AN­AR­CHY

He gained fame play­ing a punk in The Young Ones and now a grown-up Adrian Ed­mond­son is play­ing punk in his lat­est mu­si­cal ven­ture

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS - KATHY MCCABE

Even the con­cept is enough to pro­voke a gig­gle. Bri­tish ac­tor, writer and all-round funny guy Adrian Ed­mond­son formed The Bad Shep­herds to play punk and new wave songs with tra­di­tional folk in­stru­ments.

While he has al­ways had a hand in the mu­si­cal side of his act­ing ex­ploits, the star of Bri­tish sit­coms The Young Ones and Bot­tom formed The Bad Shep­herds about six years ago.

“I wish I had formed it when I was 17,” he says on the eve of their sec­ond tour.

The band’s cre­ation in 2008 came just as sev­eral pro­tag­o­nists of the fu­ture nu-folk move­ment were get­ting their acts to­gether.

Bands like Mum­ford And Sons, who formed in late 2007, have be­come house­hold names. The Bad Shep­herds haven’t yet.

“They are quite dif­fer­ent things re­ally,” says Ed­mond­son.

“Well, ex­cept ev­ery­one is play­ing real in­stru­ments.

“I think they are quite good. They went on be­fore us at the Cam­bridge Folk fes­ti­val and I re­mem­ber watch­ing them think­ing they were ge­nius and I down­loaded their first al­bum from their web­site af­ter that.

“Then they went into the stu­dio and re-recorded it and it got a bit glossy.”

Ed­mond­son has al­ways been in bands or in­volved with writ­ing, record­ing and per­form­ing mu­sic. His first big hit was in 1986, with The Young Ones and Cliff Richard com­bin­ing to send Liv­ing Doll to the top of the charts.

The heavy metal group Bad News re­leased two records in the late 1980s, which in­cluded a cover of Bo­hemian Rhap­sody and other “clas­sic” tracks such as Cash­ing In On Christ­mas and Drink Til I Die.

Jazz in­stru­men­tal band The Bum Notes formed in the early 1990s to ex­clu­sively per­form mu­sic for the Bot­tom com­edy se­ries.

Ed­mond­son also di­rected mu­sic videos for The Pogues, 10,000 Ma­ni­acs and Squeeze.

But The Bad Shep­herds – with Ed­mond­son’s tour­ing com­pan­ions Troy Donock­ley and Terl Bryant – ap­pear to have the most life in them, with three records and six years un­der their belt.

“I’ve al­ways had a band on the go,” Ed­mond­son says.

“(But) ever since I picked up a man­dolin and started play­ing Lon­don Call­ing, I knew this band could have a proper sound and have some rea­son to be, rather than just me want­ing to be in a band. I’m so glad it came along be­fore I died.”

Ed­mond­son and Donock­ley, an English com­poser and mul­ti­in­stru­men­tal­ist highly re­garded for his uil­lean pipes chops, form the nu­cleus of The Bad Shep­herds.

“We have quite a lot of people com­ing in and out. We get bored with people. We are benev­o­lent dic­ta­tors,” the funny man says.

Turn­ing punk rock songs into folk mu­sic doesn’t al­ways work.

Ed­mond­son says some songs be­come “too poppy”, while other don’t have a sound dis­tinct enough from their orig­i­nal punk form to be adopted into The Bad Shep­herds’ reper­toire.

There are plenty of recog­nis­able an­thems lit­tered through­out their three records, in­clud­ing An­ar­chy In The UK, The Model, Mak­ing Plans For Nigel, I Fought The Law, God Save the Queen, and Go­ing Un­der­ground.

Ed­mond­son says the band work hard on the ar­range­ments, to con­found the pre­con­cep­tions of people who come along to fes­ti­val gigs ex­pect­ing to see them fail.

“At fes­ti­vals you have a lot of people there for a bit of schaden­freude, who think it is go­ing to be sh-- and turn up to con­firm their sus­pi­cions,” he says. “The show usu­ally starts with An­ar­chy In The UK, which we have turned into a one-chord won­der; it’s quite com­plex and by the time we get to the end of it six min­utes later, you’ve hooked them.” The Bad Shep­herds play The Sound­lounge tonight.

Adrian Ed­mond­son and The Bad Shep­herds

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