Bad Nerves Bridges Classic Punk Roots with Mass Appeal

Bad Nerves Live at the Pageant 9/22/2023
Corey Noles photos

Editor’s note: We sat down with Bad Nerves for a while before a show on September 22, 2023, in St. Louis, Mo. to discuss the band, the music, and life on the road. The video is below.

It’s not often I catch a young band at a club and think they have a shot at the respect of punk rockers AND hooks that could hit the Top 40. British punk group Bad Nerves ticks both boxes.

After gaining traction in Europe, the band finds themselves on their first-ever U.S. tour supporting power rock duo Royal Blood.

“Breakdown, motorway, cocaine, don’t stop. Whyyyy?” — Bad Nerves, Don’t Stop

That first line of Don’t Stop, just a few seconds into the beginning of the show, sets the pace and tone for the coming half hour with Bad Nerves. There are no frills, and none are needed. The music stands on its own, and so does the performance.

The band’s energy is thick and infectious. Bad Nerves runs onto the stage with ferocity and wastes no time between songs. This band is lightning-fast, and they hit hard. There’s little to no banter and not much more than a count-in between songs.

The energy they harness is undeniable. The rest of the night, walking around the club, I kept passing (by this point, stumbling) conversations about the Bad Nerves performance, the killer songs, and their unforgettable singer.

Bobby Nerves is a classic frontman. Donning black sunglasses and a slick sportcoat adorned by a wide red band on the left bicep. Dark jeans and a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor’s round out Nerves’ vibe— and that vibe is earned.

Nerves packs all the energy of Joey Ramone but with the swagger and mystery of Jim Morrison. He’s clearly most at home on stage, and the crowd feeds off that as much as the band, despite the fact this is brand-new music to most of those in attendance.

The rest of the band is straight ‘70s punk. Bassist Jon Poulton and guitarist Wil Phillipson are the real deal. They have the raw talent, look the part, and play it well, as they all feed off one another throughout the night.

Want to hear more? Check out our recent interview with Bad Nerves below.

Fast, tight riffs drive a song catalog that is in touch with the times, but still gives respects to the punks and scoundrels who paved the way for them. Tracks like Radio Punk, Can’t Be Mine, and their new single, USA, would be at home on the radio as in CBGB.

They’re all business on stage, but make no mistake, these guys are having a blast on the road together seeing the U.S. for the first time. Before the show we chatted about the first visit to the U.S. and they’re trying to catch the sites as they go.

If you’re looking for a high-octane night of real rock n’ roll—catch Bad Nerves when they hit your city before they outgrow the clubs. And they WILL outgrow the clubs. Soon.