Imagine an industrial strength music blender; tip in some ZZ Top, some Steven & the Seagulls, add a dash of Aerosmith, a soupcon of Cajun sauce & a sprinkle of bluegrass spice – set blender to maximum & watch it spit out… The Outlaw Orchestra. Still not clear? Try Brothers Osborne but with banjo & spoons! Yes, they are really that diverse a blend – an energy filled, stomping southern rock flavoured good time band. This is what you get on Dirty & Diesel @ The Dugout high-octane fun.
They are a 4-piece band hailing from the Southampton area comprising David Roux – Guitars/Lead Vocals, Ryan Smith – Drums/Percussion/Vocals, Alex Barter – Double Bass/Vocals, Stephen Welch – Banjo & was for a short time known as Dirty Diesel Outlaw Orchestra; having dropped the Dirty & the Diesel they still provide a mighty fine southern boogie on this release.
The first track kicks off with a solid groove based on a recurring mouth organ theme & sets the tone for a fun ride throughout. Hangin’ Tree starts off at a frenetic pace & this is where the spoons make an appearance – with the banjo to the fore, Deliverance inevitably enters one’s mind! Whiskey Drinkin’ Liar has a humorous, lyrical take on the perils of drink backed with the best backing banjo playing this side of Otis Taylor’s album Recapturing the Banjo (worth a listen if you appreciate this often maligned instrument). Chicken Bones, with its slide guitar intro & cowbell, is really fun.
The rest of the tracks follow the pattern with the true stand out being the 5 minute plus Brand New Day – a story of drink, money & relationship problems sound-tracked by some tasteful guitar & (at last) some tempo changes. With the distinctive vocals of David Roux, they are a cross between Bon Scott, Lemmy & Andrew McClatchie… this is a good thing.
The only fault with this intriguing album is the lack of true light & shade resulting in all of the tracks sounding little too similar. Stopping this live album from standing out from the crowd and achieving a higher rating. They are very active on the live scene & Facebook the live album is a taster, as the band have a new EP planned for release early 2018.
The Outlaw Orchestra – Dirty Diesel @ The Dugout – Independent
A Thousand Horses In Conversation with Bluesdoodles
BD: I was delighted when Wilful PR sent me a review copy of your new album Bridges and the opportunity to find out yourselves, influence and lots more. When I saw you play live at Rockstock last December for me you were the band of the Saturday night.
A Thousand Horses, have answered the questions as a team hence four bands of fantasy and delight. Read more for an insight into Michael Hobby Lead Vocals; Bill Satcher Lead Guitar, Zach Brown Guitar and Vocal & Graham Deloach Bass and Vocal
BD: What were your first musical influences growing up?
Thousand Horses: Graham: I loved all of the classic rock n roll growing up, and still do! Led Zeppelin is my favorite band of all time Zach: My parents listened to oldies in the car when I was growing up. The first concert I can remember going to was The Beach Boys out at the lake near our house. I didn’t learn that there was music made after 1970 until a friend played the song Breakfast at Tiffany’s for me when I was 10 years old. Bill: The Beatles Hobby: The Black Crowes
BD: A Thousand Horses are making an impact, how did you get together and form the band and what is the significance of the name?
Thousand Horses: Hobby: We formed the band in Nashville in 2010. Bill and I grew up together in Newberry, SC and met when we were 12 and 13 years old in a local music store. Graham is bills cousin so we would all 3 hang out every summer and play music. We formed ATH when we met Zach through a mutual friend in 2010. We named the band after a song we wrote when we formed the title A Thousand Horses.
We all write in the band together, separately, and with other writers here in town. Everyone in the band brings a great deal of creativity to song writing and our sound whether it be lyric, melody, or music, it’s a group thing. You never know where a song can come from or inspiration can spark!
BD: Bridges, is your follow-up album to your success with your debut Southernality last year. Produced by the Band, Corey Crowder & Dann Huff. With many involved in producing the sound who gets the final production say?
Thousand Horses: Bill: Well, Corey Crowder and Dann Huff both really wanted to make the best A Thousand Horses record that we could, so at the end of the day we were the ones with final approval on the album and they wanted it to be that way. But they’re so badass that there wasn’t much to be debated about in the end.
