Bad Touch at The Waterfront review: ‘Bonkers but brilliant’

Bad Touch at The Waterfront. Photo: Tracey Bagshaw

Bad Touch at The Waterfront. Photo: Tracey Bagshaw - Credit: Archant

Bad Touch are the main draw on their return to Norfolk, but it's a brilliant night from start to finish, writes ADAM AIKEN

There's something endearing about seeing the lead singer of the headlining act milling around in Wetherspoon's ahead of the show before heading down to the venue to watch both support bands with the crowd.

Stevie Westwood and his Bad Touch crew from Dereham are having a blast. They are here to play but they are also here as fans and to have a good time.

And a good time is exactly what they get with openers Daxx & Roxane, who bounce around like men possessed. Jumping over each other mid-song and sharing their JD with the crowd, D&R are here to party. The sleazy Swiss outfit – who recorded their debut album in Norfolk – look and sound like they should have been on the Sunset Strip back in the 1980s, rubbing shoulders with GN'R, Motley Crue and Faster Pussycat. They have a great combination of a sense of humour and killer songs such as Ticket to Rock and Wrong Side.

It's a shame they are on so early – Waterfront shows on Fridays have 10pm curfews ahead of their club nights – but those who arrive in time are rewarded with a blistering start to the night.

Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics are also brimming with energy. Buchanan dials up the camp as well as the volume, and his self-deprecating manner (particularly when he reads out posts from his Twitter feed) results in genuine belly-laughs. But this is no novelty act, and the set – which is made up of a combination of Heaven's Basement and Cult Classics songs interspersed with snippets of covers such as My Sharona and Can't Stand Losing You – flies by. I Am Electric lives up its name and is one of the most blistering moments of the night.

Bad Touch quickly make it clear we'll be getting a hat-trick of top performances tonight. If lead singer Westwood says how much playing Norwich means to him once, he says it half a dozen times, but it's no cliché – the Dereham boys are genuinely chuffed to be playing their home county.

Most Read

Touring in support of their latest album, Shake a Leg, the highlights among the new songs are Hammer Falls and Skyman, but they all hold their own.

It would be nice if those at the Waterfront Studio bar could belt up during the slower Take Your Time – they're missing out on a cracking song as well as annoying the rest of us – but that grumble is quickly forgotten as Bad Touch launch into My Mother Told Me, which is just made for audience participation.

A couple of classics from ZZ Top and Whitesnake fit neatly in to the set, but they're not really needed because BT's original material is more than strong enough to stand on its own two feet.

Drummer George Drewry's vocals add rich harmonies to the mix, and this five-piece show just why they are a band who are quickly on the up. The brilliant Outlaw ends the main set, and by the time we get to 99% in the encore, the boys from Daxx & Roxane are bouncing around like maniacs in the crowd, repaying the respect Bad Touch had shown them at the start of the night.

The whole thing is bonkers, but it's brilliant.