The Bad Flowers

Starting Gun


All the songs on this debut album by the hard rock trio are group compositions. Guitarist and singer Tom Leighton fronts the act, Karl Selickis plays drums and bass and backing vocals come from Dale Tonks. Co-producer Adam Beddow has distilled a very punchy sound from the band, all pointing to lively stage performances and indeed many dates are planned. Bursting out from their home town of Cannock The Bad Flowers are now on a vigorous campaign to get their music heard everywhere.

Starting off with Thunder Child, the rock-solid core band sound is in your face. The vocal is mid-range and emphatic, snarly riffs pepper the song and the bass is pretty busy. Dynamic drum and cymbal touches keep the sound lively. A Rory Gallagher descending tumble gives an obvious influence away, as a touch of flanging is used and a feedback passage hangs like acrid smoke over the song.

Next up is Lions Blood bursts with riffery and a solemn vibe is set. The vocal is somewhat accusatory but anger is an essential ingredient of this power trio sound. The melody is fairly catchy and maybe this is a future single. Secrets is a tad groovier with room left for the singing. The group can swing when it wants to but man that bass is busy ! Rich Man takes a stomping setting with heavy-footed bass drum beats, the lyric again somewhat sombre. At @ 1:07 a grinding axe figure kicks in and should have been longer. I Hope is a complete contrast, with acoustic guitar and a world-weary vocal. Tom’s not fighting with his own guitar, here.

Let’s Misbehave keeps things plaintive for a while, then the rhythm section cruise in with great style and feel. Maybe my favourite track on the collection. Who Needs A Soul rides a nagging guitar riff, bubbling bass and pounding drums on what is a fairly standard rock outing. There are echoes of the mighty Blue Oyster Cult on this one and everyone is playing to the song brilliantly, with the angsty guitar break being one of the best featured on the album. A bit of a triumph, chaps.

Be Your Man is again a tad BOC in its insistence, a strong vocal once more. A Love Song, but it’s Tough Love with a neat arrangement to boot. Hurricane sounds ultra Confident, a paranoia-flecked lyric sung with power. the guitar break forceful and good use of delay here. I Don’t Believe It has a bass intro and is a dense song, sounding a bit claustrophobic, the tone on the solo is impressive, it must be said.

City Lights closes the programme, professing a love for The Metropolis. Hope they’re not thinking of Coventry!

It’s Leighton’s distinctive voice at this point that gives The Bad Flowers their individual sound. The three have attained great definition this early in their lifespan and as trio’s go must have a future. They do really need something jazzy in their set, maybe in 5/4 time or something, to take the edge off the relentless doominess but that apart this is an accomplished debut set.

Pete Sargeant


The Bad Flowers' debut album 'Starting Gun' is released independently on Friday 16th February 2018.

You can pre-order the album from the band's website here:

In addition, the band will support the release with several live shows across the UK in 2018. All of the confirmed shows are listed below:

Bad Flowers

Saturday 17th February 2018 - Exclusive Album Launch Show, The Asylum 2, Birmingham, United Kingdom


Thursday 22nd February 2018 – (Special Guests for Stone Broken) The Haunt, Brighton, United Kingdom


Saturday 24th February 2018 – (Special Guests for Stone Broken) Islington Assembly Hall, London, United Kingdom


Sunday 25th February 2018 –  (Special Guests for Stone Broken) Club Academy, Manchester, United Kingdom


Monday 26th February 2018 – (Special Guests for Stone Broken)  G2, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


Wednesday 28th February 2018 – (Special Guests for Stone Broken) Riverside, Newcastle, United Kingdom


Thursday 1st March 2018 – (Special Guests for Stone Broken) Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, United Kingdom


Friday 2nd March 2018 –  (Special Guests for Stone Broken) Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd, Wales, United Kingdom


Saturday 3rd March 2018 – (Special Guests for Stone Broken) O2 Institute Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom (SOLD OUT)


Sunday 4th March 2018 –  (Special Guests for Stone Broken) Corporation, Sheffield, United Kingdom


Tuesday 6th March 2018 – (Special Guests for Stone Broken) Live Rooms, Chester, United Kingdom


Wednesday 7th March 2018 –  (Special Guests for Stone Broken) The Fleece, Bristol, United Kingdom

Sunday 6th May 2018 - Teddy Rocks Festival, Charisworth Farm Cottage, Blandford Forum, United Kingdom

Sunday 17th June 2018 - Stone Free Festival, The O2, Peninsula Square, London, United Kingdom

Saturday 28th July 2018 - Steelhouse Festival, Ebbw Vale, Wales, United Kingdom

Saturday 10th November 2018 - Hard Rock Hell, Camp HRH, North Wales, United Kingdom