“Are you all standing one metre apart?” asked Michael Webster, the frontman of Baddies, after storming through the first couple of songs of their set. “We weren’t sure this was even gonna go ahead.”
While the world outside worried about Coronavirus, a couple of hundred sweaty music fans were crammed into the upstairs room at The Lexington, potentially risking their health for a dose of nostalgia in the form of frantic indie quartet Baddies, a band that called it a day with a show at Chinnery’s in their home town of Southend back in 2012. They surfaced for a one-off, sold out, reunion show to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the release of their album Do The Job.
“It’s been a while. We are older, fatter, uglier,” mused Webster as the band re-tuned after playing crowd favourite, ‘Open One Eye’. They really didn’t look it though. All-clad in their signature blue shirts the four men looked like they had walked straight off the show poster and back onto the stage with no time having passed at all. Indeed for a band who claim to have only had two rehearsals for this show, they also sounded like they simply hopped in a time machine from the best part of a decade ago, landed in 2020 and picked up right where they left off. The playing was confident and the energy for performance unwavering.
After a few more songs Webster pointed out the posters all over the walls of the venue with lyrics to various songs from Do The Job. “We never published our lyrics online, and over the years so many people have asked me about them.” By the end of the night the posters were all claimed, hopefully, to be posted on lyric sites everywhere by morning.
Baddies lyrics are notoriously hard to decipher, with a contest even being run on their social media to win tickets to the show for anyone who could actually get the lyrics to the chorus of ‘Battleships’ right. (Spoiler, jet skis aren’t part of the correct answer at all).
After bounding through all the Baddies bangers you could wish for, including, ‘Tiffany…I’m Sorry’, ‘At the Party’, ‘Holler for My Holiday’ and ‘Who Are You?’ a groan rippled across the room as Webster announced it was time for their last song, and they launched into ‘Paint the City’. The encore was cheered in by chants and feet stamping and delivered ‘We Beat Our Chests’ and finally the song that lit up the room, literally as well as figuratively, ‘Battleships’ went off in a flood of blue and red flashing lights.
As the room cleared, there was a sense of satisfaction from a show, waited for, for so long, but also a whiff of hope too. Baddies are over… or are they?