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LIVE/IN CONVERSATION w/ BAD NERVES



Bad Nerves have been a band I've listened to for a quite a while now since chatting with them for another publication back towards the end of 2020 and since, all I've wanted to do is go to one of their shows. I had the pleasure of popping down to Clwb Ifor Bach towards the end of December to check out their set and have a chat with them before they took to stage supporting Brighton riff-makers Tigercub - who performed a sold-out show in the venue's downstairs space. Back in 2020, we got to hear their highly anticipated debut album which went down a treat for both old and new fans, and towards the end of last year they dropped what is a taster for their upcoming second album. 'Don’t Stop' is an almost two-minute, infectious power-pop anthem that slaps you in the face with its adrenaline-fuelled hooks and high-octane energy. It leaves you yearning for more. Having gained support from the likes of radio legends Daniel P Carter, Clara Amfo and Annie Mac to being hailed ‘Princes of Power Pop’, Bad Nerves have not stopped and we’re getting to see their hard work paying off.


Frontman Bobby stumbled around, adorned with blackout specs and a give-no-shit attitude, embracing the pose of their punk predecessors. They played fan favourites such as Baby Drummer and Can't Be Mine which really riled up the crowd. It was riotous, it was thrilling and I didn't even care if I almost got knocked out by the mic stand or the guitar once or twice by the end of the night - it's all part of the fun, right? The two guys who stood to the side of me really wanted to make it known they were there for Bad Nerves and Bad Nerves only. Every time Bobby stepped near them with the mic stand, they'd grin like children in a sweet shop. I can guarantee the band headed to the next venue with a few extra fans in hand. What can I say? The wait to watch their show was well worth it. “Honestly it’s made all the difference,” says Jon (bassist) when chatting about finally being able to play their debut album live after almost a year since its release. “Before we were just playing the shows and people only knew the songs that were online, the one or two singles we had. Once we released it and went back to playing our first shows after Covid, people knew the words, we had people singing along, so it was a noticeable difference. We never really had that before. Like if we had one person who came to the show before and knew the words, we were like ‘you stalker, how do you know that’,” he laughs, “but now it's wicked, it’s made it ten times better.” “I know it’s a bit cliche and a lot of the time people don't want it, but we want more of the same. If we’ve got a formula people like, we don’t want to change it. People are like ‘ah, the second album needs to be different’ or ‘you need to experiment’ but no, we don’t,” he laughs, “we’re going to keep it fast and to the point just like the first one. But probably with a bit more thought going into it with regards to how it’s structured but other than that, I think it’s going to be more of the same. So if you don’t like that, then don’t bother listening to the next album,” he chuckles.

I asked him what the meaning behind their latest single was: “We’re not a political band by any means, we leave that to the people that are. There's a lot of good political bands out there. I think that song is a little bit of a mix of our annoyance with our own government and how we've been treated. I’ve seen a lot of people giving up over this time and I don't blame them because it's been a stressful time. Don’t Stop is basically saying ‘don’t give in, keep going, it’ll get better’, that's the idea behind it." Their Clwb show isn’t their first with the Brighton rockers (Tigercub) and they obviously had a few stories to share. “The tour so far has been amazing. We did have a near death experience in the van though a few nights ago where we spun out on some ice and ended up in a ditch. We all walked away from that feeling surprisingly lucky. We managed to make the show the next day though, so that was cool.” He adds, just as The Beatles started to play from the stereo, “we were talking before while we were waiting for the new Beatles [documentary] to come out, and it's basically them just going into a studio and having ten days to write an album. We thought that would be a really great idea because bands don’t really do that anymore. Rather than having a process where we each individually sit around coming up with ideas, we thought we’d just go into a room with rules like no phones, no other distractions. When you watch that Beatles documentary, that’s the thing you notice - they’re not distracted by anything. They’re just guys in the moment. That's where we aspire to go, I don’t know if it’ll happen but that's the dream process. Bobby has actually started making one [a documentary], he’s been compiling footage since we started, so there will be one but it may be really boring; lots of cups of tea and early nights,” he laughs. So what’s next for Bad Nerves? Jon starts, “we’ve got a few little ideas in the pipeline but I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say. We want to do a grassroots tour. We want to turn up to places that aren't really venues with our own PA and just see what happens. The thing we noticed about this tour is that there've been a few people who have been waiting to see us for a long time. We thought people wouldn’t really care much as we mostly play in Europe. We’ve had kids coming up and buying all the merch so we feel like we owe it to everyone in these small towns to go and play for them. Then we’ll crack on with the second album.”


You can stream 'Don't Stop' now on all major platforms. Head to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all updates on Bad Nerves.



Words: Tate Powell

Image: Dan Eden (@danedenphotouk)

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