Dereham rock band Bad Touch deliver with brilliant new album Shake A Leg
- Credit: Rob Blackman
Dereham's finest further cement their reputation as one of the best acts around, says ADAM AIKEN.
Talk of the 'new wave' of blues-rock is getting boring.
It's no longer a new phenomenon. UK outfits including The Temperance Movement and the Southern Rock of bands from across the Pond, including Blackberry Smoke and The Cadillac Three, have helped make the genre a permanent fixture.
So while that means Bad Touch can tap into an established scene, it also raises the pressure on them to deliver. There's a lot of good competition out there at the moment.
But the Dereham boys deliver the goods with Shake a Leg – and then some. Their third album contains 13 brilliant doses of blues-tinged rock, and there's no doubt that they are at the forefront of the British music scene.
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Opening song Lift Your Head Up starts things off nicely with the first of several catchy choruses. Hammer Falls slows things down a tad but is just as addictive. Too Many Times quickly picks things up and – once again – has a singalong refrain that quickly becomes a real earworm.
Elsewhere, Show Me What It Means is a single in the making that should enjoy a decent amount of airplay – as already, indeed, is Skyman, the first single, which looks destined for a permanent place in the live set.
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I Belong, which is perhaps Bad Touch's equivalent of The South by the Cadillac Three, 'is a homage to our home town', according to the promotional blurb, and is bookended by a hint of birdsong from the (Norfolk?) countryside.
The slow moments include Believe In Me and Slow Tempest but, like most good things, it all flies past. There might be a baker's-dozen tracks here, but the whole record is over in a little over 45 minutes. By the time Bury Me (When I'm Gone) brings things to a tender close, Bad Touch have taken us on a brilliant rock 'n' roll journey.
This mob have earned a reputation for putting the hard work in on the road. They are constantly on tour and are one of the best live acts on the circuit at the moment, building up a loyal fan base that should be thrilled with Shake a Leg.
It will be good to hear some of these new songs during their home-county show at the Waterfront next month, but in the meantime this album should be more than enough to keep their fans happy.
There's no reinvention of the wheel here, and there are others who are doing similar. But there can't be many others doing it better. This is excellent stuff.
• Bad Touch – Shake a Leg is available on Marshall Records
• Tickets for Bad Touch's show on November 9 at The Waterfront in Norwich are available for £17 advance from the UEA Box Office website.