BD: How did you choose the tracks and then decide that Preachin’ To The Choir should be the single to proclaim the album?
Thousand Horses: Graham: We love every song that is on the new album. We are always writing and creating new music and these are some of our favorites that we wanted our fans to hear. We chose ‘Preachin’ to the Choir’ as our first single because we thought it was a great song for our fans and a great first impression and representation of the new musical project (Bridges) as a whole. Bill: I think that every new song we write, record, lyric we jot down or melody we try and refine, we are always pushing it and ourselves to be better than what we have done before. So, in a way, yes it’s more challenging because we are pushing harder to be better. So most the pressure or challenge comes from within ourselves. As far as the album title “Bridges” goes, we decided to name the project that because we feel that song’s meaning encapsulates everything we have been through in the process of creating this new music. It’s a song about light heartily looking back and being able to laugh at the mistakes you made along the road of life. It kind of defines our point of view at this time in our lives.
BD: Bridges has seven of the thirteen tracks recorded live. Six of them at Metropolis Studio in London what do you feel this approach adds to the music and what made Metropolis the place to be for Bridges?
Thousand Horses Zach: I think we wanted to show something real and raw with the Metropolis sessions. So much music coming out these days is so computer heavy that sometimes people don’t even know what artists actually sound like. We wanted to do something stripped down, one take, just us and our instruments. Metropolis has one of the only direct to vinyl machines left, so it was the perfect place to capture the live half of the record.
BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?
Thousand Horses: Hobby: Song writing has always been a passion of mine since I got my first guitar and learned to play it. Instead of learning other people’s songs I would make my own up. Lyrically I always wanted to have truth in my stories. A lot of what I write about is real life things that I have lived or been a part of.
BD: The music Industry is constantly evolving with changes often not for the better, how have the changes impacted on Thousand Horses Country Rock style of music?
Thousand Horses: Graham: I think that the music has become more accessible as the industry and the genre of country music grows. This allows us to reach more people with our music.
BD: I am sure you have many plans for 2017 and beyond for the band do you plan to tour UK and Europe?
Thousand Horses: Zach: We love playing in the UK and are really looking forward to getting over to the rest of Europe. We have a few things in the works so stay tuned!
BD: Is there anything you want to say to your fans reading this interview?
Thousand Horses: Hobby: Thank you for your continued support and believing in our music. We love ya and can’t wait to rock with you soon.
BD: If you were putting together the perfect fantasy band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
Thousand Horses: Graham: Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes on drums, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd on bass/vocals, Billy Powell of Lynyrd Skynyrd on keys, Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers on guitar, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin on lead vocal. Zach: Gotta start with the rhythm section cause it’s the backbone of the band. I always wanted to play drums like Keith Moon growing up so I’d have him on drums and Ashton Barrett, who played with Bob Marley, on bass. Then I’d add my favorite guitar duo, Keith Richards and Ron Wood, because they sound cool playing anything! I’d round it out with Freddie Mercury as the front man. Bill: Rich Robinson – Guitar, vocal. Joe Walsh – Guitar, vocal. Liam Gallagher – vocal. Steve Gorman – Drums. Benmont Tench – Keys. Paul McCartney – Bass, vocal. Produced by Jeff Lynne. Hobby: Tom Petty, Dwight Yokam, Max Martin, Jon Paul Jones, Steven Tyler and Prince on drums.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with Bluesdoodles. read the review for the latest album Bridges – HERE
Bridges building A Thousand Horses Southern Rock on New Album
Opening with a driving of beat drums as the horses are rounded up and A Thousand Horses ride across the Bridges of their own creation this is music that is infectious. As you get immersed into a blaze of glory A Thousand Horses takes you not to one bridge, spanning one river. This is thirteen tracks exploring Bridges that span, fast flowing melodies; lyrics with twists and turns, fulsome ballads and the slower eddies that take you nowhere but always a deep memorable moment in time.
