Bad Touch are bringing back good time rock and roll to the masses and their bluesy, souped-up take on Southern Rock is going down an absolute storm. Having formed in Norfolk a decade ago, the quartet have grown from five guys playing the local pub to an internationally acknowledged act that constantly draws big crowds all over Europe. With appearances at some of the biggest rock festivals around and recently signed to Marshall Records (home of THE amps), their profile keeps on growing.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6tXao6t79I&w=560&h=315]
With new album ‘Kiss The Sky’ being absolutely showered with critical plaudits and public acclaim the band have stepped up not just a gear, but a league. The mix of Black Crowes style rocking swagger, a killer cover of the Kiki Dee barnstormer ‘I’ve Got the Music in Me’ and a fervent commitment to their craft has seen them pulling off the release of their career thus far. With plans for a massive tour to back up the album put on hold currently, singer Stevie Westwood fills us in on what’s been happening in his neck of the woods and the Bad Touch camp.
First off, and most importantly: How are you doing?
We’re in the same boat as everyone. We’ve all been messed about by this thing, we’re just doing our part to make sure that we keep our loved ones safe, so that we can get back to doing what we love as quickly and as safely as possible.
How have you been keeping yourself busy?
I’ve been focusing on the promotion of our new album ‘Kiss The Sky’ (badtouchrocks.co.uk for details,) as well as just enjoying playing my guitar, and generally trying to keep Bad Touch in the public eye.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZtoCrtW8VE&w=560&h=315]
Have you been doing any online live shows or seen any good ones?
Yeah, we’ve been absolutely inundated with requests for bits of live videos and isolation performances, which is awesome, it’s great to be wanted! Most notably we took part in NWOCR’s “Webfest,” which consisted of a bespoke twenty-five-minute video set, recorded entirely in isolation over the course of about a month. As well as a collaboration with the Music Venues Trust (musicvenuestrust.com) to raise awareness of their #saveourvenues campaign, protecting our local venues for generations to come… busy busy!
Have you had to change your way of writing material?
To be honest our album has just come out, so our efforts have been more leaning towards the promotion of that than towards writing. Needless to say, some ditties have fallen out whilst noodling on the guitar.
Do you keep in touch with your fellow bandmates / other musicians much?
Of course! We’re not in each other’s pockets as much as usual, we all have our own lives, but we’re in regular contact over the phone. We’re just trying to look after our loved ones, so that we can get back to it as soon as safely possible.
What plans have you had to change this year?
Obviously, this situation we’re all in has, for lack of a better phrase, “Really cocked it all up!” But we stand strong and optimistic. Yes, it would have been nice to have gone on our headline tour March/April, but it wasn’t to be. So yeah it screwed us over, but it’s done that to everyone. We could sit and seethe, but we’re just looking to the future, we’ve got a great album (in our humble opinion), we’ve got a fully rescheduled tour (badtouchrocks.co.uk for details) and the future is bright. We’re just going to sit back, hone our craft, look after ourselves and our loved ones, and come out the other side fighting and more electric than ever!
What do you think of the social distancing gigs (like the one that happened in Kansas recently – 229 people in a 1,100-seat venue) or the thought of drive-in gigs as has just been announced by Live Nation?
We will do anything to keep venues open, and understandably everyone is clutching at straws for a way to make this thing work, and as a band we will support it as much as possible. But realistically if you’re operating at 10% capacity, drinks will have to be £30 a pint, and tickets will need to be £500 each to break even… don’t check my maths. Inaccurate as my figures may be, you see my point. Also, there’s the fact that the atmosphere will be slim to none. I want it to work… I really, really do… Just as an avid live music lover and gig-goer I’m struggling to see it.
How do you think the music industry will have changed after this period of lockdown?
It certainly won’t be the same for a very long time, if ever again. But we’ll be here fighting our little corner, we’re not giving up that easily.
What plans have you got for when the isolation finishes and gigs start back up again?
As soon as it’s safe to do so, we’ll be back at it HARD. We’ve got some seriously itchy feet and an album’s worth of songs that we are gagging to play live. Keep your eyes on our socials (@badtouchrocks (twitter@badtouchrocksuk)) for all details.
How can people support you during this time?
Firstly, grab yourselves a copy of our new album ‘Kiss The Sky’ (available Amazon and proper music.com) But if you can’t do that, we’re available on all streaming sites, and would love to make it into your favourite playlist! We’re constantly posting on our social media and websites (badtouchrocks.co.uk/links) and we just thank you for helping us get this far. We’ll get through this thing together and we’ll see you down the front soon.
Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM