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The Bads


The Bads is a vehicle for the musical escapades of Brett Adams and Dianne Swann. Created under the fiery skies of Waitakere, Aotearoa - New Zealand.

Back in the noughties, Dianne Swann and Brett Adams were on their “Big OE” in London and formed their first official musical partnership as The Julie Dolphin.

The Julie Dolphin received glowing accolades from the tough British music press for their album Lit and 2 EPs and toured extensively in the UK headlining their own shows, opened for Green Day, Oasis and Radiohead among others, clocked up strong memories of unique experiences.

Casting their minds back the band remembers, “Seeing Frank Black in the audience when we played at the 100 Club in London and collaborating with Thom Yorke [Radiohead] on The Bends sessions and playing keyboards on Street Spirit at the Astoria would have to be up there”.

Then, under the name Boom Boom Mancini the duo attracted the attention of boutique US label Almo Sounds, run by the founders of A&M Records, Jerry Moss and Herb Albert. They signed to their UK branch and became label mates with Gillian Welch, Imogen Heap and Ozomatli and fitted well into this eclectic mix until Jerry and Herb decided they didn’t like the way the music industry was heading and decided to close in 2001.

The two continued writing for a while but decided to return home to New Zealand in 2003.

Since their return the duo has released three albums as The Bads, (2005’s Earth from Space, 2009’s So Alive, and 2013’s Travel Light – which reached #3 on The NZ Music Album Charts). The song and the album So Alive were nominated for the Best Country song and album in 2010.

The Bads have toured the country extensively, opened WOMAD 2014 as Tim Finn and The Bads, and invited Australian legendary songwriter, Don Walker to New Zealand to collaborate on a series of shows. They have opened for Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Joan Armatrading, The Jayhawks and Rodrgio Y Gabriela. At the end of 2014 the band were invited to Melbourne to play support for Rodriguez.

Both Dianne and Brett have lent their talents to other prominent NZ musical projects in the last few years, making scheduling time for their own ventures tricky. In 2015 they juggled itineraries and made time for their favourite project; The Bads. The band headlined a show at Waiheke Jazz festival, embarked on a 14 date tour of New Zealand with folk rock band Great North and then travelled to Nashville to play at country legend Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam at the revered Ryman Theatre. They returned home to NZ to headline a sold-out show at the beautiful Rotorua Museum.

Dianne and Brett are skilled music producers and have produced music for several TV Series, including Homegrown, Hunger for The Wild and Coasters. They have had songs featured in films and TV shows in New Zealand, Australia and the US.

Band Members:
Dianne Swann
Brett Adams
Wayne Bell
Dave Khan
Mike Hall




  • Auckland

Best Chart Placings

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Reviews / Interviews

REVIEW: Travel Light Album Review
Submitted by Petros
2 Apr 2013

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muzic.net.nz Admin

Joined: 17/07/02
Posts: 5067
Location: Manawatu
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The Bads to release new album
Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:32 pm

The highly-anticipated new album SO ALIVE to be released in New Zealand on 27 April 2009

The Bads are pleased to announce that their second album SO ALIVE will be released on 27 April following on from their 2005 critically acclaimed debut ‘Earth from Space’.

Dianne Swann and Brett Adams have worked together since 1992. Swann you will remember from When The Cat’s Away and Adams has recently been playing guitar for Tim Finn and back when he was 19 he played with The Mockers. From The Julie Dolphin, as the pair first called themselves in London, to Boom Boom Mancini and now to The Bads.

The new album is filled with gorgeous melodies and pop songs that shimmer with a country vibe, with indie intentions, with straight-ahead rock; clean guitar lines mixing with quirky ideas. Pitch-perfect harmonies sitting inside precise rhythms – each song feels like a mini-masterpiece that has been worked at, honed, cradled, loved, learned and forgotten then learned again.

Their previous album EARTH FROM SPACE found fans, among them Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan who introduced the band to an Australian audience on TV and raved. Music from the same album was used in American TV Series Kyle XY and The Unit, and also led to the band composing for the NZ TV series Hunger For The Wild. (The title track from the new album falls out of that work.)

Of their many achievements The Bads, who, as The Julie Dolphin, opened for Green Day and collaborated with Radiohead. Dianne has some strong memories of unique experiences (“seeing Frank Black in the audience when we played at the 100 Club in London” and “collaborating with Thom Yorke [Radiohead] on The Bends Sessions and playing keyboards on Street Spirit at the Astoria would have to be up there”). While Brett has tales of playing with Tim Finn and The Mockers.

So, you have the new album by The Bads – arriving four years after Earth From Space and 17 years after the two songwriters responsible first started working together. Good things take time.

SO ALIVE will be released in New Zealand on 27 April 2009 through Mana/Warner Music

The Bads play in support of Lucinda Williams; April 15 at Wellington Town Hall and April 17 at Auckland Town Hall.


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