Formed by Val Cowell and Richard Hayes, and joined by PETER STROUD on Bass (Buddy Whittington/Peter Green/Papa George) and HARRY JAMES (Thunder/Magnum) on drums, BAD INFLUENCE have honed their craft by constant touring in support of 6 critically acclaimed albums. Having played such legendary venues as the MARQUEE and 100 Clubs and as chosen support on tour with Status Quo, 2012, B.I. have defineately paid their dues. They are now considered by many to be one of the top acts in their field delivering their sound of rock solid blues and roots with some very strong original material and chosen covers from artists like Bonnie Raitt and Tom Petty.
"Val Cowell has a powerhouse of a voice"
"Bad Influence always leave their audiences handsomely entertained"
Originally formed in 1986, by Val Cowell (lead vocals & rhythm guitar), and Richard Hayes (lead & slide Guitar), the band has seen many line ups in the years since. Whilst Val and Richard have been the consistent driving force, the rhythm section has seen some changes. Ever since the beginning the band has toured constantly, playing in a wide variety of venues, including the now legendary Marquee Club (both Wardour St and Charing Cross Rd) on a great many occasions.
1986 - 1991 - In the beginning there is Ray Knott (Chicken Shack/Babe Ruth/Liquid Gold) and Chris Sharley (Sassafras, Mick Clarke Band). This line up records one album’s worth of material (and releases it untitled in cassette format, remember them?).
1991 - Ray & Chris leave for pastures new and are replaced by Malcolm Foster on Bass (Pretenders) and Andy Wells on Drums (Meatloaf/Romeo’s Daughter).
1993 - Chris Taylor takes over on Bass, and Neil Salmon joins on drums. Another untitled cassette LP is recorded and sells like hotcakes at gigs.
1996 – Neil Salmon leaves and Harry James (Thunder/Magnum) takes over on drums. The band records their first CD, entitled “Bad Influence”, released in 1997.
1998 – Chris Taylor leaves and in steps Chris Childs (Then Jericho/Sam Fox/Go West/Thunder etc etc). Once again the touring goes on and on and on. By now this band has certainly paid their dues..
2000 - “One Way Love” is recorded. National airplay is achieved when BBC Radio 2 takes an interest (in the guise of Paul Jones), a live studio slot follows, as well as subsequent featured live concerts.
2003 – Bad Influence releases their first Live LP - “Here There and Everywhere” Once again the sales are phenomenal, helped along by the Radio 2 airplay.
2005 – “Closer” is the brand new CD for 2005. Featuring 11 brand new songs, all written by the band, and produced by Chris Childs, it’s the strongest most cohesive recording to date, and shows the band is going from strength to strength.
2006 – With the taking of a backseat from Chris Childs for a while due to other musical commitments, Val, Rich and Harry are very happy to welcome Peter Stoud (Papa George Band and Peter Green's Splinter Group) and Bob Skeat (Wishbone Ash) to the Bass stand . This year also marks the 20th anniversary of Val and Richard forming the band. (New album in progress)
2008 – Pete Stroud (Peter Green/Buddy Whittington) sticks around and the band and Pete are working on long awaited CD , everyone's' busy schedules permitting!!
2009 sees the release of the bands' 6th CD "CAROUSEL" with the new song writing collaboration. This title includes 11 original songs and 2 covers taken from Dixie Chicks/Keb Mo and Lucinda Williams.
2011 - While last year saw B.I. gigging up and down the country promoting "Carousel", 2011 sees the band taking a retrospective journey as they mark their 25th Anniversary.
2012 - After some fantastic gigs to mark last years' big 25...Val, Richard, Pete and Harry are now putting together a live album collection...Gigging...business as usual !!
2013/2014 - Following the successful shows with Status Quo at the end of 2012, it's business as usual and the gathering of songs for our live and studio albums to come. We are very happy that Clive Jenner (Proclaimers and Groove Armada) joins us regularly on drums whilst Mr. James pursues all avenues large!! That includes Peter Stroud (Welsh) on drums also and Chas Cronk (Strawbs) and Nigel Hardy (The Proof) on bass.
"BAD INFLUENCE" are based in South London and led by singer/rhythm guitarist VAL COWELL and lead/slide guitar player RICHARD HAYES. The band has existed for 25 years and has received much critical acclaim for both their original songs and their strong covers of Tom Petty to Bonnie Raitt to Fleetwood Mac etc.
They have appeared on all types of stage and radio and released six CDs. Their latest CD is 'CAROUSEL' from which four tracks were recorded for Paul Jones' Radio 2 Show.
Val has been described as having "a tidal wave of a voice that can take on the mantle of our greatest singers", while the band's overall performances receive reports such as.. "Bad Influence always leave their audiences handsomely entertained".
Their experienced and tight rhythm section has long time drummer HARRY JAMES (Thunder/Magnum) and the more recent addition of bass player PETE STROUD (Peter Green Splinter Group/Buddy Whittington Band).
Bad Influence have definitely paid their 'dues' and are now considered by many to be one of the top acts in their field, delivering their sound of powerful vocals alongside classic guitar driver rock solid blues.
Bad Influence have survived the perils of the live circuit for a number of reasons, but the most striking reason is quite simply because they’re very, very good at what they do.
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