Baghdaddies and Russell And The French Boys – St James Concert Hall – 12/03/22

After one packed show with The Nightmares and friends on Friday 11th March at St James there was another on Saturday 12th as Baghdaddies retuned for the third time (you can see my reviews of past visit by clicking here and here) with support coming from Russell & The French Boys.

It was the quirky pop four-piece that started the night with a selection of smooth grooves and well timed moves that brought a good number down to the front who frontman George Russell performed to with starting confidence.

Russell And The French Boys

On just their second song, the consistent highlight Daisy & Dan, the audience joined George sitting on the floor (much to his surprise) for the first bit of much off stage interaction across the night.

Even if things didn’t go to plan the band never seemed to miss a beat and Russell took it all in his stride and I couldn’t help but feel this band remains something of a hidden gem but hopefully this along with a few other high profile gigs might start to change that as, in the strength of this performed, they deserve to get a crowd dancing and have a sound that could really crossover.

As they ended the set on a couple of covers (the only ones of the set), a mash up of Billy Idol’s White Wedding and Dancing With Myself, a genuine encore was called for and came in the form of Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer which got a good singalong going and left the audience energised and ready for the evening’s headliners.

The Baghdaddies

Given their reputation it was no surprise that the audience were waiting at the front for the six-piece band that are Baghdaddies and for the very start the energy in the room jumped up and never came back down for two sets and a little over two hours.

Mixing sounds in ways that make no sense on paper we got music spanning Wales and Newcastle to the Balkans and Mediterranean with a hint of the Caribbean thrown in for good measure, but when it was played with such joy and strength it worked to such an effect it was spectacular.

With call and response with the audience, that took no extra encouragement, by the end of their first set the Baghdaddies had that energy feedback flowing around the whole room and their near hour on stage barely seemed to have started before they headed off for a well deserved break.

The Baghdaddies

After DJs Miss San Frandisco and Vauvert Underground kept the sounds going during the break, Baghdaddies hit the stage like they’d never stopped and the audience were once again with them all the way.

Along with the upbeat sounds the hints of protest music seeped through it all too, which given the style felt particularly fitting with current world events, adding a nice edge to the joyous energy they were creating.

Across the set each member if the band got their time in the spotlight with most of the musicians displaying a couple of different skills from the enormous bass saxophone to a singing guitarist who played the trombone and bass player with a sousaphone, and each got to tell their own stories through the music too.

The Baghdaddies

With the band and the audience entirely on the same page a spontaneous conga line broke out towards the end of the set which the Baghdaddies only encouraged before all but joining in themselves as they headed off stage too.

After a rousing finale the audience called for ‘one more song’ but the band said they could do better (is the ‘one more song’ call a Guernsey thing, I thought you usually just called for more?) and launched first into a mash up of ‘Have A Tequila’ (Hava Nagila) and some other tunes before once again heading off stage and finishing the night in amongst the crowd, non-amplified but no less energetic and powerful for it.

The Baghdaddies

For the third time then Baghdaddies proved themselves one of the best party bands I’ve ever seen but with something more just under the surface driving them that extra bit further, while being possibly the best band at working with a crowd I’ve ever seen this up close and rounding off an already stand out weekend of live music on a genuine high.

You can see more of my photos from the show on my Facebook page by clicking here

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