Hailing from the Medway Delta, and although originally a covers band, Bad Pennies are a tight, no-nonsense and well respected four-piece Blues Rock band - inspired by the finest Blues-Rockers of the 70's & 80's playing tribute to Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore, Dr. Feelgood, Thin Lizzy, ZZ Top, Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Winter, around Kent, London and beyond at pubs, clubs, rallies, festivals and events. Originally formed by lead guitarist Gary Seager, their mantra of not short changing you and no dodgy notes, has seen the band play many hundreds of gigs accompanied by more than a few changes in personnel. The current line-up has been working together for a couple of years and despite Bad Pennies whole sound and style being honed live on stage, they have developed their own unique style of raw, unadulterated Blues Rock. Indeed Bad Pennies began writing in the Summer of 2016 and their first EP - 'Turned Up Again' - made its debut at #22 in the IBBA UK Blues chart. However, due to other commitments the band were not able to focus on writing an album until later in 2017. Cue the aptly named 'Songs From The Medway Delta' which was released at the beginning of February 2018 and early reaction has been very positive - in fact it's a debut album that has been well worth waiting for.
The album contains 14 all-original compositions recounting some of the trials and tribulations of life in and around the Medway Delta. A diverse range of styles are covered including slow minor Blues, shuffles, heavy and raw and acoustic delta Blues - with Seager, vocalist Adam Stocker and experienced session bass guitarist Gavin Matthews contributing all the songs, some by collaboration and some sole-written. Recorded and mixed in just three days at Ranscombe Studios in Rochester by Jim Riley (who remembers The Herbs?), the album perfectly captures the live essence of the band. Seager's classic Blues Rock riff on his self-penned opener 'Crash and Burn' - all about a relationship heading for the wall - where trust issues are destined for it to end horribly - kicks off the album with an immediate nod to Gary's Rory and Stevie Ray influences plus a mean old-fashioned ‘shouty’ Blues vocal and harp from Adam.
The funkier 'Lady Luck' - an amusing, some you win, some you lose ditty, that makes you wonder why you got out of bed in the morning - co-written by Seager and Matthews - shows that these guys can not only groove but they can mix it up with Gary's foot firmly placed on his wah pedal, while Matthews 'One Shot (ballad of a no-good)' - despite its title - is a rocker all about a horrible 'so and so' who gets his comeuppance at the mercy of Seager's distorted slide plus an in yer face Stocker vocal and an opportunity for drummer Dave Two-Jackets to vent his influence of Ian Paice. 'SFTMD' twists and turns once again with Seager's 'Move On'. We've all been there - they act like your buddy but they’ll stab you in the back and throw you under the bus to take your place! Adam's message being "Don’t let them grind you down!" - as Gary's acoustic opening (Seager studied classical guitar and violin before getting side-tracked by Page and Blackmore), correspondingly twists and turns with some groovy fret work and one awesome electric guitar solo. Given their gig history - Bad Pennies must be good judges to the fact that live music fits hand in glove with a drink as Dave Two-Jackets snare intro heralds Matthews 'Medicine Man' - Bad Pennies very own drinking song - Maybe one more won't hurt? - with another great vocal and harp from Stocker.
Another classic stock Blues Rock riff launches Matthews & Seager's 'Mynah Bird' - its sentiment all very un PC - but boy is she a nightmare and she can take you down with one word, a track that gives Gary licence for some groovy guitar moves plus some great diction from Adam in the mould of his old mucker - the legend that is Nicky Moore. Stocker continues the pub crawl with the succinct Blues of 'When I Get Drunk' - its premise - why spend your money on a cab or even the bus when you can use the money to have another drink? Well we'll drink to that, as Stocker and Seager's melancholic 'AM Blues' is all about the morning after - no time to feel sorry for yourself, although Seager's guitar work goes a long way to curing that hangover. The slide guitar of 'Please Baby' duly picks the pace of 'SFTMD' back up again, another Matthews/Seager Blues composition addressing relationship decisions, whilst Seager's rocking guitar on 'Hometown Blues' also sees Matthews revisit his NWOBHM era, which departs from relationships and booze, and does exactly it was says on the tin - all about returning to your old neighbourhood to discover how much things have changed.
Matthews' 'Queen of All The City' keeps things rocking, all about that women who is out of your league - or is she? with Matthew's bass and Dave Two-Jackets drums driving things along very nicely with more great work from Seager and Stocker. And you take the man out of the Medway but you can't take the Medway out of the man - Gary's 'Midnight Train' - all about being run out of town - sees Bad Pennies all aboard and rocking and a rolling all the way down those Medway tracks before the band jump off the wagon once more on Matthews' 'Temperance Boogie' - another crackerjack - albeit its sentiment being that it can make a good man go bad. Seager's 'Losing Streak', would you believe about drink and women, closes out the album, with it's cajun feel, its message being that you’re just looking for a peaceful life, but you find yourself up the creek without a paddle! Well, come on, this is the Blues! All in all, a delightful eclectic mix of Blues with not only great lyrics, but more importantly, an album that has the vibe of a live band with some killer tracks that will go down a storm at any gig - particularly their drinking songs! You know what they say - go on - in for a penny, in for a pound!