Advent Day 18 What Bluesdoodles Talked about in 2017
Throughout 2017 Bluesdoodles has had the opportunity to talk to some wonderful musicians. Adding to the excitement We now have Wes O’Neill who will continue throughout out 2018 bringing you insightful interviews; Liz will be adding some as well. Bluesdoodles giving you an inside view of the artists we love to hear play live and recorded. Everyone at Bluesdoodles thanks, to the PR and Record Companies and most of all our gratitude to all the artists for their valuable time and willingness to answer the questions.
Bluesdoodles discussed, new albums, debut Albums, first Headliner Tour and what makes a great song. Explore the thirty conversations, listen and buy the music and see artist live where and whenever possible
July Arrives with Live Music King King & Bad Touch
The anticipation had been growing day by day as June faded fueled by the release of (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’ from the forthcoming King King album Exile & Grace. Having not seen the band we love to follow hear live, six months had past since we welcomed Alan Nimmo, Wayne Proctor, Lindsey Coulson and Bob Fridzema on stage. Before that moment Bad Touch had the task of warming an audience already hot with excitement.
Bad Touch filled the stage with charisma and the driving force of their Southern Rock, Rock n’ Roll energy and panache. With Robert Glendinning back on lead guitar after a short sabbatical, adding his vibe to the quintet, and with the vivacious head of hair on vocals, Stevie Westwood; rhythm guitarist Daniel Seekings and a rhythm section drummer George Drewry & Michael Bailey on Bass they were on top form. This was a set where they may have sung 99% but the energy was off the richter scale they wanted Bristol to have fun tonight. The slide guitar work from Glendinning cemented his role in the band and the interaction with Daniel Seekings had the guitars singing in a disorderly, melodic party of Rock n Roll mayhem. Truth Be Told, the apt title of their latest album, the set was short, no time for small talk as they squeezed in every ounce of energy into the songs, we have heard on Planet Rock and Outlaw, every band should have a cowboy song. The cheers were huge as Bob Fridzema joined in the last night party atmosphere at the Fleece to warm up before the main event. Bad Touch, turn every note into golden southern rock nuggets absolutely modern as they build on retro power; they are back on the road again very soon.
A short break ensued allowing friends to catch up at The Fleece, and then King King stepped on stage the warmth flowed from the band and the crowded venue. King King were back in Bristol and on fine form. We wanted to hear old favourites and be part of the lucky few to hear live the first single to have been released from Exile & Grace; (She Don’t) Gimme No Loving. Tonight they did not disappoint they gave us so much happiness, feeling of joy King King have the knack of pleasing the fans, leave us wanting more always something from the back catalogue we wished they had played. Tonight they were happy to be on stage combined with a raw energy they wanted to play above the expectations of the fans and connect to those hearing the band the first time.
Alan’s smile was broad and genuine, not a showman’s face; with his red kilt , guitar in hand including a blue plaster over a cut finger he made every one welcome to Saturday night at The Fleece.
The set comprised nine numbers plus Let Love In the encore we have come to expect and gives the audience the opportunity to be the community choir led by the kilted wonder that is Alan Nimmo. The mutual joy was definitely shared on stage and in the audience
With a mix of numbers from the live and studio albums saw the welcomed return of Heavy Load. Originally a Free number given the Nimmo treatment his guitar work was as ever magical and the slight slip of the stings replicated a rare Free outtake! Alan chortled at the end of the song. Interspersed were crowd pleasers that have become the heart of the bands DNA You Stopped The Rain and Long History of Love. The opportunity for the band to get funky and the audience to dance, despite being curtailed by space clap our hands on All Your Life. What fun with Bob’s hands as ever throughout the evening caressing the Hammond making it sing in harmony with Alan’s vocals that were on top form tonight. Into the mix the muscle of the rhythm from bassist Lindsay whose strings gave a rich depth of funkiness and Wayne’s drumming hitting out a vibe that showered The Fleece with percussive force and energy.
Then there was the first opportunity to hear (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’. The cheers were rapturous before a note was played as Alan thanked everyone for buying the single so it was No.1 on UK Blues Chart. The number is a perfect single, introducing us to the album Exile & Grace out later this year. The hooks are sharp, the lyric memorable and beat infectious. Rockier that many of their other numbers, the sound invokes sound of British Rock ‘n Roll with a definite hint of Thunder in the air. The single is 100% King King and will become a firm favourite as it is an ear worm of ticklish delight.
Having reviewed King King for many years two things always strike me after the show. Firstly; you are left euphoric the blues rock they deliver pleases the crowd, they always entertain. Secondly, King King connect to your soul, with a feeling of friendship, belonging to a fellowship cemented by this is why LIVE MUSIC has a special power every time.
