Monday, 15 July 2013

Bad Touch live at The Willow Festival, Peterborough 14/07/2013

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.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Dave Evans & Bad Touch - The Railway, Ipswich - 11/07/2013

The Bad Touch faithful descended on The Railway Venue Ipswich on Thursday evening as the boys performed in support of AC/DC's original singer, Dave Evans and his band in an evening of top quality rock & roll.

With plenty of support travelling to the Suffolk capital, Bad Touch took the familiar stage to belt out a 40 minute set packed with high energy classics, kicking off with 'Set the night on fire' and 'Dr Heartbreak'.

Introducing himself and the rest of the band, Stevie used their nicknames from the official video for second single 'Too Late' – Moustache introduced Seeks, Ginger and Hair, stopping short of revealing Rob G's nickname through fear of the evil glare.

'Too late' duly followed, along with 'Morning light' and 'New day' before the boys had a bit of fun with 'Preacher', Rob G showing his rhythm & blues roots off to perfection on lead guitar with an extended instrumental.

Latest single 'Mirror man' and Led Zeppelin classic 'Rock & Roll' came next, and Stevie thanked everyone he could think of – a gratitude sadly lacking from the headlining act - before the boys finished with fans' favourite 'Down'.

It was time for Dave Evans to take to the stage as a few more fans filtered through the doors, and as one of the founder members of the legendary AC/DC, there was a sense of expectation from the audience, and he didn't disappoint, starting his set with the one single he recorded with the band 'Can I sit next to you girl' and its B-side 'Rockin in the parlour'.

Performing tracks from his own back catalogue, including 'We don't dance to your song' and 'Judgement day', Dave Evans provided a good blend of originals and AC/DC covers, as well as showing off his UK band in an epic guitar solo in 'Baby please don't go'.

Finishing on a high, he belted out the classics 'TNT', 'Highway to hell' and 'Whole lotta Rosie' before abruptly leaving the stage while the crowd shouted for more. Dave and his band duly obliged with 'Let there be rock'. 

Another successful night at the Railway as the crowd dispersed with the sounds of rock & roll through the ages ringing in their ears; which will hopefully have recovered for Bad Touch's afternoon performance at the Willow Festival, Peterborough on Sunday 14th July. The boys go on stage at 1:40pm, but get there early to claim your spot in the sunshine.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Bad Touch & Tim Frost - Cherry Tree, Dereham, 06/07/2013

Having watched Bad Touch perform in cities and towns around the UK, from London to Liverpool, nothing really compares to seeing them on their own turf. The boys came home this Saturday evening, packing out the Cherry Tree for a record-breaking night in the little pub on the corner.

The sun had been scorching all day, and the beer garden was packed hours before the support act even took to the stage; there was a sense of anticipation in the air – it was going to be a great night.

Good friend of Bad Touch, Tim Frost performed first with a brilliantly different guitar instrumental session. With the help of best friend Stevie managing the backing track, Tim bravely took to the stage with nothing for support but his guitar and effects pedal.

Despite his nerves, Tim played plenty of songs from his new album, including 'Legacy', 'Infinity Ground' and the impressive 'Determination'. Despite the lack of vocals, Tim's music takes you on a journey and it's clear he's really passionate about what he does.

With a rocky edge and a few nods to his former life in a local metal band, 40 minutes simply fly by. Tim has a genuine humbleness about him which is endearing, and makes you enjoy his performance all the more. He will be supporting Wicked Faith at the Suffolk Punch, Lowestoft of Friday 12th July, so get there if you can and show your support.

As Tim Frost completed his set, the band members started to emerge from all corners of the pub – and did a quick sound check using the classic 'All right now' to get the crowd in the party mood, before a needless introduction to Bad Touch and their first single 'Set the night on fire'.

The pub was absolutely packed, and with dozens squeezed into the bar where the band were set up, it was roasting hot and Stevie was feeling it, losing his shirt to reveal a tank top after only a couple of tracks.

The rest of the boys managed, somehow, to stay fully clothed as 'Whole lotta Rosie', 'Dr Heartbreak' – performed amazingly by Bailey on bass - and 'Too late' followed in a blow-your-ears-off opening, gratefully received by the large audience.

Playing to so many familiar faces must be quite a nervy experience, but they didn't let it show at all as 'Call for me' and 'Morning light' were belted out with passion and power, before the boys finally took a bit of a break performing Bon Jovi's rock ballad 'Wanted dead or alive'.

Bad Touch have come a long way since their first ever gig in Dereham, and they've picked up plenty of tips along the way making their performances tight and professional from start to finish, and their songwriting skills were shown in 'New day' 'Lying and losing' and 'Water's edge'.

The set-list was dotted with some classic rock covers done Bad Touch style, and Thin Lizzy's 'Whiskey in the jar' came as a welcome surprise, followed by Rob G's mesmerising guitar performance in the original classic 'Preacher'.

The tempo was rapidly increased again as 'Outta the dark' and 'Poison in a pretty dress' almost lifted the roof off the Cherry Tree – both are such party anthems with catchy tag lines and great drum beats, which gave George the opportunity to show his skills with the sticks.

Rob and Seeks worked together in perfect harmony for 'Sweet home Alabama', before Stevie introduced the latest single 'Mirror Man'. As the long show came to a close, 'One last chance', a mainstay of the Bad Touch set-list, and the anthem 'Down', reverberated around the pub to rapturous applause .

With the crowd screaming for more, the boys duly obliged with 'Sweet child of mine'. If it was their choice, I think the Dereham faithful would have had a 3 hour encore, especially as it'll be another two months before the band return, this time at the Gemini on 21st September.

Next, Bad Touch travel to the Railway Venue, Ipswich this Thursday 11th July, to support Dave Evans, the original singer of the legendary AC/DC, before heading to Peterborough for an afternoon performance at the Willow Festival on Sunday 14th.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Bad Touch, Epic Studios, Norwich 03/07/2013

The Bad Touch boys were invited down to Epic Studios in Norwich this evening to record some live acoustic tracks under the bright lights of the recording studio.

Watched and recorded by 3 giant cameras, the boys looked right at home, although it was strange to see no audience and hear no cheers at the end of every track (I managed to stop myself!)

Bad Touch performed latest single 'Mirror Man', the only song which took 2 takes to get right, as well as previous single 'Too late', which shouldn't work as an acoustic song, but it just does.

'One Last Chance' sounded melodic and pure, and, with recording time to spare, the boy decided to perform 'Preacher' and 'Waters' Edge', as well as a brilliant rendition of Led Zeppelin's 'Rock & Roll'.

It was great to see a bit of the work that goes on behind the scenes to create the magic Bad Touch bring to the stage. Although acoustic practice is not their main focus, what we saw tonight was an inherent ability for a band to work with and for each other in perfect harmony- I guess some things are just meant to be.

If you want to see what I'm talking about, get yourself down to the Cherry Tree in Dereham at 8pm this Saturday 6th July, free entry, and bring your friends!