The Bastards have been a constant feature of the Bangkok rock
scene for over ten years (with the occasional forays down to Pattaya to liven up
the good folk of Shenanigans). Their live gigs have always projected raw
excitement and energy.
Guitarist/vocalist Keith Goodburn and drummer Nigel Pike left
the Hong Kong music scene in 1990 and moved to Bangkok. Soon after their arrival
they put together a local band as a way of taking the edge off at the weekends.
After a lot of experimentation (Nigel Pike is a huge Captain Beefheart fan, so
as you can imagine a lot of his wilder ideas had to be curbed), practice
sessions, and lineup changes, the band arrived where they are today, a road
hardened hard rock band. The addition of the very talented Alf Hodges on vocals
and lead guitar, and local bass maniac Khun Prik complete today’s quartet.
Their live appearances reflect the wide range of influences
and tastes within the band, rock, punk, metal, R&B, and alternative
(alternative meaning anything else they fancy playing). However, they are not
just a cover band. As you can hear on this live recording, they are more than
capable of writing their own original material, which blends in without a hitch
with the well selected bunch of covers the band has taken on. The Bastard’s
code of honor, which has been with the band since day one, is not to play the
obvious covers. So it is with much relief that I can tell you there is no danger
of hearing ‘Hotel ‘Flippin’ California’ at a Bastard’s concert.
The Bastard’s have now played to their strengths and
recorded for posterity their live show at Shenanigans Pattaya, Friday May 21,
2004. Their CD, nicely called ‘Live and Dangerous’, is a huge testament to
rock ‘n’ roll and generates a burning level of excitement.
The band kicks off in fine style with the two greatest
teenage anthems from two decades. ‘My Generation’ from the Who in the
sixties, followed by ‘Anarchy In The U.K’ from the Sex Pistols in the
seventies. Keith’s singing is on top form and Alf’s blistering solos send
the crowd into frenzy.
Next up is Khun Prik’s turn to step into the spotlight as
he takes lead vocals on the band’s frantic version of Loso’s ‘Panthip’.
By this time the band has got the crowd eating out of their hands. It was a good
job Shenanigans laid on extra security, courtesy of Neil Sandilands, to keep the
fans from rushing the stage.
Their confidence thus spurred on the band to storm into the
first of their original songs for the night, a roaring version of ‘Mobile
Phone’, which enthralled the crowd to go equally as wild. During the night the
band played two more original songs that go down just as well, ‘Go Ask Alice’
and ‘The Jump’.
As there is only room for 77 minutes of music on one CD, the
Bastards don’t let up the pace for one second; even the song introductions by
Keith are jet propelled.
The set is brought to a shattering conclusion by the last
three songs, a vicious version of the Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’,
followed by Nigel Pike’s party piece, where Khun Prik takes over on drums,
Keith switches to bass, and Nigel snarls into ‘My Way’. (Believe it or not,
originally a Paul Anka song before Frank Sinatra got his hands on it. Nigel’s
adaptation though has slightly more to do with the Sid Vicious version, although
for most of us it will be always ‘Nigel’s Way’.) While Nigel is throwing
himself around the front of the stage, the rest of the band just put their heads
back and rock. After this the band is dragged back on stage for an encore of
AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’. The result of which left Shenanigans roof a
good two feet higher than it was. This album should always be played at 11.
Sadly, this album will be Alf’s swansong to the Bastards as
his career takes him elsewhere in Thailand, making it geographically impossible
for him to carry on. The Bastards’ last gig together will be at the official
launch of ‘Live And Dangerously’. So, if you would like to be there for a
piece of rock ‘n’ roll history, get down to Shenanigans on Friday 2nd July
when the Bastards will be performing songs from the album for the very last
time. The band will be on stage at 10 p.m., followed by co-headliners at
midnight and also releasing their live album that night, Pop’s Pattaya All
Stars with ‘Dangerously Live’.
The artwork for the album is worth the CD price on its own,
brilliantly put together by Ron Keeley and Jason Payne with the help of some
photos by Wayne Ogonoski and the Mail’s own Brendan Richards. If you were
there for the recording night, you may well find your name or even photo on the
The price of the album is 300 baht or 500 baht for two if you
decide to do the logical thing and buy both, Pop’s Pattaya All Stars CD ‘Dangerously
Live’ and the Bastards’ ‘Live and Dangerous’.