King King set List
More Than I Can Take (Standing In The Shadows)
Wait On Time (Live)
Rush Hour (Reaching For The Light)
You Stopped The Rain (Reaching For The Light)
Long History of Love (Standing In The Shadows)
Waking Up (Reaching For The Light)
Heavy Load (Standing In The Shadows)
Gimme No Lovin’ (Exile & Grace)
All Your Life (Take My Hand)
Stranger To Love (Reaching For The Light)
April Roadstars Are
Broken Witt Rebels and Bad Touch
Spring sunshine warming Cardiff pavements, but not as hot as The Globe scorching from the two rock n roll sets from rising British Bands 2017 Planet Rock Roadstars show; Broken Witt Rebels & Bad Touch. First up in a lava flow of Rock from the red hot Birmingham band Broken Witt Rebels. Many bands would leave the crowd-pleasing signature number that Low, from the acclaimed EP Georgia Pine, has become. BUT, not the rebels this is the opening track they are opening on a high. High flowing rock that rolls around The Globe the crowd are jumping with delight they want more and more of Danny’s power blazing vocals, they are howling so the next number is perfect for the atmosphere created on a Sunday night, live music that Is Howlin’ good. Broken Witt Rebels are tight, they are having a great time playing the music we want to hear. This is a band that will rise to the top as the music is hot, tasty and created by a volcanic amalgam of music that shaped the seventies into a creative free form delight of classic rock infused with soul and whisky flaming southern riffs. The beating, pulsing heart of the Rebels is front man Danny Core, his vocals and stage artfulness catapult the band to the top of the rock face of young bands with ambition. He makes every song distinctive, the phrasing shaping the lyrics and the rebels behind him provide him with a trampoline that bounces with musicianship that sparks with attitude and flair. The drumming is energetic full of dramatic beats and cooled with phrasing and cymbal work from James Dudley whose sticks rise high and create the percussive tone for every song. Adding to the rhythm is the bass work from Luke Davis whose deep notes give us tone that takes us deep into the crater of joy that is the BWR music. Up front and on lead guitar giving Danny structure and his own delicious lead breaks, riffs and the hooks for Danny’s rhythm guitar as he described his playing ‘I am just a chord monkey’, James Tranter is the guitar wizard. At times through the set Danny sinks to the floor kneeling full of emotion, this is not in praying but in victory as the songs leap from a title on a set sheet into full blazing live glory. There is another chilled side as Turn Me On demonstrated that new songs are being added to a catalogue that has depth and that makes a live band great. Closing out the brilliant sparkling volcanic rocking set was Guns, we all know this from radio play and the number of times they have played the back catalogue. The encore was Shake Me Down, Danny and the boys definitely gave everyone a demonstration of a rock n rolling shake down that made Sunday night fizz.
Short break and many of the crowd took time out to chat with the Rebels and buy some merchandise to take home. The Globe was on musical fire as the red lights reflected back the heat of energy generated by live music. With a young band from deepest Norfolk, there was nothing flat about the Southern rock infused quintet Bad Touch. The only task they had was following on from the dynamic crowd-pleasing Broken Witt Rebels to ensure the audience’s energy didn’t wane. Did they achieve this, Yes they did! How, Truth Be Tolda mix of showcasing their latest album and the combination of front man vocalist and tambourine man Stevie Westwood, and a trailblazing secret, well not so secret weapon the guitar playing of the latest member of the band Harry Slater. The shape and approach is different from BWR, so we all wanted to hear the harder edgier rock from Bad Touch. Opening with One Night More, technical gremlins attacked the drummer George Drewery, who continued playing his loud hard drumming despite not being able to hear the rest of the band. Once sorted the band were firing on all five cylinders again. Completing the Bad Touch sound is Daniel ‘seeks’ Seekings on guitar and bassist Michael Bailey who add such depth and tone to the Bad Touch Rock. Highlights of the set were Sweet Little Secret from their debut album that hit the mark and Half Way Home. Bad Touch are a sure touch that they will be making musical waves that purr with a lion’s roar of dominance. They have a sound that connects, heavy, hard and full of licks and vocal refrains that are earworms. We had cowboy refrains with Outlaw, softer with a sting in its musical tail. Stevie whirls and swirls tambourine held high but it is his vocals that gain your attention they have an attitude that makes them compelling on numbers such as Words I Never Say and then a different tone with radio friendly 99%. This is a number that has a little extra with its huge chorus and energy there is much more to be heard from these young guns of rock. Closing with The Mountain, we were left with Harry’s guitar fireworks and Stevie’s gritty vocals singing in our ears. Live music made Sunday sparkle with Rock n’ Roll.
Tonight, everyone at The Globe came to hear and see the Roadstars a duo of bands Broken Witt Rebels & Bad Touch. The reward was seeing to young bands creating a summit of rock numbers that will become classics of the future. The future of rock is bright strong and full of vigour with these young bands.
BD: I was delighted to have the opportunity to review your debut album Truth Be Told.
Before we talk about touring with the Planet Rock Roadstars and the album, Truth Be Told. For many Bluesdoodles readers, Bad Touch is a new band. They are interested what is happening behind the scenes of Bad Touch. Then dash to book tickets on the Roadstar Tour!
