Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically. The third night of the first headline tour was a phenomenal success but as Stevie Westwood said, tonight is not about one band as he praised the two acts that set The tunnels alight for the Headliners. Opening the night local band Flowerpot and then Mollie Marriott, live music doesn’t get much better.
Flowerpot, an all-women outfit have been gaining the momentum of attention by opening for acts visiting Bristol and headlining their own shows. This young band full of raw energy had seven numbers to showcase their own brand of grungy, punk-driven rock. The music was not hewn from a particular vein of rock. The band had their own sound and energy that flowed from the classy drumming from Jess which defined the shape of the music that allowed Morgan on Bass pick up the rhythm and rock as her flowing and at times revolving hair orchestrated her sound. Pulling the sound together Ellie on guitar provided the melodic chords and riffs for Steph on vocals to hook onto. Up front Steph on vocals controlled the band and had the audience captured as they listened to the lyrics that had something to say as we heard about snails, loser girl and a debut of a new number Bruised. After their raw, eclectic and blistering set, we were left not battered and bruised or trailing along at a snail’s pace but ready for the next two acts as The Tunnels filled and the temperature raised by Flowerpot.
Mollie Marriott with her critically acclaimed album Truth Is A Wolf was the next band. Quick change round and the band was on stage. A complete contrast to Flowerpot. The raw intensity was replaced by a softer more malleable sculptured rock. Mollie’s voiced captivated with its purity from the first note of her opening number Run With The Hounds with the organ looped in so the full sound achieved on the album can be heard live. Tonight surrounded by her band Mollie warmed the crowded venue with her winning smile and a vocal range that captured the depth of the lyrics and topics covered.
The rhythm section was solid and the lead guitar giving Mollie the chords, melody and hooks for her vocals to soar. Early in the set, she slipped in a new number Nobody To Love and if this is what is going to be on the follow-up album I am counting down the days. One of the highlights of the too short set was Broken, the power, emotion and passion shined from Mollie’s face through to the vocal delivery. We all connected with the feeling of being broken after a failed relationship and hurting people close to us. In this case Mollie’s daughter and her relationship with her. In the set was title track Truth is a Wolf and the rockier number King Of Hearts later in the set sleazier, dirty and filled the venue with another side of multifaceted Mollie. Vocals coloured the stage along with a band that flexed its muscles as she blended rock with jazz, blues and soul a sonic landscape full of texture and tone. Dressed in Black with White guitars and bass the monochromatic visuals contrasted with the music. Mollie has a famous surname as the daughter of Steve. Tonight she conquered the venue, with her own name Mollie Marriott, and an act to see live. Her voice is better live than in the studio. The voice is warmer and more personal as the lyrics on the numbers take on emotional meaning. She was in total control of the stage as her final number Control finished an accomplished set and we were now in the mood for Bad Touch.
The excitement fizzed like a can of shaken pop as Bad Touch exploded on the stage on their first headlining appearance in Bristol. The crowd were hot for their spectacular feel-good sound captured on the album Truth Be Told. We were definitely not disappointed as they opened with Take Me Away. Yes, we were taken away on the rollercoaster of a band on fire playing the music they love to an audience that was up to be given the Bad Touch treatment from this effervescent five-piece. The first all-male band of the evening and they knew the audience as already hot for live music so no warm-up numbers for the band they were straight in with high voltage music with a ringing sting that excited The Tunnels tonight. The set definitely elevated them to the deserved headline status one this tour with the hefty heavy/southern rock influences and bags of attitude this is a band that knows how to party. All the musicians understand their role and play to each other’s strengths. With the power of a rhythm section that lays now a depth of sound that grounds the sound as George Drewry’s drumming is timely, powerful and into this he mixes when required a subtleness, a gentle touch. Joining his rhythmic tones is Michael Bailey on bass with his hair flowing, and moving in time with the deep southern hot chords. The guitarist adds the next layer that smarts and stings cajole and weeps as Rob Glendinning takes the lead with stylish slide or plectrum lead guitar work that is simply stupendous. Daniel ‘Seeks’ Seekings adds with top-drawer rhythm guitar work filling in and drawing out the guitar. This quartet is loud and full of imposing attitude and sound. How do you top that? Easy add Stevie Westwood into the vocals as vocals frontman and the glossiest, curly mane of hair and that cheeky waxed moustache, He steps into the frontman role with a swagger, style and talent. Phenomenal!
We have the musicians on stage, full of vim and swagger now for the music. They delivered with a mix of old and new we all were touched with their majestic interpretation of Rock N’ roll Norfolk style tonight. The set list was the perfect blending of fast, faster furious and the breather we all need. Not once did the band lose control of the sound they are so good at delivering. Stevie’s vocals perfect for the genre and the quality of the backing vocals take the sound to another level. We shared a Sweet Little Secret with the band and delighted as the guitarist played off each other both with their confident cool, arrogant swagger that fills the stage with a six-string punch. Highlights – every number played. Those that stood out Wise Water and great to hear Down one of their earliest numbers that morphed seamlessly into Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic Can’t You See. Down it doesn’t appear on any album must be a contender for the much anticipated follow up to Truth Be Told. A definite keeper for the forthcoming album is the new song aired tonight I Belong that makes full use of Rob’s ace slide work. Something Someone took the tempo down with an acoustic ballad as the Stevie and Rob duet and then the band return picking up the beat and building the energy for the last few numbers of the set. We were rocking and singing along to a perennial favourite My Mother Told Me. With one of their signature tracks Take Your Time they ruled it as the favourites flowed with Outlaw and closing with the might The Mountain. What a great atmosphere generated as we wanted the band to play on this was a night to remember. We had two more numbers as the encore-closing with the single from the album 99% that got them noticed by Planet Rock and others closing the night leaving us on a high. But before that, a special moment as Mollie Marriott returned to duet with Stevie and the band on Baby Get it On Tina Turner’s classic given the Westwood/Marriott treatment. What a night! Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically
Tonight Bad Touch Headline The Tunnels Majestically