Bridges builds on the success of their debut album Southernality; with heavy injections of Southern Rock, never drowning out the country rooted power of the lyrics unveiling a story punctuated by soaring riffs, licks and the rhythmic drive of the drum and bass. The thirteen tracks divide the album into two; first six tracks are brand new studio recordings that will soon be firm favourites at the live shows. Then seven tracks recorded live, the majority in London at Metropolis studio. The last track being the first hit, played on country radio, the infectious crowd sing-along number Smoke. Recorded back in the home of Country where it all began in Nashville.
Third track in, Preachin’ To The Choir, hits the spot with its gritty edge of the real world of partying, and drinking on a Saturday night after a tough working week. This isn’t gospel it is a working person’s anthem. Tinged with anger yet totally catchy an in the moment an ear worm that makes it perfect for radio play. The beat throbs and the melody curls as we are introduced to One Man Army, as we are taken deep into the essence of southern music it is the vocals that have to be able to engage and tell the story. This is done with slower consideration almost acoustic, before with a swirl of sound the chorus lifts the song. everyone wants a man who can be your bridge protecting you from hardship and cruelty always around and always can be counted on! The pace is slowed down for the title track Bridges, these are the ones you burn in life with the backing vocals adding another texture. Southern rock warm and rich with the heat rising then cooling with the words that paint the scene this is story telling at its best.
A Thousand Horses through there irresistible Country Rock has connected us with the Album Bridges. Closing the first part of the album is the standout track Weekends in a Small Town. It has a beauty, the music has a fluidity that captivates full of yearning, capturing living in a small town. This is a story anyone who has lived in a small town can instantly recognise.
The live tracks remind you why Southernality was such a hit in 2015 and why A Thousand Horses add something to the tracks when they play live. The repeat of Preachin’ To The Choir is stripped back to its Country heart acoustic and gives the lyrics even greater focus. Re-visiting the title track we hear the voices of the band and this affirms this number will become a firm favourite adding to the strength and depth of A Thousand Horses set list. A Thousand Horses are a quartet with Southern drive as Michael Hobby; Bill Satcher, Zach Brown and Graham Deloach combine together creating a mighty force of rock infused country, sizzling with attitude and melodic fervor as we meet those Bridges in the road head on.
In life one bridge is never enough and that is true of the Album as the deep Country bridge connect with rock; hill country and so much more Bridges; and takes us across stormy waters on a cascade of melodic intensity reinforced with storytelling lyrics of music that connects to your inner feelings. The bridges we burn and those we cross or ignore make up our life’s story captured in an album.
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)
LEAVE THEIR MARK WITH NEW ALBUM LEGACY OUT AUGUST 25TH
VIA BIG MACHINE RECORDS
Leaving a lasting impression on fans across the globe with their high-octane live show and chart-topping songwriting skills, THE CADILLAC THREE continue to make their mark with LEGACY, out August 25th on Big Machine Records. The project fueled with lyrics of life moments from weddings and babies to celebrating their road-tested brotherhood as the three Nashville natives craft 11 songs exuding pure honesty over driving melodies.
The trio brings the same energy from their sold-out crowds into the studio, self-producing the new music. As critics have suggested “There is no doubt that The Cadillac Three have never been ones to play by the traditional rules of country music…” (Rare Country).The Cadillac Three will travel the world this summer, performing for their rabid fan base at Download Festival in Paris, France with Linkin Park on the 9th of June and in the UK with Aerosmith on the 11th. They also have a full summer tour of the USA and Canada, taking in cities across the whole of America. For tour dates and album updates, visit the home of The Cadillac Three
Bluesdoodles are always delighted when The Cadillac Three announce a new project.
