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Tonight the sophomore Planet Rock Roadstars tour arrives at The Cluny in Newcastle, bringing with it in tow two of Britain’s hottest up and coming bands – Broken Witt Rebels and Bad Touch. The pair will be sharing headlining duties this evening and throughout the rest of the tour.

It’s Friday night as well it being St Patrick’s Day; there are few better reasons to kick back and enjoy a couple of drinks and some live music. Obviously, the packed out Geordie crowd would agree as they are in fine spirits this evening.

Broken Witt Rebels played their first show in the North East at Blackfrairs last August, a mere stone throw from this very room and a somewhat more intimate affair than tonight’s date in the city. More recently the band has been out on the road with the likes of Kaleo, King King and Joanne Shaw Taylor, to name but a few.

Broken Witt Rebels have witnessed a meteoric rise over the last 18 months since the release of the Georgia Pine EP. The likes of “Low” from their latest offering has been championed by Planet Rock Radio, the band also picked up the “Best Rock Act” at the first annual Unsigned Music Awards held at The Troxy in London. 

Birmingham has most certainly produced some incredible talent over the last fifty years, from Black Sabbath and Judas Priest through to The Moody Blues and the E.L.O. That being said, the city’s newest quartet Broken Witt Rebels are arguably one of the best new rock bands to come out of Birmingham since it’s musical renaissance of the late 60s and early 70s.

This now the band’s third visit to the region in seven months, and with each appearance, they seem to exceed their last. This is a testament to the strength of the band’s work ethic and new material, which will ultimately form their eagerly anticipated debut album, tipped for release later this year.

Tonight Broken Witt Rebels preview several of those new tracks. This includes the likes of the soulful blues number “Turn Me On” which is a stark contrast to the hard rocking “Snake Eyes” and “Bang Bang”, which may well be the heaviest songs the band have produced to date. 

Much like “Guns”, one of the band’s newest track “Hurricane” has future radio hit written all over it. Obviously, as the fans would want and expect tracks from the band’s last two EPs feature heavily throughout the set, and are interspersed with their new material.

The Rebels have a lot of fans are in the room tonight, many of whom are adorning their “Whiskey Rock and Soul” shirts, for which there may not be a more fitting description for Broken Witt Rebels.

As the band head into the final third of their set, the fans hang on every word of the likes of “Georgia Pine” and the anthemic “Guns” before they bring their hour-long set to a close with old favourite “Shake Me Down”. Broken Witt Rebels leave the stage to rapturous applause from the Tyneside faithful and just like a line from one of their songs, tonight the band burn bright just like a cigarette. 

Norfolk boys Bad Touch follow Broken Witt Rebels this evening, with the pair swapping show closing duties each evening on this tour. The midlands based quartet are obviously a tough act to follow, but tonight Bad Touch are most certainly up for the challenge.

The five-piece released their second album Truth Be Told at the end of last year. Bad Touch has a sound which is firmly rooted in the golden age of rock and roll, with undertones of Led Zeppelin and the Black Crowes prevailing throughout their set.

Bad Touch includes several tracks from their latest offering in the show. The likes of “Waiting For This”, “My Mother Told Me” (which is in turn segued into a superb cover of “Hard To Handle”) and “99%” with its catchy hooks and soulful chorus really stand out in their set.

The band’s newest recruit Harry Slater may only be twenty years old, but don’t be fooled by his youthful looks, he can hold his own with the best of them. Throughout the course of the evening, Slater delivers a bountiful array of blistering solos, finger picking skills and slide guitar licks that even Jimmy Page would be proud of. 

The band’s frontman Stevie Westwood certainly looks and sounds the part. Daniel Seekings much like Slater is another fine guitar slinger, who has an air of the great Paul Kossoff about him, the pair plays off each other all night long and form an impressive partnership. The band’s rhythm section of Michael Bailey on his five string bass and powerhouse drummer George Drewry deliver a devastating groove.

The band close out their set with an epic rendition of “The Mountain” which has a seventies trippy groove to it and as song ebbs and flows it keeps on building, with big riffs and some fancy fretwork from Slater. Bad Touch finish the evening with a few bars of the Zepp classic “Moby Dick”.

It’s fair to say that Bad Touch well and truly won over the Geordie audience with their distinctive brand of classic rock. The band will be making a return to the region next month as main support to British blues outfit King King. 


Broken Witt Rebels
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Bad Touch
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Event Date: 17-MAR-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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