I can think of many ways to describe The Bad Robots live show, but the shortest and best way is with one word: fun. The three piece take the stage with smiles and jokes and it continues throughout.
What struck my attention next was the sight of Ben Larsen (lead singer/guitarist) taking off his boots and readying himself to conduct the proceedings barefoot. This, however, proved to be quite apt as he appeared very at home on stage. The band make music that takes the basic rock ingredients and chops them into a high energy ska/jittery punk rock. The melodies are the real strong point; at times the crowd could be heard singing along to chorus’ they’d never heard before. Ben has the knack of writing vocals that are easily singable and not easily forgotton. Anyone fearing the arising of another James Blunt however need not be alarmed, The Bad Robots may be radio friendly but their subject matter and demeanor are much less twatish.
…he contorts his body whilst playing as if ‘it’ is the thing emitting chords
Mydi — the bassist — chooses to adopt the mannerisms of an ageing reggae star, slowly lolling, and grinding against his instrument. Ben is very much the front man, infact all the bands energy seemed to emant from him. He contorts his body whilst playing as if ‘it’ is the thing emitting chords; and once, during one of his many contortionist, beard flailing, bush dances, he continued to sing without the mike, screaming into the air, backed by the crowd. He is Australian, but in songs such as ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I’ve had enough’ he seems to adopt a London twang. But just as he’s in danger of nearly becoming his influences the song’s tempo carries him away and the Aussie roots shoot through and give him back his independence. This is truly a positive thing because he really can sing/shout, which is why it’s probably worth capturing the essence of their live shows on record.
While some lyrics, such as “we come undone at the seams, it seems” are the kind of over used metephors contained in many songs, others, such as “I used to think I was insecure, but now I know I was just bored” are brilliant and make the song instantly more interesting. It’s easy to see why the band has a growing following, and I think they will grow to accommodate their expanding audiences almost effortlessly. They play like men enthralled by their own music; how many people can they tempt to join them?