The Waterfront, Norwich July 8, 2023
by Paul Mace
Tonight promises to be a special one as it’s the pre-launch show of Bad Touch’s fifth album Bittersweet Satisfaction.
And what better place to get the party started for these local lads than here in Norwich?
But first, support band Kaves have The Waterfront jumping as singer Caitlin Mapes spins, twists and turns while guitarist Tim Frost throws amazing shapes and looks like he’s practising for a gurning competition.
Mia Webster keeps it all together with some throbbing, mean bass lines and Mike Colman provides the thunder from the drum stool.
Their set-closer is about a break-up and finding it difficult to get back your possessions, with Mapes plaintively howling “I just want my hoodie back!”
It’s a fun-fuelled and upbeat set that tees things up perfectly for the headliners.
Bad Touch are so drenched in the countrified blues of the South that it is hard to believe they come from just 20 miles down the road.
With Bittersweet Satisfaction set for release in November, tonight sees plenty of the new songs aired, and that’s something of a treat.
The title track opens proceedings, and for new single Nothing Wrong With That – which is the first encore song – frontman Stevie Westwood starts things off on his own on acoustic guitar before being joined midway through by the rest of the band.
Spend My Days and See It To Believe It also get an airing, and they show that Bad Touch are going from strength to strength, with songs to match their rock-god charisma.
There’s unmistakable joy radiating from the stage, from the drums of George Drewry and the bass of Michael Bailey through to the dual guitars of Rob Glendinning and Daniel Seekings – all alongside Westwood, with his instantly recognisable mane of hair and what must be one of the greatest moustaches in rock.
A high point of the evening is when Mollie Marriott joins Westwood on stage for a superb tribute to the legend that is Tina Turner. There’s a magical chemistry between them in their duet of Baby Get It On.
The stagecraft and musicianship is sensational throughout, and to say that the place is steaming hot by the time we get to final song 99% would be an understatement.