Bad Actress began forming in 2016. Guitarist Struan McFarlane (15 at the time) and Thomas Bell (then 19) had previously worked together when Struan stood in as drummer in Thomas’s former band, Far From Devils, for their final gig. Having decided to start a new venture, they promptly recruited former FFD bassist, Fearghas Lyall (then 17). They asked Struan’s younger brother, Lewis, to fill in on drums until they could find a full timer.
Lewis, then just 12, had been gigging for over two years with Struan and their older brother Ross, as hard core power trio, Civil Punk. He set the bar high and was ultimately confirmed as the full time drummer. They then focussed on finding a vocalist. After a number of try outs, former FFD singer, Grant Clark, joined but later decided it wasn’t for him. It was at this point that the older McFarlane, Ross (then 17), offered his services and was invited to try out. It worked, the line up was set and they settled on the name Airrade.
Struan and Thomas had set down a few songs by this time, with solid riffs influenced by the likes of ACDC, ZZ Top, Aerosmith and Motorhead. The band played their first gig in July 2017 at the Audio Club in Glasgow, with Struan and Ross sharing centre stage and bringing a touch of glam to the show.
Happy with the results, the gig was followed by shows in other Glasgow venues and in Inverness and the McFarlanes’ home town of Forres. In February 2018 their performance at the Inverness Ironworks venue captured the attention of social media site, Inverness Gigs, who described them as musically melding ACDC, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue and that they ‘visually go straight down the road of late eighties Glam Rock’. The site called them ‘brash, young and utterly without irony and perform with a tremendous amount of self belief’ . . . ‘these chaps are living and breathing their music and it really does work for them’ . . . ‘They are utterly ridiculous and brilliant with it. It’s a real pleasure to see a young band grab rock music by the bollocks and give it a proper shake.’
This review also criticised the band’s name, which prompted them to change it. Bad Actress released a live video of ‘Whiteline Adrenaline’ shot at the Ironworks show, and have recorded their first single, ‘Acting like an Animal’, due out later in 2018.