This is what we have written about the threesome previously
Album review – Bury Me In My Boots – This was a Ten Paw album then and now – we said “Cadillac Three, have written fourteen tracks of energised rocked up country steeped in southern delights, which work as a narrative within and album. For everyone who have had the joy to see them live, Graffiti, Party Like You , White Lightning and Peace Love & Dixie take you straight back to steamy, hot pack live music venues.” Read the rest of the review HERE
Thomas Wynn and The Believers Album Wade Waist Deep
Thomas Wynn and The Believers album Wade Waist Deep their third album and should get the name known far and wide with this cross over album that is not a road trip but the weaving of the lexicon of American music from roots to rock. Labelled a Rock album Wade Waist Deep is so much more exploring how we can build an open better world, not through preaching but a common understanding of tolerance and love. Wade Waist Deep moves beyond the confessional songwriting as he sought relief from heartbreak and addiction on the previous album and look beyond self to a collective conscience. The music is mature, thoughtful with strong lyrics, powerful harmonies and ear catching melodic rhythms. For Thomas Wynn, life & music have changed since the birth of his son Abel a year ago; “It’s that yearning, that longing for the person that you want to be,” says Wynn.
Joining Thomas as The believers are his sister Olivia, her vocals have a searing purity shaping harmonies that sing with an ethereal energy. With vintage Hammond sound from Colin Daniel Fei and wail of the blues harmonica from Chris ‘Bell’ Antemesaris. The rhythm and deep grooves are laid down by David Wagner and Ryan Miranda; on bass & drums respectively. Enough of the background what about the music? It is superb from the first note to the last, clarion clear, gentle and urgent full of light and dark phrasing from every member of Thomas Wynn and the Believers.
Opening with a harmony of voices Man Out Of Time lets us step onto the spiritual musical journey this album will take us on over the dozen tracks. This is primeval, raw and full of growing tension as the blues captured and shaped the sound is hypnotic as we learn about Man Out Of Time. The chorus is melodic vocal wail no words required as the emotion unfurl, calling us to explore the music and lyrics. ‘In The darkness light was mine’ intones Olivia as the music builds around her this is raw power energy that rocks. Following on is the title track, the drums are hypnotic the guitar wields the power of the six-strings as Thomas’ voice implores as we go down to the water and we are Waist Deep in the water. A title track soaked in emotion the guitar weeps and Thomas finds the tonal texture to ‘wash my feet wash my soul… and I will find my Peace’. This is rock that is full of nuances and is not about the volume but tcomposition of melody and lyrics taking us out of ourselves to be part of the story that Thomas Wynn and The Believers are sharing.
Heartbreak Alley, the angst is raw, the organ swelling with emotion the singing from Olivia soulful and powerful. The album now has three different sounds and they are held together by a narrative that flows and the linking back to the wealth of music that has shaped modern America. If you are exploring life then Death cannot be ignored and with the powerful rhythms from David & Ryan shaping the emotional outpouring from Thomas’s vocals and the cascading harmonies as Olivia joins him on My Eyes Won’t Be Open; with the Hammond adding tonal depth after the chorus this is a song that remains long after the last note is sung.
The guitar opening of I Don’t Regret is sweet, with acoustic feel and adds another element to the yearning in Thomas’ vocal, simple with an inherent beauty. As the guitar volume increases the music opens up like sun coming out from behind a cloud the music fills the room. Gospel meets Country Rock and we realise that regretting what has been done is pointless it is the future that can be changed.
The rock in the band falls out of the speaker with the penultimate number We Could All Die Screaming; volume and intensity are raised but the clarity is never lost. This is Thomas with a determination in the delivery of the vocals, a tinge of anger and it builds throughout the four minutes. Closing with Turn It To Gold, the intensity is captured as the musicians bring an album to a climax. The bass deep and with a drone like quality catches the ear with wonder a rock anthem that is so much more.
Wade Waist Deep has layers of complexity, thought-provoking vocals and a message never preaching it is about Country Rock from a band that has something to say connecting us all back to Orlando, Florida where they live. Through a to Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, where the band recorded Wade Waist Deep with four-time Grammy award-winning producer, Vance Powell (The White Stripes, Jack White, Chris Stapleton). “I really wanted to do it outside of our hometown,” said Wynn. For the month of August 2016, Wynn and The Believers went on a journey to a sonic place that’s big, bright, and visionary.
If I had to describe the album full of complexity in a simple sentence. Spiritual, Country Rock that has gathered into the music blues, soul; with the awakening hope brings when combined with the power of love. This is Life in Music, things can be different, it can be better. I thoroughly recommend you immerse yourself and Wade Waist Deep in to the musical waters that are Thomas Wynn and The Believers.
