There are moments when doing this reviewing lark that you really get to see some amazing things happen in this crazy world of Rock n Roll. Massive spectaculars, on stage hissy fits, wardrobe malfunctions but the ones that get me are the ones like tonight. This show was where I got to see a bad I thought had fabulous promise a few years ago proving that all their hard work was worth it and the sacrifices any working band has to make seemed totally justified – but more of that later.
First up were young local band Vito. Now, I always make a point of checking out all the supports on a bill as, hey, they may just be my next favourite band and tonight was no exception. The four Gateshead lads hit the stage and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to make of them from a visual perspective. Looking quite the Indie rock band types I was thinking Arctic Monkeys or Oasis was coming. How wrong could I be. Sure not metal, but clearly carving their own groove in the rock world. Strong songs and a great set. More gigs will see them tighten up further and are more than worthy of being checked out when you get a chance.
A quick change around on stage and Mollie Marriott and her band were with us. A sublime combination of blues and rock combined with Mollie’s superb voice meant that the set passed in the blink of an eye. Who knew that vocal prowess was genetic? With a band that totally know their chops, a set of great songs and a performance that truly showed a person happy to be doing what they do best and clearly love. More than suited to headlining the bigger stages, if there is any justice in this mad world of the business that is show, Mollie Marriott should be one of the world superstars really soon.
And so to tonight’s headliners – Bad Touch. A few years go I was part of the small but perfectly formed audience that saw the band play at Bolton’s well-remembered Railway. Not quite one man and his dog (although Lemmy the Labrador was with me that night), the Bad Touch show that night showed just what potential these lads from Norfolk had in their grasp. Stage presence by the bucket load, an image that was cool without being contrived to the point of hipster and Stevie had the most spectacular of mustaches, even then. Years of hard graft have followed, albums released and clearly benefitting from the support and love of those around them, Bad Touch are now headlining bigger shows in their own right and well deserved it is too. A solidly sized crowd was packed in to greet them as they hit the stage and let rip.
I’m always a sucker for a band who clearly enjoy doing their stuff as much as, if not more than, the crowd and Bad Touch deliver that in spade. This was the second time I’d had the pleasure of seeing them in a week (having caught their second stage set at Hard Rock Hell the week before) and both showed that Bad Touch treat everything as if they are headlining Wembley Stadium. Another band that deserve the bigger spotlight and will, if they keep going on this development curve will be with us sooner rather than later – in fact they should have been main stage at Hard Rock Hell this time round but, sure as eggs is eggs, it will happen.