Michael Alexander hears from Bad Touch singer Stevie Westwood about releasing their new album during lockdown and the anticipation of (hopefully!) going back on tour later this year.
Bad Touch’s frontman Stevie Westwood is in an apologetic mood when The Courier catches up with him.
It’s partly because the Norfolk-based band have had to reschedule their UK tour dates for a third time due to the Covid pandemic.
But it’s also because he can’t remember if the band have ever played Dundee.
“I apologise to any residents of Dundee if we have, but I don’t think we have!” he laughs.
“Anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit of an airhead when it comes to where we’ve played.
“If we have then I’m sorry to the people we’ve forgotten, and if we haven’t we can’t wait to get there!
“Whatever comes we’re going to bring a good show with us.”
Dundee gig included on rescheduled UK tour
The five-piece classic rock band are due to play the city’s Beat Generator on November 21 as part of a rescheduled 15-date tour that includes their hometown Norwich (Nov 17), Newcastle (Nov 19), Glasgow (Nov 20), Southampton (Dec 1) and London (Dec 2).
When the original tour was planned for last year, before having to be postponed twice due to lockdown, it was going to be called the Kiss the Sky Tour to acknowledge the release of the band’s critically acclaimed fourth studio album Kiss the Sky which came out last summer.
Given the impact of the pandemic since, however, and a measure of how much they are missing touring, the band have now decided to give the tour a new title with a slightly different mix of material.
“We’ve had a long time to think about,” laughs Stevie.
“What we’ve decided we’re going to do is – it’s no longer the Kiss the Sky tour.
“It was going to be the Kiss the Sky tour. Now it’s the Better Late Than Never tour!
“It’s just going to be the funnest, biggest, most party-like tour that we can do safely of course with regards everyone’s health.
“We’ve decided that yes we’re going to play a lot from the new album but we’re certainly going to include all the peoples’ favourites because why wouldn’t we? Just to play any song on stage at the minute would be ecstasy!”
Who are Bad Touch?
Bad Touch are Stevie Westwood (vocals), Rob Glendinning (guitar), Daniel Seekings (guitar), Michael Bailey (bass) and George Drewry (drums).
While some people might see growing up in Norfolk as a disadvantage, Bad Touch owe the core of their sound to their countryside surroundings.
Those formative years of listening to the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Black Crowes, Free and Lynyrd Skynyrd while looking out on the rolling countryside and hard-working people gave them an escape to help create their infectious blend of rock, country and blues.
Given their love of Jimi Hendrix, it’s perhaps no surprise to find a Hendrix feel on parts of the new album.
But the big dilemma came last year when they had to decide whether to release it as planned at all.
“We recorded the album the December before the March when the Covid thing hit,” says Stevie.
“When Covid hit, we were talking about do we do it for the summer release or do we wait until this all passes?
“We made a conscious decision to release it, because power of mind over matter is an amazing thing! The reception was amazing. We just weren’t able to do a tour with it, so we can’t wait to finally get out there. The last year sucks but all we can do is look to the future.”
Supporting grassroots venues
Bad Touch are big advocates for keeping music venues alive and during lockdown they have been part of the Save Our Venues campaign – trying to keep grassroots venues from shutting.
Stevie admits that such venues are a huge part of culture that have been taken for granted over the years.
But being locked down at home has also given the guys “loads of ideas” to write new material – although Stevie wouldn’t necessarily say they’ve had loads of fully written songs”.
“There’s been loads of inspiration and little tit bits and stuff have come to the fore,” he says, “because we literally didn’t have anything else to do.
“Whereas before we were juggling our personal lives with touring and also trying to write the next album, we’ve literally just been inside!
“Me being the permanent optimist, I’m trying to draw a silver lining from this horrible thing in the fact that it’s kind of reinvigorated us as friends and musicians and put the love back a bit. So in that respect it’s been a real good thing.”
*Tickets for Bad Touch’s rescheduled November/December 2021 UK tour, with special guests Piston & local supports, can be found via badtouchrocks.co.uk
Tickets that were purchased for previous dates will still be valid for the rescheduled shows.