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Review: Better Dressed Than Adam - Bournemouth Mr Kyps - 29/01/09

Its the final round of The Red Battle in the not-so-sunny seaside town of Bournemouth; a battle of the bands competition which sees the very best 17 unsigned bands of the local area perform head to head in 3 rounds, which will determine a winner to face off against the other city champions across the UK. Every band tonight is going all out for the chance to win a combined prize of studio time, a sum of cash, instruments and all-expenses-paid dates across the UK. The winner is selected by votes, which means that every band has gone all out to invite as many people as they can.

And this is where one of Better Dressed Than Adam’s strengths come to play. These indie-rock local heroes pull one of the largest crowds of the night, many of the fans having seen them 4 or 5 times before. And if that isn’t dedication from fans of a band that hasn’t even released an EP yet, then I don’t know what is.

Differing from their norm of opening with their oldest song ‘Miles and Miles’, the band take to the stage with smiles all round kicking in with ‘This Town’, causing the crowd to be in awe of eccentric vocalist, Mat Byrom’s singing during the chorus “So let it rain/let it rain/let it rain!”. Other bands of the night walked on, played there songs, plugged themselves with the clichéd “Yo, Check us out on MySpace!” then amble off, however BDTA are all about giving the crowd a fun performance and making it as enjoyable as possible. ‘Sit With Me’ continues to open up Byrom’s enigmatic charm, but it’s when they begin to play a cover of Sugababe’s ‘About You Now’ that the crowd, ranging from youngster metal fans in band t-shirts where the band’s font name is unreadable, to the parents of the bands who are there to support their kin, that the crowd begin to bop and dance to the song, shamefully singing along with the pop-turned-rock chorus. This has an echoing effect as guitarist Dave Giles steps in to duet with the frontman. And as they both humorously sing “Can we bring yesterday back around?/Cause I know how you feel about you now.” to each other, you know that this is a tightly-knit band, with many inside jokes and have had many long lasting experiences together; The bread-and-butter of staying power in any band.

After playing a new untitled song, they burst in to showcase their latest recorded song ‘God Save The Princess’ and announce that this is the first time that they have played it live. The gigantic chorus of “I am a hero/I am spiderman/I am this cowboy/and you are the villain” may look wordy and complicated to read, however each line is sung with more passion than any band with the average age of little over 18.

However, due to set slot times and another 3 or 4 more bands to play, Better Dressed Than Adam’s set was cut short, missing out their chance to play their highlight song ‘Unsinkable’ which has become their house finishing tune. Despite not finishing their full set, as the judge asks for the crowd to raise their hands to vote, you can see from the stranded look on his face that he has trouble counting each hand from the large sea of palms that have been raised high for their local champions. One fan having seen the band 6 times before in just under a year claiming that “It was the best time I’ve seen them and I’m planning to see them twice more in the next month!”.

Instead of buggering off to the backstage area to attempt to live an amateur ‘rockstar’ moment, the band come out into the crowd, to great their family and friends and to support the other bands playing. The Bournemouth unsigned local scene is full to the brim of inter-band friendships, discussing their next gig together at one of the member’s schools or the many various pubs or dingy venues in the area. And even though BDTA were snubbed from victory and came second with an enormous 674 votes (Not as much as the confusing 1637 votes from the winning band who didn’t have as much crowd participation), the smiles that the band walked on stage with and the smiles that they performed with, are the same ones that they wear to this day.

You can check out the band on their myspace. Click here.

Andy Touch

Alter The Press!