Bad Touch/Mollie Marriott/Firegarden –
Corporation, Sheffield, Thursday 9th November, 2017
Set List: Magic/Mountain/Shoot For The Moon/Pigeons/One More For The Road.
A show I had been looking forward to for absolutely weeks to be honest with you – even more so after seeing Bad Touch in October but more about those hairy headliners later.
First up were local heroes, Firegarden who I haven't witnessed on stage in yonks (that means years to you readers outside the UK) who actually baffled me straight away. Then I found out from their Manager, Sarah Mangan that they had changed singers six months ago and now have a female on vocals called Adelle Louise alongside Jake Mann (Guitar/Vocals); Ashley Tuck (Drums) and Chris Heald (Bass/Vocals).
It's also worth noting that Mr. Tuck was tonight managing with one arm since he broke the other. He still got through the show without much problem or so it appeared. They rocked the room out with some familiar tunes of theirs and even had a number that was like an abstract kinda jam that totally reminded me of the time that Spinal Tap had their short jazz fusion period – though there were more here than an old guy and his dog.
An outstanding treat they were overall with no doubt plenty more shows lined up under their belt for the new year in Sheffield and beyond. I do hope one day they will make it big since they've been at this game a long time. Maybe 2018 will be the break they've been looking for. We look and hope. Fire it up!
Set List: Run With The Hounds/Truth Is A Wolf/Broken/Ship Of Fools/King Of Hearts/Give Me A Reason/Baby I Love You/Control/Armour/Gravity/Million Miles/Transformer.
Now the next artist up was one that virtually had me counting the days and weeks off to see her up on that stage in my favourite Sheffield venue. After playing Mollie Marriott's album 'Truth Is A Wolf' several times, I knew that this was going to be something special for us both see and hear tonight.
The lady is an absolute blonde Goddess with vocal chops to match presenting to us many of the songs from her album, that she cheekily told us was on sale in the room next door. It was hard not to feel in awe of her presence and even more so when I am such a big fan of her late Father, Steve Marriott who would be so proud of her following in his footsteps.
The slimmed down version of her band she has brought with her are a real tight unit and match Mollie perfectly on all the songs on offer. One of Miss. Marriott's favourite artists was also paid tribute to – the terrific Tom Petty who passed away just recent. We made sure to applaud him triumphantly too - definitely one of the highlights as were 'Control' that actually opens the album and the outstanding 'Transformer' that closed her set.
Afterwards, Mollie was next door at the merch. table, proving that she'd really made a major dent in Steel City, selling plenty of albums in both CD and Vinyl format, signing plenty of stuff as well as chatting and having photos with newly made fans too. We look forward to her return.
Set List: Take Me Away/Good On Me/Sweet Little Secret/Heartbreaker, Soulshaker/Wise Water/I Belong/Down/Something Someone/My Mother Told Me/Take Your Time/Outlaw/The Mountain.
Encore: Baby Get It On/99%.
Well it's only just over a month since I saw these Norwich legends rock this very stage – that was when they were supporting The Kentucky Headhunters – this time around though they were the headliners of the night. In fact, their first ever headline tour to be exact.
It was marvellous to see how many folk had turned out to see these outstanding rockers in their own right with Stevie Westwood overjoyed at the mass appreciation that they received throughout their set. He told us how special it was to them and that fans had stuck there for the band throughout and many in the audience gave it back with a lot of applause and singing along to a lot of the songs in the set without even being asked to.
Another classic groove-fest was guaranteed with plenty of rocking out both onstage and off with Tuesday getting me bopping and dancing again to most of the set with a few pix taken in between too – joyous fun indeed. Bad Touch put you back in the 70's again when the Long Playing record was king the first time around – though it's made a comeback somewhat now.
They really are that kind of band that can make the group and audience as one whole thing where you can't hear or see the join which is something acts like The Black Crowes could do in their heyday – no mean feat either. An ability to really build up a show to being a major event no matter on what size of a room they are performing in.
Stevie sounded great vocally and looked as cool as hell in his retro attire that compliments their musical style perfectly. Prime Rock 'N' Roll Poses from the who band that's all done with absolute heartfelt passion. Not to mention magnificent sound and a nice varied amount of colours when it came to the lighting – a grand job overall there from the engineers tonight.
Highlights include the opening new gutsy riffed, power filled blues rocker 'Take Me Away' that is like Humble Pie on speed; the funk rockin' bluesiness of 'Sweet Little Sister'; slide guitar work 'Wise Water' and the funfest and party filled 'Heartbreaker, Soulshaker'. Without me sounding at all cop-out, I reckon the entire set is one massive highlight since there's something in every song that will grab your soul and heart and fuse you to it.
We were promised something special and we totally got it tonight – the first full live taste of the 'Touch's take of Ike and Tina Turner's 'Baby Get It On' that had been teased and premiered via various social networks the past month or so. With Mollie Marriott doing Tina's part, the emotion and atmosphere was virtually on fire – her voice uncannily blending so well with that of Stevie's who of course tool on the Ike role. What a sweet addition to the set.
Like Mollie said, “It's the hairiest tour I've ever been part of” and we can't agree more with her on that. With the glory of 99% blowing the roof off, this was a fitting way to end the extremely rapturous energetic show. What awaits next... more touring in 2018 and another album maybe?! Like the double M, the BT Boys were soon at the merch. stand flogging their wares and ways to the fans and newly found friends.
Definitely the future of British Rock in this band right here. Real pleased I discovered them – a true highlight of 2017!
By Glenn Milligan
Bottom Right Photo by Glenn Ashley