Brett Adams

When Brett Adams of The Bads performs live it’s not too hard to spot the people who are seeing him play for the first time. Some are slightly stunned, with dropped jaws and matching raised eyebrows; they weren’t expecting to encounter bona fide guitar-hero virtuosity down at their local.

As well as the great songs and harmonised duet vocals from band leaders Dianne Swann and Brett Adams, the latter can play that guitar in a manner disarmingly free of the slick factor too often associated with the über-skilled. Instead there’s a fresh exuberance and joy that almost suggests he woke up this morning and discovered this ability anew. His infectious energy and inspired playing has seen Adams accompany artists as varied as Tim Finn, Rodriguez, Don Walker (ex-Cold Chisel), Graham Brazier, Dave McArtney, and Jan Hellriegel, as well as playing in original bands all over the world.

Boom Boom Mancini - Brett Adams, Geoff Hayden, Dianne Swann, Nick Yeatman
Interview with Brett Adams about working with Tim Finn, gear, guitars, etc.
Brett Adams and Graham Brazier in the late 1980s
Brett Adams backing Tim Finn on Out Of This World (2009)
Tuning up in the ... Brett Adams and Damien Binder, Queens Wharf Events Centre, Wellington, 15 May 2003
Photo credit: Photo by Mark Roach
The Bads in 2017: Dianne Swann and Brett Adams

Brett Adams
Photo credit: Photo by Michael Flynn
Recording awards for The Mockers in the mid 1980s: Tim Wedde, Andrew Fagan, Geoff Hayden, Steve Thorpe and Brett Adams
The Bads' 2017 album, Losing Heroes

The Bads - So Alive (live to air, Kiwi FM, 2009)
Brett Adams 2015
Photo credit: Photo by Michael Flynn
The Bads - Drop In The Ocean (Brett on vocal, from So Alive, 2009)
A young Brett Adams with The Mockers in the mid-1980s
Brett Adams at the Graham Brazier memorial at Auckland's Powerstation, Mt. Eden, September 2015
Photo credit: Photo by Michael Flynn
The Mockers - One Black Friday (1985)
The Bads, 2017
Dianne Swann and Brett Adams
The Bads - Carry The Weight (2005)
Brett Adams and Damien Binder, May 2003
Photo credit: Photo by Mark Roach
Damien Binder and Brett Adams, Queens Wharf Events Centre, Wellington, 15 May 2003
Photo credit: Photo by Mark Roach
Brett Adams
Brett Adams and Jordan Luck
Photo credit: Photo by Michael Flynn
Brett Adams
Brett Adams, Wayne Bell and Dianne Swann
The Bads - Bit By Bit (from Earth From Space, 2005)

The peacock incident mentioned near the end of this profile has been immortalised on the cover of The Bads’ debut album Earth From Space, and also in a tattoo on Brett’s person.

The shots of Dianne and Brett performing in the Carry The Weight video were filmed in Taupaki Hall, where Brett and John Pain played before an audience for the first time, at age 16.


Warner Music

South Recordings

Almo Sounds

Funded by

Partners with