Three Bands, entertaining Y Plas in Cardiff tonight. The bands span the years, varying in longevity. They were connected, all were five pieces, with two guitarists and a charismatic vocalist upfront. First up tonight the first of the five-piece rocking delights Bad Touch. High energy start, straight into their hefty Southern Rock inspired sound. What a band to warm the crowd they know how to entertain. The set included numbers of their well-received debut album, Truth Be Told. Stevie’s vocal delivery just gets better and better his confidence and freedom to perform grows with every gig he adds to the Bad Touch roster. The future of British Classic Rock is safe in the hands of young bands picking up the torch and setting stages alight with rock glory. The anthemic My Mother Told Me allowed the audience to join in the singing. In between the numbers we knew they slipped in a new rockier number from their anticipated album out later this year. We all raised our head with Get Your Head Up – now you have really whetted our appetite for a whole set of new Bad Touch songs. The guitars of Daniel Seekings and Rob Glendinning work together with depths of harmony that will always be a delight. We hear the cowboy song, Daniels favourites as his guitar brings in the narrative-driven number Outlaw. Closing out the set with the single from the album 99% leaving everyone wanting more. The set was short and I could have listened to them all night, but we have two more bands to entertain us Toseland and headliners Skid Row.
With many fans in the room, wearing Toseland T-shirts it was not surprising the welcome and a Boogie-woogie fanfare accompanied the entrance to a roaring welcome from the Cardiff crowd, many of whom had heard Toseland up the mountain at Steelhouse.
The temperature rose as Toseland’s, vocals and warm smile connected to the Cardiff crowd tonight. The guitarist added depth of tone as Zurab Melua and Ed Bramford complimented each other’s tones during another energetic set. When Toseland sat behind the keys the sound deepened. Opening with Puppet On A Chain from their album Cradle The Rage along with another two numbers on their very short six-track set. The drumming solid as ever from Joe Yoshida with booming rhythms and timing that gives the band a depth of shape when combined with the bass tones from Roger Davis. This is the defining rock from Toseland that allows James’ voice to soar and connect with the audience. The performance was top-notch rock that sings the vocals it is the glory that makes this band a firm favourite.
The stage is reorganized and the anticipation grows for the headliners Skid Row, as we leave behind British Rock and new bands and are treated to American Rock. I confess I have not seen Skid Row live before in any of their formats. I loved the music from the Sebastian Bach period but willing to hear the vocals from new singer ZP Theart. Skid Row finished the night off with some furious heavy rock, definitely the heaviest tonight. Yes, the sound on the classic numbers from the original line-up was not quite the same. But ZP was not imitating previous vocalists, he was delivering the numbers his own way. Yes, he certainly looked the part and at times his voice was lost in bands delivery of heavy melodic riffs and rhythms. Other bands have had changes and Skid Row is no different from them. This the heaviest of the bands tonight with dualling guitarists that hit the mark. The duals between Snake Sabo and Scotti Hill were superb. For me, this was rock that lifted the spirit and the feel-good factor was delivered in every number that was mainly from the Seb Bach period. The atmosphere was hot, with the crowd singing, chanting along creating a friendly rocking atmosphere as we were united by the love of live music. The crowd went wild at every opportunity. The numbers that really got the crowds ecstatic were Sweet Little Sister and 18 and Life. With some punk rock was added to the mix delivered in their signature fast, and heavy style. Monkey Business gave the band the opportunity to jam. Including solos from all the band members. Great showmanship by the guitarist this was the battle of the guitars and the judicious use of cowbell added to the atmosphere.
For me the weakest number of the night to my disappointment was I Remember You. The tempo is slower and something of the inner majesty of the number was lost tonight. Closing with Youth Gone Wild, our youth may have disappeared over the years since we listened to Skid Row deliver the number back in 1989, the energy is still there. We left on a musical high.
The three bands format is a fabulous way of hearing new bands. For some, this was Toseland, for others Bad Touch and a few the first time hearing Skid Row live. What it does do for me every time I leave with a feeling of disappointment. However, entertaining the headliners were you are left wishing one band had a longer set to play. Tonight, for me that was Bad Touch I wanted more from charismatic vocalist Stevie Westwood and the band from Norwich. The short set gave us a glimmer of a bad that is destined for the top of the classic rock tree. There is no argument on tonight’s performance the wait for the second album will be worth it and another headline tour. Thank you, Band Touch for your music you Rock.