For more than a decade, Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime has been the king of Sublime covers.

For more than a decade, Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime has been the king of Sublime covers.

The full-time outfit, which was formed in 2001 and averages 140 gigs a year, is such a hit that it currently has more than 46,000 likes on Facebook ─ a big milestone for a number of groups, especially a cover band. What's more, Bud Gaugh, Sublime's original drummer, has opened up for the Rhode Island-based Badfish multiple times with his band, Del Mar.

You'll get a chance to feel the electricity of a Badfish show when the spritely gang voyages back to the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach this Friday, a venue the band has gigged at a half-dozen times over the last couple of years. Badish's most recent concert at Bottle & Cork was last summer.

"It's cool," Badfish drummer Scott Begin, of Rhode Island, said about playing at the venue. "People are there to party and that's the vibe there. We love places like that."

Badfish, named after a Sublime song, tries to appease both casual and diehard Sublime fans by mingling popular tunes (including "What I Got," "Santeria," "Wrong Way," "Doin' Time" and "Ebin") with lesser-known jams like "89 Vision." The Sublime tune is available on the band's boxset, "Everything Under The Sun," but it didn't appear on any of the band's studio albums because it's likely an early demo track, Begin says.

While Badfish plays most of Sublime's covers faithfully, the chums also sprinkle in mini jam sessions and a little acoustic guitar to freshen things up.

"[We] mess around with the arrangements," Begin said. "But we try not to go, too, crazy" because "we know people want to hear Sublime's songs in the [original] way they know them."

A 'Sublime' movement

Formed in the late 1980s, the original Sublime band's sound included a mix of ska, reggae, hip-hop and punk flavors. The California boys gained great momentum in 1996 with the help of its smash-hit single, "What I Got," a tune off its self-titled and final album ─ which was also the band's third studio record ─ that was also released the same year.

Sadly, Sublime's success in 1996 proved to be bitter-sweet when its talented frontman, Brad Nowell, lost his life to a bout with drugs while "What I Got" was receiving healthy radio play.

Since Nowell's death, Sublime's fame has ballooned, garnering the band a cult following. Sublime's Facebook page currently boasts more than 5 million likes.

"They were a phenomenon," Begin said. "Bradley's songwriting was awesome and musically he was doing some great stuff."

During the late 2000s, Sublime resurrected into what's now known as Sublime with Rome. The only original Sublime member in the group is bassist Eric Wilson. The "Rome" in the band's name derives from Ramirez Rome, the outfit's current frontman. Similar to Badfish and the original Sublime ─ Sublime With Rome is also doing very well and it even has a cool 200,000 likes on its Facebook page.

Begin believes the fact that Sublime fans continue to show an outpour of support to both Badfish and Sublime with Rome is a tribute to the quality of music the original band dished out.

"I think it's quite the nod to Brad Nowell's talents," beamed Begin.


WHAT Badfish: A Tribute To Sublime in concert

WHEN 9 p.m., Friday

WHERE Bottle & Cork, 1807 Highway One, Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach

COST $15-$17