Bad Touch / Mollie Marriott (Manchester)

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Bad Touch / Mollie Marriott (Manchester)

Bad Touch / Mollie Marriott - Ruby Lounge, Manchester (UK) - 17 November 2017

Mollie Marriott eventually warms the crowd up. Honestly, it's cold in here, but her brand of Classic Rock soon has people moving forward. She shimmers in a black fringed jacket and her sweet nature belies a powerful set of pipes; the bass is set too high though and the band generally drown her out, some of her words are indistinct and we want to hear her, dammit! Marriott is genuinely pleased to be here and her music is pretty fine (debut 'Truth Is A Wolf' is impressive), surely she'll improve, get a better sound and become a contender – enough so that those "she's Stevie Marriott's daughter you know" whispers will cease.

Bad Touch are here again... and here we are to see them again, testament to their music, work ethic and all-round charisma. The sound clears up, Stevie Westwood handles a mean tambourine, drawing the eye with his pally stage show, so much more of a development from seeing them last year when he felt the need to race around and cavort constantly – now he knows the band are special and they can cut it live, he can calm down and enjoy it.

It is clear to see that enjoy it they all do; Daniel Seekings and Rob Glendinning delight in groovy licks, of which a tambourine-augmented 'Heartbreaker, Soulshaker' may be the pick tonight as we dance around it. However, they can now bring us down and take us up again with real skill, 'Wise Water', sleazy Southern 'I Belong' and a riotous 'My Mother Told Me' sounding like songs you can believe in.

This is a band who are surely to use the launching pad of the brilliant 'Truth Be Told' album to blast off, aren't they? If so, there's no expectation that it will be handed to them, tonight they work hard, yes, but allow their talent to take centre stage, never pushing, just allowing us to see what they do so well. Sweetly returning to encore with Marriott for a fun 'Baby Get It On', they of course end with the closest thing to an anthem they currently possess, '99%', here triumphant and rightly so, a communing of people who knew they were right to support this band who are surely going places.

Excellent as usual on a cold evening; could this band ever give us a bad touch? Can't see it happening.

Steve Swift

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