Both folk music and punk have a lot in common with one another; they can both be a form of protest music and often touch upon contemporary issues, so it makes sense to put them both together. And that is what The Bad Shepherds do. Fronted by comedian Ade Edmondson, the Bad Shepherds cover punk (and new wave) classics in a folk style.
So tonight, the heaving audience here at Seven are treated to an anthemic set that takes in everything from The Sex Pistols and The Clash through to Kraftwerk and Talking Heads. The Saturday night crowd is obviously here to have a good old sing-song. Therefore The Jam's Down In The Tube Station at Midnight turns in to a massive chorus of “oohs”, everyone around me erupts when London Calling is played, and the final song, a cover of Sham 69's 'Urry Up 'Arry is an apt celebratory end to proceedings.
The songs that make for the more interesting folk covers are the the tracks that are more on the post-punk, new wave trip. Public Image Limited's Rise, which in its original incarnation is all nervous energy and snarling delivery, is turned into an almost melancholic lament. And The Model by Kraftwerk finally comes out of its skin and the pop song that has always lurked underneath its surface is made to rear its head.
You would imagine that there could be a sense of tongue-in-cheek when covering well known songs in this way, but you don't sense that with The Bad Shepherds. They just seem to be a bloody good folk band playing songs that they love in a way that they love, and it makes for a fun and enjoyable gig.
Ade Edmondson and The Bad Shepherds played at Seven on Saturday 23 May 2009.
Click here to read the LeftLion interview
The Bad Shepherds website