The StoneCoats, young blues-rock band infused with the growing popularity of country/southern rock vibe from Brandon Mississippi debut album is definitely one to explore. The opening track Another Thought For Today, left me with only one thought I want to hear more. The quartet is vocalist who plays guitar Brandon Barnett, Guitarist Carson Bristow, bassist Ashten Frisella and Leighton Bristow combining a rhythm double as bassist and drummer.
The tempo changes with a chugging boogie that hits that tonal zone where music has a driving excitement. The influences from the past sit gentle, yes we can compare to The Doors, Allman Brothers even Grateful Dead. The reality is The StoneCoats are in the process of developing their own sound that is contemporary colliding with the music that has flown up and down Route 61. The title track fails to hit the mark as the standout track, with its gentle swaying melodic lines lacking grit and determination that the title promised. The big keyboard chord and southern guitar leads into Find You, finding the StoneCoats is a pleasure as the debut promises to be the stepping stone for the band to grow. The country vibe takes over for Cheated Heart and we are left with the blues as the album closes with When You Are Down. If there is one track that epitomizes the sound of The StoneCoats it is Cross That Bridge; with vocals that hit the mark and the guitar licks stay with you, a memorable track on a debut album initiating the listener’s memories of The StoneCoats notable musicianship.
Nothing Poor Boy Blues About The StoneCoats; as they blend the tones of today mixing up a recipe of musical success a pinch of Southern Rock, a soupçon of country mixed together with a shot of Blues we have a recipe for music that will be tasty.
Hayseed Dixie, French Hard Rock Excites The Globe Cardiff Tonight
With a sold out show, everyone was at The Globe to hear the unique Hayseed Dixie take on classic songs we love to hear. Before the main event up on stage was an unknown entity, on the second night of their first UK Tour, a young French band, Dätcha Mandala. The band met Hayseed Dixie when playing Las Pieds Dans La Vase last year. With 22 dates they will be reaching audiences who will be amazed by the hard rock energy with psychedelic overtones all to a backdrop of blues riffs. Tonight the energetic leg flying Nicolas Sauvey, Bassist who takes the lead vocals and adds the tone of Harmonica whilst guitarist Jérémy Saigne who kneels as the high-octane Gibson fills the air provided an energetic front for the band. With a stand-in drummer following the band’s drummer breaking his wrist we were treated to a warm-up act that certainly got the musical adrenalin running. This is hard rock colliding with Buddhist spirituality they are a band who entertain and certainly put on a show.
Hayseed Dixie has been a crowd-pleasing act since they formed in 2000; after fifteen albums ‘Rockgrass’ must be hitting the crowd-pleasing button. This is a band that despite having a brand new album Free Your Mind and Your Grass Will Follow did not provide a sales pitch it was about delivering songs, a mix of Dixie’s originals and their creative re-working of songs from across the genres of popular numbers. Not many set lists include War Pigs, Bohemian Rhapsody, Ace of Spades and Oliver’s Army. Hayseed Dixies DID! This Bluegrass ho down meets classic rock as the acoustic bass and guitar, fiddle, banjo and mandolin are on a collision course of rock & country creating a genre of their own grass rock it is music mayhem that works it is infectious. Sold out at The Globe means the venue is crammed with excited fans who just want to have fun, they did not need any encouragement from the foursome. The members may have changed but the music has stayed the same. Tonight, John Wheeler, Jake Bryers, Joe Hymas and Tim Carter came and conquered the capital city once again. As they explained, “we have playing this music longer than many marriages, must be doing something right as we explore Drinking, Cheating, Killing and Hell”. We all agreed in one very loud voice.
This is a band that does music their own way with its foot tapping, arms waving let’s dance to the beat and harmonies. They may not appear to be taking themselves too seriously. Do not let the jokes and wise cracks fool you; this is music that delivers in spades.
Tonight Liz from Bluesdoodles was tired post-festival fatigue was setting in having been in Sheffield all weekend. So Tuesday night more live music, but having missed seeing Hayseed Dixie too many times she wasn’t going to let sore feet get in her way. The music was fun, lively with a good time vibe so staying until the last note died away was a pleasure, not pain. Why? A set list that is a rollercoaster of hell raising mayhem that hits the spot all post bank holiday blues were blown away by Hayseed Dixie in Cardiff tonight.
