promise Me, Mother Mary and a crowd-pleasing Girlfriend, in which Katz theatrically launched himself into the crowd to be carried around and back to the stage by a devoted phalanx of hands, proving that this band already has all the help it needs to carry them forward to the next bigger stage of their career.