Big Audio Dynamite at Newcastle Academy 31/3/2011

It’s been a hectic day, over 50 emails most of them replies, with the regularly checking the inbox every ten to fifteen minutes, waiting for confirmation for the return of the band that with their mix of samples, rock, dub, acoustic and synth drums captured a young music fan’s heart back in, the often misquoted of all decades, the 1980’s. The confirmation by email or phone call never came, friends all had other own plans, I stewed for a bit, then taking a friend’s good advice set off to Newcastle hoping to find, buy, or borrow a ticket. On the local Metro rail link to Newcastle City Centre, I mused that some PR’s are just too overworked, eventually concluding that at one PR could have at least got in touch.

I should be in a less that favourable, mood, £25 quid down, billy-no-mates standing in a sea of twenty year olds, with guys over forty were split between The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite as their if not first, then their second love.

But you would be wrong; I was full of smiles and anticipation, like majority of all of those here. ‘Medicine Show’ tonight’s set opener got everyone in the mood, the mood for more. Mick Jones voice and guitar sounds as good as it ever has, Leo  Williamson on bass strums the four strings to great effect and the bass lines got me moving for 99% of the gig, apart from the odd little hiccup, turning this dancer into the frontman of Joy Division until those around me with better rhythm, brought me back, like some unwanted trip, into the song. Greg Roberts is tight on drums,always solid and gifted, as he was  as a founder member of Dreadzone; that cowbell – perfect as he ever was in early BAD gigs and now with better sound, they cut it just right while on  the effects and samples duty.

‘Other 99’ which shines as does ‘Just ‘Play Music’ and ‘V-13’ ,’A Party’ and ‘The Battle Of All Saints Rd’ had the crowd bouncing along, but it’s another single ’C’mon Every Beatbox’, which seems a little more beefed up, receiving a great reception as all of tonight;s songs did. Then to cries of “kill them with sound” all too soon the than band wave their temporary goodbyes before the inevitable cries and shouts for “more”

The band return for two encores, although the second took longer for the band to return this instigated a mass foot stamping which to the cheers that greeted them, surely must have made the difference, foot injuries aside. The band played their aces, from first single, ‘The Bottom Line’ and that track the brought BAD greater interest back in the day, ‘E=MC2’ were the standout songs they never, I swear sounded, so good. In the haze of great songs, two pints and trying to dance, I remember hearing ‘Rush’ and ‘BAD’  being played I am at the front in danger of… everyone is going crazy, it’s not just a few of us, apparently the twenty-somethings around me, are familiar with every sample, rap, vocal, drum beat, bassline and guitar riffs, along with Dan Donovan’s keyboard skills just keep coming delighting all of us.

All comments afterwards were positive, the only moan “we could had a least one Clash Song” But after twenty plus years, we all did not know what to expect from the former Clash guitarist and cohorts. BAD exceeded my expectation of what to expect. I warn you all now, they are that good.
Steve Janes

With thanks to Steve for the main BAD photo and Jordan-Lee Johnstone for the Mick Jones shot

Could have been written for these times