Bad Nerves at Heartbreakers, Southampton 29.3.2022 with Snake Eyes and The Reminders supporting.
A midweek trip over to Southampton to see Essex powerpop punksters Bad Nerves. New band, new venue… for me anyway.
I’ve wanted to see Bad Nerves since Lockdown when I bought their first album (released 2020) after a tip off that they were right up my street (cheers Tony TLu). Indeed, they are with more than a hint of Ramones about them. Baby Drummer is a good starting point if you’ve not heard them. They’re early 20s and I feel I’m bridging a generation gap by my presence.
Tonight it’s the small venue of Heartbreakers near the old Debenhams site in Southampton – bit of a hike from the main station but I drove and there’s a multi-storey car park a few streets away (Eastgate – which gets locked at midnight so don’t linger). There’s a big bar downstairs and the gig room is a smaller upstairs space, with a small bar area just offset – there’s a handful of seats up there and capacity is 100. It’s a decent little place and I’m sure I’ll be back.
There must be around 50 in tonight – mainly students and a handful of grey-haired gig goers. I pitch up at the back of the room to observe, happy to take a seat in a pair of antique cinema seats between bands in the bar area.
There’s a short punk pop set from The Reminders, origin Isle of Wight – they call themselves ‘beach punk’, the 90s American punk sound I guess. Essence of Green Day and a good energetic listen. Then it’s a heavier rockier outfit Snake Eyes. More people come upstairs when they finish, ready for Bad Nerves.
They bound onto the low cramped stage, lead singer Bobby sporting a Sham 69 t-shirt and they’re already into my favourite Baby Drummer by the second song in. The place is bouncing and Bobby proceeds to treat the mosh pit as part of the stage, hopping in and out at will. I say mosh pit: it’s just a mosh room. I’d be back at the physio if I joined in….I only went this afternoon.
It’s not good for pics in here but you get the drift with my phone clip: Baby Drummer.
New single Alright gets an early airing but the set is pretty much their excellent eponymous debut album.
Electric 88 and Radio Punk continue the exhilarating power pop thrash. Everyone seems to be enjoying the mayhem. It’s been a bad week on the Covid stats front and I sense an ‘enjoy it while you can’ feel. “It’ll be Lockdown again any f*ckin day” observes Bobby, no doubt hoping they can get this short but much awaited Apathy in the UK tour completed.
Apathy is hardly the word I would use near this band. They are full on and frantic… The Dickies might just out pace them but not by much. New Shapes keeps the pace up: phone clip.
Nearly time – a 35 minute blast – ending with Last Beat, which he says they haven’t played for ages.
There material is exhausted and exhausting. It’s home time. I hope to see them in a bigger place soon. Good luck lads.