It’s fair to say that 2017 has been a remarkable year for hard rocking Norfolk based outfit Bad Touch.

The band has been touring relentlessly across the UK in support of their sophomore album Truth Be Told. Bad Touch has hit the road with the likes of Broken Witt Rebels, King King, The Kentucky Headhunters as well as a having a jam-packed festival season that included one of the standout sets of this summer’s Ramblin’ Man Fair. 

This uber talented quintet is currently embarking on their debut headline UK tour which makes a pit stop on Tyneside tonight for Bad Touch’s third show at The Cluny in Newcastle this year. Subsequently, a packed out crowd awaits the band at the city’s most beloved venue in the Ouseburn Valley. It just goes to show that hard work pays off.

Following a recent appearance in the city with Wilko Johnson, special guest Mollie Marriott makes a welcome return to the North East. Mollie recently released her incredible debut record Truth Is A Wolf and consequently takes the opportunity to showcase her latest offering in Newcastle this evening. Several tracks from the album feature in the set including the likes of “Run With The Hounds”, “Broken”, “King Of Hearts” and the rather funky title track itself all featuring.

Marriott’s sensational voice captivates the Tyneside audience as she traverses the full spectrum of rock and soul during her set. Mollie also takes the opportunity to debut a brand new song in the shape of the groove-heavy “Nobody To Love” and it does not disappoint.

The world is still mourning the loss of the legendary Tom Petty last month and tonight Mollie Marriott pays tribute to the great man himself with her hard rocking take on his classic “I Should Have Known It”.

Marriott closes out her spellbinding performance with an unbelievable rendition of “Control”, which is a track which truly showcases Mollie’s phenomenal vocal range. Although Mollie’s rather moreish set is over too soon, this is not the last the crowd will see of Marriott this evening.

Bad Touch explodes onto the stage like a vortex of energy and immediately break into new track “Take Me Away”. Early in the show, the band delve deep into their debut album Half Way Home with the inclusion of “Good On Me”, the incredibly infectious “Sweet Little Secret” and the blistering “Wise Water”. The slide fueled intro of the latter conjures up images of Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying”.

It doesn’t take long for Stevie Westwood to declare tonight’s date at The Cluny as the sweatiest show of the tour so far.

The beauty of this performance is that for the first time we get to see Bad Touch really spread out. With a longer set this evening Bad Touch portray the many facets of what they are all about. With tracks like the beautiful “Take Your Time” and “Something Someone” the Tyneside faithful gets to see the softer side of Bad Touch. The latter of which starts with vocalist Stevie Westwood and Rob Glendinning on an acoustic guitar before the rest of the band later reprise the number.

There is also room for the occasional deep cut like “Down” which predates Bad Touch’s debut record, having been written when the band were at the young age of 19. 

Bad Touch takes the opportunity to showcase a further track from their forthcoming new album which is currently slated for a 2018 release, in the shape of “I Belong”. The number is a heartfelt homage to home. Bad Touch may well hail from Norfolk but after becoming such frequent visitors to the North East this year the band has almost attainted honorary Geordie status. The Cluny has become home away from home for the Norwich based five-piece, with the band receiving as ever a very warm welcome.

Of course, the Geordies love a bit of light-hearted banter. Stevie Westwood really strikes a chord with the locals during his tale of a misspent evening at a pub quiz in our fair city. As the plot develops the audience learns that the band’s favourite word spoken in a Geordie accent is ‘Guacamole’. The story has both the crowd and the band in fits of hysterics.

On a day where the world learns of the sad passing of AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young – Bad Touch dedicate an emphatic rendition of “Highway To Hell” to the iconic rocker himself. Both the band and their fans sing loudly in unison; a fitting tribute indeed.

Bad Touch brings with them in tow an arsenal of crowd-pleasing anthems. You can’t help but be swept away by the likes of the frantic “Heartbreaker Soulshaker”, the country-tinged “Outlaw” and the band’s trippy main set closer “The Mountain”.

Following a brief intermission, Bad Touch returns to the stage along with special guest Mollie Marriott for their dynamite take on the Ike and Tina Turner classic “Get It On”. Westwood and Marriott have such great stage chemistry and the pair gels together effortlessly. It’s no surprise that their recent collaboration has been playlisted by Planet Rock Radio as well as racking up impressive streaming numbers online.

Bad Touch bring an incredible night of music to a close with the raucous “99%”, during which the crowd hangs on every word.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Bad Touch is National Rock Review’s breakthrough band of 2017. We eagerly look forward to what lies in store for this exciting British outfit as they move forward into the new year. 

Bad Touch
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Mollie Marriott
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Event Date: 18-Nov-2017

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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