Bad Touch Show Islington The Future Is Very Bright

Sunday night at the O2 Academy2 Islington saw Bad Touch shine on the penultimate date of The Bittersweet Satisfaction Tour 2024. Nineteen dates have excited many across the land, and tonight, the Norfolk boys showed that they are exceptionally tight as a unit.

Bad Touch

O2 Academy2 Islington – 7 April 2024.

Words and Photography: Steve Ritchie

Bad Touch have the material, too, and the packed venue was definitely along for the ride. Arms and plastic drink tumblers were often raised. With a good following onside, the future looks bright.

Bad Touch - O2 Academy2 Islington - 7 April 2024
Bad Touch – O2 Academy2 Islington – 7 April 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Not that there was a good time for a pandemic for anyone, but Bad Touch struck me as one of the more unfortunate ones with the enforced hiatus. 2018’s Shake A Leg was followed by Kiss The Sky in 2020. The band, signed to Marshall Records, had built good momentum, but it all came to a halt.

Bad Touch are back, though. The new album Bittersweet Satisfaction has raised plenty of eyebrows, and the tour looks successful, which is great news.

Bad Touch - O2 Academy2 Islington - 7 April 2024
Bad Touch – O2 Academy2 Islington – 7 April 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Luck is not on our side tonight. The London train strikes mean that less than ideal transport infrastructure is in place. MetalTalk Sub-Editor Monty Sewell is also laid up with flu, so I’m pulling a double shift. The curfew is 11; my last train is 11:05.

But Bad Touch do not mess around tonight. Stevie Westwood looks cool in a gold/black silky alligator-style suit, hair flying around. Opener Bittersweet Satisfaction is intense, thoughts of leaving immediatly dismissed.

The crowd are keen to sing along. Lift Your Head is epic, and by the time Strut is finished, we are all on board.

Bad Touch - O2 Academy2 Islington - 7 April 2024
Bad Touch – O2 Academy2 Islington – 7 April 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Dressed To Kill rings out. That’s a really cool riff, and most of the crowd’s hands are in the air. It’s just vocal and riff for the verses in a cool ’70s Convoy kind of way. The new drummer, Brad Newlands, gets a nod, so we have a quick mid-song solo accompanied by smiles from the band. He gets a big cheer.

Bad Touch - O2 Academy2 Islington - 7 April 2024
Bad Touch – O2 Academy2 Islington – 7 April 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Guitarists Rob Glendinning and Daniel ‘Seeks’ Seekings are in great form. We get the poses and the solo grimaces. But they work together so well. New song Slip Away shows the excellence of the pair, and the strength of the new album.

The riff is enticing and the hair is flowing on stage. The song slows down, in the middle, but then we are into the solos. Bassist Michael Bailey and Newlands hold down the rhythm section wonderfully.

The song closes again to big cheers. Westwood is puffed. He really pushes his vocals out. Good On Me follows from their debut album, “which is available at all good merch stands,” Westwood informs us.

Bad Touch - O2 Academy2 Islington - 7 April 2024
Bad Touch – O2 Academy2 Islington – 7 April 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

We run through Taste This and I Get High. We are in “Come back” and “Whoa oh oh oh,” band and crowd singing territory across the two tracks.

The crowd are in good spirits. I love the vocals in the verse of the former, and Rob Glendinning’s solo is awesome. The latter has a more bluesy rock solo from ‘Seeks’. Westwood has a smile on his face. The song has an abrupt finish. “Cheers,” says Westwood. We all cheer.

Bad Touch - O2 Academy2 Islington - 7 April 2024
Bad Touch – O2 Academy2 Islington – 7 April 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

See It To Believe It has another cool chorus line. There are fists in the air. Bad Touch understands the tempo of being a headline band. The pace of the evening and the set is just really good. “You guys are too fucking cool,” Westwood tells us all.

We get a bit of a breather. ‘Seeks’ has a passage, while Glendinning knocks out at atmospheric solo. It’s a pair of Les Paul’s in tandem. People don’t have many lighters these days, so it’s camera phones aloft.

Bad Touch - O2 Academy2 Islington - 7 April 2024
Bad Touch – O2 Academy2 Islington – 7 April 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

We get a riff, a “let’s go,” and we are into Spend My Days. This is good. Arms are in the air for the verse towards the end, followed by more big cheers. “Give it up for the boys on the six strings”, Stevie says. We do.

In the home straight, Let Go gets a run thought. It’s another classic riff along with a glorious vocal. I’m not convinced by Hand In My Pocket, but as it finishes, Stevie asks, “Have you had a good time tonight?”

It’s a resounding yes. We get this life, and then it’s train worry time.

Bad Touch - O2 Academy2 Islington - 7 April 2024
Bad Touch – O2 Academy2 Islington – 7 April 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Stevie Westwood reemerges with an acoustic guitar. “Seriously, I know all bands say this, but thank you for sharing your love with us tonight.” It’s quiet as he begins Hand In My Pocket, “a song written during lockdown.”

I need to get the train, but mid-song, the rest of the band is back on stage. Shit, the train. So, one more quick beer finds a good home. This is a great song. I love the solos.

99% finished the evening. I heard and loved 14 of the 15 songs tonight. I had to get the last train. For me, that was 93.3% of the set covered.

Tonight was really good. I hope the boys from Norfolk get some great shows in the next year or so, as, on tonight’s impression, they have the talent and the music to really push on.

Bad Touch - O2 Academy2 Islington - 7 April 2024
Bad Touch – O2 Academy2 Islington – 7 April 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

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