It’s one hell of a line-up. Adelaide band Bad//Dreems is excited to be a part of the Adelaide 500 Made in SA concert. The lads hit the stage on Friday 2 March with Aussie icons Cold Chisel and Kasey Chambers.
It’s their second time performing for the annual motorsport event. Their debut was 2014 after winning the opportunity through Music SA’s Bands On Track program.
“It was awesome,” lead singer Ben Marwe says. “That was a massive show because we got to play with Empire of the Sun and it was a big crowd.” This time, the timing worked perfectly. Mark Opitz, producer of Bad//Dreems’ first two albums, was also the producer of Cold Chisel’s earlier work.
“He was a big part of their success when they were an up-and-coming band in Australia,” Ben says. “He was part of the whole resurgence of rock music, that pub-rock aesthetic that became a thing in the late seventies and eighties in Australia.”
Ben was lucky enough to meet Jimmy Barnes and Don Walker in Sydney last year. “They’re just two of the loveliest blokes you’ll ever meet: very genuine and down to earth. The same with Kasey Chambers. It’ll be good to see them again and I know the other guys [in the band] are pretty keen to get to meet them. If there’s a few beers involved, let that be the case.”
Since starting out in 2012, when their sound was more jangly and influenced by older Australian and New Zealand bands such as The Bats, the group has taken on a more rock and roll aesthetic. They’re currently writing their third album and hope to have new music in the second half of the year.
Ben’s fondest memories of performing in Adelaide are from their earlier days. “At Jive and Rocket Bar and places like that where we sort of had no idea what we were doing. They were the most fun because you have that freedom.”
He says local bands are hardworking. “It’s good to see because given the geographical isolation of Adelaide, you have to compete so often with the eastern states or Perth. You’ve just got to work hard to break through – that’s what I respect most about artists in Adelaide.”
Currently the band members are spread between Melbourne and Adelaide, making it somewhat difficult to rehearse. Between fulltime jobs and studying for exams (guitarist Alex Cameron is soon to be a badass surgeon), making music is when they’re happiest.
“If I had it my way we’d be doing music all day every day but it’s good to have a job and steady stream of income as well [Ben works as a landscape gardener]. When you do the writing thing with the band it allows that sort of creativity to just explode out of you. It’s a nice release.”
Bad//Dreems performs at the Made in SA concert for the Adelaide 500’s 20th anniversary. Alternative country duo Hana & Jessie-Lee and tempered rock and roll trio Donnarumma will also perform.