Badger Jam Beats at Upstairs at the Ritzy

On Wednesday night, new arts contributor Petra went along to the Badger Jam at Upstairs at the Ritzy.

Synth-lover Alex Horky on keys

Badger is the newest incarnation of three London based musicians who bring together an impressively eclectic mix of musical experience. Billed as ‘A night of live music featuring this new experimental group – expect driving beats and addictive riffs’, I was looking forward to hearing something new and upbeat.

The band consists of Tom Driessler on bass, who studied at Guildhall school of music and previously played bass for Adele for three years. On keyboards, with a love of ‘synths and shiny things’, is Alex Horky, Goldsmiths graduate and founder member of ‘Machines’. And bringing the beats, Max Hallet of Dalston – who incorporates a punky/psychedelic vibe fused with cross rhythms and spacey odd timings.

Tom Driessler on bass

Tom describes this experiment as ‘being in the very early stages but is potentially the birth of something new and this night will be a good platform to create that.’ He was not wrong – as always the atmosphere in the ‘Upstairs at the Ritzy’ was convivial and relaxed. The room was comfortably full with a very chilled vibe. I felt like I was sitting in a jazz bar as the band sound checked.

The first two numbers had a definite funk/jazz feel to them, with Tom providing some driving bass lines, and Alex weaving intricate melodies around hypnotic synth pulses. Energetic and complex rhythms from Max on drums underpinned the sound, making it difficult not to get up and dance.

The third number had a more electro pop feel to begin with – incorporating some delicious effects on the bass. The piece then grew, bringing in some interesting twists in the melody from Alex on keys. As the number built to its climax an audience member could not resist shouting out her appreciation with a cry of ‘Beautiful!’

Max Hallet brings the beats

Considering this is the first outing for Badger the musical connection within the band was very apparent. The audience could also feel how much these guys were enjoying their music – always an added bonus. Really looking forward to seeing how their sound develops. You’ll be able to catch them at the Ritzy next month, on 18th Feb.

Written by new contributor Petra Gent, with her photos.