MY INSPIRATION: BAD BOB BATES | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Bad Bob Bates, the alter ego of Tyneside musician Chris Davison, returned to writing and recording around 10 years ago after playing and touring in bands most of his life. His latest album, DeadBeat gets a full digital release from 1st December, joining his previous four releases Trigger Finger, Bridge Street, BX3-EP and Let It Go EP. Here, he explains his influences and inspirations behind the album.

I wrote a lot of songs as a teenager, then dropped out of it, playing in covers bands until about 10 years ago when it all just came together again. The world is getting more and more weird, and that provided some fantastic source material for me. In a sense DeadBeat is about just that. The last four or five years have been unprecedented in politics and social/class conflict, particularly with the upsurge in populism and the confirmation bias promoted through social media.

The album is a collection of songs about the hopelessly deluded, interspersed with the pain of separation and the need for a good old drink sometimes. The songs have a lot of wry humour in them if you listen closely, but their also quite varied in style moving from Americana to alt. country and rock, plus a hint of space rock and pop. Basically I love all sorts of music, but the album is mostly guitar based. It was mostly recorded in Ally Lee’s Mill Studios in Alnwick, but three of the tracks were captured in Adam Forster’s Old Church Studio in Thropton. Ally and Adam are great to work with and really helped pull things together, playing on some of the tracks too (keys/guitar and drums respectively). I like songs with good hooks, catchy musical motifs and strong lyrics, and I think I’ve done well with this one.

The response to the album when released in hard copy was overwhelming, and I put a 6 piece band together to perform a lot of the tracks at the Cluny at the time (after lockdown) – a sell out concert. The Bates Motel relaunch again in January 2024 at the Tyneside Americana Blues Festival (Cullercoats Crescent Club, Sunday 21st January). I like to release for streaming a little later than the hard copy release as the revenue is very low and can stop hard copy sales, but I think it’s time now.

Recording and performing the album is uplifting – and people tell me that’s how they feel when they hear it. I’m hoping it gets played and heard far and wide now.


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