It was a humid but cloudy morning as Bad Touch left Dereham behind for an afternoon performance at the country's biggest free music festival in Peterborough, but the midday sun soon burned through and brought with it the hottest day of the year so far.
With a 1.40pm start time, there was little opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of the festival before the boys took to the stage in the GP tent, instead many of the Bad Touch faithful used the time to get amongst the crowds handing out wristbands and generating interest.
It clearly worked as the tent filled up with people of all ages ready to enjoy a bit of good old fashioned rock & roll, and, after a last-minute set list change, the tent shook with the sound of AC/DC's classic 'Whole lotta Rosie'.
Once the crowds were hooked, the boys introduced some of their own quality tracks, including 'Dr Heartbreak', 'Too late' and 'Waiting on the morning light' – a personal favourite which shows off the qualities of each band member to perfection.
Bad Touch as usual had a little bit of fun with 'Preacher', which was lapped up by the growing audience in the tent – which might have been a shelter from the blistering sun, but there was no escape from the stifling humidity, so it was no surprise the boys – led by Rob G on guitar, made the most of the bluesy instrumental before kicking into top gear again for latest single 'Mirror man'.
'One last chance' came next to show that Bad Touch are anything but a one trick band; as well as the high-tempo, blow-your-eardrums rock & roll party tracks, the boys are capable of well-written, melodic rock ballads too, and play them with as much passion and quality as every song they perform.
Highlighting another of their musical influences, Stevie introduced the Led Zeppelin classic 'Rock & roll' to the delight of the crowd, and the boys finished their 40 minute set with the epic, former 'Tourdates Unsigned Chart' number 1, 'Down' – on the same day it was announced that 'Outta the dark' had also claimed top spot in the chart.
After a rapturous applause, the crowds dispersed and the band cleared away their gear and had an opportunity to check out the other sights and sounds of the Willow Festival. In the shadow of the beautiful Peterborough Cathedral, and set on the banks of the River Nene, the event welcomed around 50,000 people over three days and there was plenty of entertainment on offer.
Independent concession stalls and alternative food outlets dominated one edge of the festival grounds, while the opposite side was populated by a funfair to keep the kids entertained. Showcasing musical skills from acoustic folk to heavy metal and everything in between, there were various tents dotted around the park, so there was plenty to see and do. The acoustic tent stood like a beacon in the centre of the green and the other stages fanned out from there. It was impossible to watch every act over the weekend, but there's no doubting its appeal, as thousands poured in to soak up the atmosphere, and, of course, the beautiful weather.
Bad Touch now take a three week break before the next performance in their spiritual home (and the place which saw me write my first review!) the King Edward VII in Norwich on 3rd August, before travelling to Martham for Vicfest the following day.