Travel Diary: Touring the UK with Adelaide rock band Bad//Dreems

Adelaide-based rock band, BAD//DREEMS share an exclusive tour diary with the AU review on their exciting international adventure at The Great Escape from last year. Taking us along for the ride from Leeds to Derbyshire and from Birmingham to London, the band give us the lowdown on their life on the road.

Live at Leeds – Nation of Shopkeepers

“BAD//DREEMS ARE THE GRAVY” says twenty-something Leeds bank teller, Carly. We met her moments before we went on stage at The Nation of Shopkeepers – one of Leeds’ premier small music venues. The bubbly gal then sealed her enthusiasm for live music with a snog…. with her best friend, Sarah. Giggidy. You can definitely sleep easy knowing that the Leeds locals are a social bunch. And a bunch that continually endorse live music.

We were fairly surprised to play to a sold out room. Even better – a room that nearly erupted into a full-blown melee, thanks to the likely lads at the front fresh from the Leeds vs Rochester clash. Oh they heckled us with their Joy Division shirts and freshly shaved heads. But, in the end they said…..”You’re f**king alright, lads…”. We’ll take that.


When we say we played with some whippersnappers in York, well we actually played with some whippersnappers in York. The opening band were local lads, with an average age of 12.3. This is even a hint of a lie. Furthermore, they were excellent. They even nailed extremely tasteful covers, by The Velvet Underground and The Pixies. I mean, when I was 12, I was like feeding my tamagotchi at an aqua concert, in sneans.

The lead singer’s voice was yeeeaaaars from breaking. But shit, he made it work. The guitarist repped a Joy Division shirt – down to his knees. And the best part? They were bloody charming fellas.


Whilst commuting from York to Sheffield, we were taken back by the rolling green pastoral lands of Derbyshire. We stopped randomly on the side of the road, only to discover a rocky babbling brook and an intricate system of ancient stone walls.

The fresh english air in the countryside gave us a brief reprieve from our seething Yorkshire hangovers and for a moment we sucked in deep, lengthy breaths of the fresh country air. It was so nice in fact, that Ben decided to disrobe, much to the dismay of passers by.

Birmingham/Monster Munch

Much like Karl Pilkington, I consider myself somewhat of a munchie connoisseur. This is common knowledge amongst close friends, so much so, that I will often be asked to recommend a new and exciting chip flavour for others to try. Samboy’s ‘Atomic Tomato’ has always held much clout with me, and in my eyes – has sort of become an enigmatic urban myth, since they were removed from Australian supermarket shelves, in the early noughties. It was only on this tour, at a ‘services’ on the M1 somewhere near Birmingham, that my tastebuds were shaken to the core, once again.

The culprit? MONSTER MUNCH PICKLED ONION. Sweet jesus. Do yourself a favour.


St.Albans is a quiet, affluent town and for the most part, it’s pretty easy on the eye. But we managed to snag this photo whilst killing time before load-in. A local lad, who had nailed far too many Carlings, decided to have a kip on the stairwell right near our tour van. The photo is sort of like a magic eye, it takes a while before you realise the chav is there. Love this photo.

The next day, we detoured for over two hours purely to get to the infamous town of Slough. We are all gnarly Office/Ricky Gervais fans, and this is the town where the original Office series was set.

We parked the van and had only walked 100 metres, when we stumbled upon ‘Wernham Hoggs’ – a seedy pub, named after Brent’s office employers. Obviously, we stopped for must-have photo opportunities. The locals thought we were absolute ‘plonkers’. It was worth it.


For the majority of the UK tour, we shared the stage with LA based band, Francisco, The Man. These four dudes turned out to be some of the best human beings we’ve ever met. Bonus. Their rhythm section is all Mexican. We soon discovered their love for all things soccer. Late one night, after a few ales, the idea of band-on-band soccer match was bandied around. Being avid aussie rules fans, we thought that we might be able to apply our skills in a friendly battle of the round ball, so we agreed to a winner-takes-all duel. After being down 2-0, Bad//Dreems managed to level the scores with a few minutes left on the clock. Then Benny decided to try and go all Lionel Messi at our defensive end. Whilst trying to step the Francisco The Man guitarist, Ben foolishly became bamboozled and in the dying moments of the match, the yanks snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, thanks to Brock – their lovely bar manager/striker. Round 2, ‘redemption’ round, is yet to be scheduled.


To keep updated on the band, follow their social pages!

The Great Escape 2016 kicks off today in Brighton, England. For more details head to


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.