Local act Waking The Angels are given the honour of opening the evening at KK’s Steel Mill and deliver a half hour set of classic rock originals. Formed during lockdown by Iconic Eye’s Greg Dean & Rozzy Ison, they are completed by Paul Bateman on bass and Mike Deeley on vocals. While this is one of their first gigs, they already have an EP on sale and on the strength of numbers like ‘Toxic Lullaby’ & ‘Prisoner’ they prove a more than worthy opener and certainly need checking out if they’re playing near you soon.
Next up are Blackburn’s Bastette. Having formed in 2019 it’s understandable that they too have not had a great deal of opportunities to take their music to the masses. They do however have two EPs under their belt which gives them more than enough quality to happily deliver a hard edged 40 minute set. Opener ‘Talk About It’ is a radio friendly rocker with plenty of hooks to make it a real ear worm. Caroline Kenyon proves to be a captivating frontwoman both vocally and in stage presence. There’s a maturity to the songwriting that belies the age of the band; ‘Hunter’ offers up some interesting dynamics and ‘Sunglass’ is the perfect vehicle to really show off Kenyon’s vocals.
There’s a raw heaviness to their set which sees some excellent playing from guitarists a Sam Newiss and Eoin Kelly, particularly on the final two numbers; ‘Rip Me To Shreds’ & ‘Rollercoaster’ which both receive a great response, which makes it difficult to see how they’re classed as a rock/pop act. With plenty of live dates and festival appearances lined up Bastette are certain to become far more familiar by the end of 2022.
Bad Touch are a class act. Always have been. More than a decade into their career with a consistent line up and 5 albums under their belt, the Dereham quintet are a finely honed machine and this being their final date on their ‘Better Late Than Never’ tour sees them on fine form. Opener ‘Lift Your Head Up’ grooves along with a hard rock swagger where 70’s Faces meets 90’s Black Crowes. A hirsute Stevie Westwood sporting a fabulous floral suit and black hat looks every inch the rock star frontman. His splendid voice and stage charisma only confirm this to be the case.
Guitarists Rob Glendenning and Daniel Seekings (who is also suitably attired with an impressive studded and tassled jacket) both have their own individual styles that complement each other and the band as whole. The clear sound at KK’s also allowed Michael Bailey’s bass to come to the fore and it’s noticeable how much his fluid and melodic style brings to the band. Kiss The Sky is rightly given considerable focus with ‘Strut’ and ‘Let Go’ really ripping with a solid groove. ‘Too Much Of A Good Thing’ mixes up blues, soul and southern rock with a swagger. It’s the kind of song most bands would kill for, and the fact that it sits mid set is testament to the sheer quality of songwriting Bad Touch have in their cannon.
After ‘Heartbreaker, Soulshaker’ there’s an insistent cry from someone in the audience for “more”. A confused Stevie responds “More? of course there’s gonna be more, we’re barely halfway through”. They then delve back to 2015’s Halfway Home for some scorching guitar on ‘Waste My Time’.
Over the years, the band have never been afraid to tackle some interesting covers, so when they throw in a cover of Alanis Morissette’s ‘Hand In My Pocket’, which is suitably ramped up Bad Touch style, it goes down a treat with the crowd.
Without the farce of leaving the stage to return for an encore, there’s only one way the night is going to end, and that’s with a barnstorming ‘99%’. It’s a timeless classic, destined to be their ‘Smoke On The Water’ or ‘Paranoid’, and to remain in their live set for many years to come.
Lift Your Head Up
Good on Me (Jeans Song)
Dressed To Kill
Too Much Of A Good Thing
Waste My Time
I Get High
Can You Save Me
Hand in My Pocket
Come a Little Closer