Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bad Manners

26 February 2015

I have been to many concerts at Bedford Corn Exchange over the years, but (perhaps because most of the concerts have involved the Philharmonia Orchestra) I have never previously witnessed the audience anticipating the arrival of the performers on the stage by aggressively chanting “You Fat Bastard, You Fat Bastard”. When Bad Manners finally took to the stage, their inimitable lead-singer, Buster Bloodvessel, beaming at the adoring crowd, simply replied “you're too kind!”. We later learned that the portly Buster Bloodvessel, now 56 years old, had just got out of hospital and nearly didn't make the concert. Bad Manners' upbeat 1980s ska is cheerful, catchy and incredibly tongue-in-cheek. At one point Buster Bloodvessel said “now for something serious – and some people say we're just a joke band” before launching into a very cheesy version of Andy Williams' “Can't Take My Eyes Off You”. Buster Bloodvessel is a compelling front man who looks like he is having a ball. As I've said here on numerous occasions, you can’t beat a band that dances to its own tunes – and Bad Manners never stopped dancing. A packed Corn Exchange was full of fans who knew the words to all the band's songs and were also dancing like it was 1981. Towards the end of the evening my eye was distracted by a sudden movement across the stage. It took me a moment to realise this was a dog running into the middle of the band. “That's my dog” Buster informed us as the hound leapt up at him, playfully. He proceeded to hold the microphone so we could hear the dog barking in time to the ska beat, its tail wagging furiously.

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