Spring sunshine warmed the pavements as the crowds gathered on the street outside the O2 Academy Bristol. The draw tonight was a double hitting rocking with energy delight with Biters opening the cavalcade of music, culminating with Blackberry Smoke. The bands are both label mates and friends so the pairing made sense on many levels to the audience it was the music, quality.
There was a rock n’ roll, retro bite as the band kicked off the night it was full steam ahead for music fun and games. The quartet from Georgia, stepped onto the stage with a step back into the past Norman Greenbaum, Spirit In the Sky. This is a band that have both feet in the 1970’s including a number celebrating the golden age of rock 1975. With the task of warming the crowd, they immediately connected with the Bristol tonight, with a shout out for the gigging venue on a boat we all love where they have played. Thekla the venue where we hear first many a band that become firm favourites, demonstrating the importance of a vibrant and varied landscape of venues in a city. Cardiff, please take note; Womanby Street is a cultural asset!
Now, back to the music with influences flowing through the veins of the music but never clogging the artistry with hints of Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzie and a large helping of T-Rex. Biters, have a forthcoming album due out 19th May on EarAche records; The Future Aint’ What It Used To Be. The superb and ear-catching single from the forthcoming album Stone Cold Love full of T-Rex vibe was part of the opening numbers and we certainly were riding a retro rollercoaster of delight. Fitting in with the southern rock/country rocking vibe Georgia and Gypsy Rose fitted the starter menu perfectly. This is music that entertains. Energetic young band the perfect platform of hooks that caught the vocals and licks that made you shout with joy as the drums pulled the rhythm through every number.
The Bristol crowd was excited and ready for more rock in the form of Blackberry Smoke. Back in Bristol, a band they are road warriors getting their distinctive sound majestic Southern Rock, authentic. They are as they describe themselves Too Country for Rock; Too Rock for Country the sound is a collision of two genres into a crescendo of rock that is full of southern warmth and edgy charm. Tonight Like An Arrow Tour rolled into Bristol, the city music fans appreciated this as the venue was packed from top to bottom. Opening with Fire In The Hole we are ready to put reality on hold and be transported into the land of Blackberry Smoke with the setlist full of songs from the discography covering the whole of the twenty-first century. Yes, Blackberry Smoke are a millennium southern rocking explosion. This is good time rocking music with an edge, the sound permeated through the crowd creating an electric party atmosphere. With Waiting For Thunder from current album having the audience singing and this will be a keeper for a live set becoming a classic. The melding of American music is evident in a number that rocks and Charlie Starr, pulling on the tradition of the holler and the lead break from the keyboard under the guidance of Brandon Still is picked up by the guitar. What a number only five songs in and the venue is steaming with this heavy hollering delight. The music flows with an energy as the southern rock credentials pour through the O2, with Pretty Little Lie. The wonderful southern slide sound from Charlie’s Gibson 335 was a joy to behold, and the keys add that extra tonal layer we are all transported to a special place that live music takes you. There has to be the jam moment, tonight A Sleeping Dog, from The Whippoorwill album is segued with Your Time Is Gonna Come as Zeppelin and Allman’s sounds are pulled into the version tonight. This is the moment when time stands still as the audience is collectively transfixed by the music we are a single entity absorbed and re-vitalised by the cleansing sound of guitars washing the dust away.
Tonight, music is a celebration of the sound of Americana with a willing audience participating in Ain’t Got The Blues, no-one in the audience tonight had the blues the music was a celebration of the positive, feeling good was the result. Another number celebrating the sound of the Acoustic guitar was One Horse Town. All to soon time was catching up the encore left us with a trio of delights. We wanted more, tonight Blackberry Smoke were on top of the game. The guitar harmonies flawless, the percussive rhythm full of edge and the vocals poured out across the auditorium. Closing with Ain’t Much Left, the music had said it all. Live Music rocks with Blackberry Smoke and Biters tonight.
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.