Before we start the talk the quintet of musicians are Bad Touch, Vocalist Stevie Westwood, who kindly took time out to chat with Liz from Bluesdoodles today. Harry Slater, Lead Guitar/Vocals, Daniel ‘Seeks’ Seekings, Guitar/Vocals, Michael Bailey, Bass and George Drewry, Drums/Vocals.
BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Norwich more mustard and cathedral than Rock music?
SW: Well, lots more in Norwich than that we have strong music scene in pubs, clubs and venues. For myself, I grew up in a house full of music with Dad playing AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and lots of Disco including Kool and The Gang. I then developed my own tastes with rock bands such as Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Southern Rock, Su and much more.
I played the guitar and found the guys from Bad Touch through a band forming website. Went for an audition and came away the singer as they already had two guitarists. This was after they asked me if I could sing, and my reply was not really! Must have been okay because still here singing for Bad Touch.
BD: How did you come up with the band name Bad Touch and the decision for the distinctive typeface.
SW: The band has always been called Bad Touch from the very beginning before I joined. For me, the name encapsulates the roots of the band with the power of Bad Company touched with all the influences of 70’s rock with the colouring of Southern Rock.
We want to add our Bad Touch to the music we love that mix of Blues, Southern Rock and classic rock we always describe ourselves as ‘Feelgood Rock’. It is not new we are deeply rooted in Rock with Blues. We want audiences to enjoy our music and feel good with Bad Touch.
We wanted a distinctive logo, there is no deep and meaningful back story. We needed a new logo, a friend was a graphic designer and did me a favour and the result is eye-catching.
BD: Tell us about the formation of the band while you were still at college and the roles you all play in developing the Bad Touch feel. Now with the new guitarist Harry Slater how has he fitted in and has it injected a new feel.
SW: The band formed when the guys were at college with Rob Glendinning our original guitarist who recently left the band. We all love the guy but he has chosen a different path and we wish him well. Now with Harry Slater, we will continue to ply the Bad Touch rock across the land. As with any change, it brings opportunities. Harry will inject a new feel of guitar power combined with his writing ability. At the moment he feels like he is stepping into Rob’s shoes, as learning songs already in the Bad Touch repertoire. With new songs, things will change and anything new is scary, with good performances under our belt the future of Bad Touch is looking exciting and bright. We have plans for a follow-up album to Truth Be Told, been a bit slow going with the switch over firstly, concentrating on getting the performance correct. We are going to nail the tour out on the road with Broken Witt Rebels then attention will turn to the next album.
BD: Having reviewed Truth Be Told, what if any truth were you exploring across the dozen tracks?
SW: All of the band wrote the lyrics, the title, Truth Be Told, was an alliteration and sounded cool. The whole album has lots of feeling, a more mature sound than Halfway Home with a mix of anger and darker emotions plus some happy feelgood songs. For me, the album is an open book of truths and we want people who listen to take from the lyrics what they can.
BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?
SW: We write together with royalties split equally. The writing process varies, can be from a riff that we play and then I add lyrics over the top and then turn into the words of the song. My preferred way is to write whole verse/chorus or even whole song. It is really satisfying five minds working together are better than one. We don’t always agree but that is all part of the fun of building our songs. We draw on life experiences, old sayings are often a starting point they stick in people’s minds when listening to Bad Touch music. It is important and really cool when people relate to the lyrics and music. The truth is we get inspiration from anything and a good example is Outlaw, from Truth Be Told, reflects that Seeks is really into cowboys. It is what we fancy at the time. You can over analyse the lyrics and then they can lose shape and feel so have to take the inspiration where it comes from however shallow that is.
BD: With you heading out on the road throughout March & April with Broken Witt Rebels. The Planetrock Roadstars are back for 2017. Two bands on the road that are causing a stir how will this tour build on the experience of opening for The Headhunters last year
Wow, this is so exciting we briefly caught up with BWR when they opened for Joanne Shaw Taylor at the Waterfront. It was really cool we also passed each other at the Stone Free Festival last year. We have got to raise our game, there is definitely going to be a gentlemanly rivalry between the bands, Bad Touch are out to get noticed, remembered we will be trying to blow BWR out of the water. We can’t wait to open in Leeds on the 16th March and bring the tour to a grand finale at The Borderline in London Saturday 8th April. We are looking forward to showcasing our brand of feelgood rock as we travel around the country, meeting fans and making lots of new friends of the band.
BD: What other plans and excitements have you and Bad Touch got in the 2017 pipeline?
SW: Lots of exciting stuff in the pipeline with lots of touring and new album taking shape. Keep in touch as soon as dates and festival slots are confirmed they will be shared through social media. We are on Facebook, Twitter and our dedicated web presence over at Bad Touch.co.uk.
BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have to play
SW: Thought I was coping well until this one so many to choose from ….
Let’s have a choir to start with!
Vocals: Chris Robinson, Paul Rogers, Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Steve Marriot and guests Drums: John Bonham Bass: Michael Bailey Guitar: Slash Backing Vocals & Mime Artists: The rest of Bad touch with inflatable instruments enjoying the explosion of rock.