Guest post by Bevis Robins – follow him on Twitter! https://twitter.com/BevisRobins
Gig review: Bad Touch, Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics, Daxx & Roxane, Ethyrfield. Livewire Music, Saltash – 17 November 2018
This was the gig that almost never was! We don’t get many up-and-coming rock bands crossing the Cornwall/Devon border, so us Cornish folk have to make the most of them when they do. So I was quite excited to hear that Bad Touch were playing Livewire Youth Music (more about them later) as part of their UK tour.
I’d heard of Bad Touch, but hadn’t really listened to them that much, so I duly downloaded their second album and then their latest release ‘Shake A Leg’.
I was delighted when Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics were added to the line up as I’d listened to their stunning debut album ‘The Man With Stars On His Knees’ a lot. Throw in Daxx & Roxane – hailing from Switzerland – and, for £14, the Cornish were surely in for a treat!
Imagine my dismay then, when I received an email a few weeks ago from the ticket agents saying the gig had been cancelled and my money refunded. A few of us took to social media to express our disappointment. This turned to displeasure when we found out that it was due to poor ticket sales, and the promoter had pulled the gig, without informing Bad Touch themselves. A number of fans made their feelings known, pointing out that there were still 3 weeks to go, and surely we could sell enough tickets to make this gig worthwhile!! Well, all credit to Bad Touch and Livewire – they decided to promote the event themselves and put the gig on. Not only that, but they reduced ticket prices to £10 and added Devon youngsters Ethyrfield to the line up. Tickets were duly snaffled, and we were all over our socials trying to get people to go to the show. Jeremy Wills did a fantastic job drumming up support on his Facebook Group NWOCR (New Wave Of Classic Rock).
On the night, we met up with friends from the Facebook and Twitter community in the pub next door to the venue for a couple of pre-gig drinks. We were all really looking forward to the gig, hoping for a great turn out. We needn’t have worried.
It was my first visit to Livewire and what a venue it is! It has a superb stage, with fantastic sound and lighting, and extremely friendly and accommodating staff. Livewire is a charity aimed at helping youngsters using contemporary music. I could write a piece just about them, but please search them up and take a look at what they do: https://livewireyouth.com/
First up, Ethyrfield, a 3-piece from Newton Abbot. Drummer Dan is 15, and brothers Ben and Zach Cornish are 17 & 18 respectively. I’d seen these lads a couple of times and been hugely impressed by them. They aren’t just out there copying what others are doing – believe me, they have their own sound. It’s heavy and grungy: a kinda cross between Nirvana and Pearl Jam. As soon as they started, the crowd were into it. I looked around and was really pleased to see that a lot of people had turned up early to watch them, and they were not disappointed! They are getting better and better each time we see them. Zach is refining his vocals and guitarist Ben has started to throw in some solos; a sign of his growing confidence and ability. It’s hard to believe how young they are, given the maturity of their music. Their set flew by and the crowd were in raptures. Aaron Buchanan said afterwards that these lads are the real deal. Who am I to disagree? What a start!
Daxx & Roxane
Follow that Daxx & Roxane! Well follow it they did. I had no idea what to expect from these guys, but I can always tell when I’m enjoying the music as my feet take on a life of their own, and they were happily tapping along to the beat! They put on a really energetic set of fun-time rock, bounding and strutting across the stage. They were great fun and their set was all too quickly over.
Aaron Buchanan and The Cult Classics
With barely time to catch breath, the lights dimmed and on came The Cult Classics. But where was Aaron Buchanan? Bounding through the crowd and jumping up on stage, that’s where! Aaron put on an absolute masterclass, showing incredible energy throughout the set containing songs from the band’s debut album along with a couple from Aaron’s previous band, Heaven’s Basement. I can’t pigeon hole this band, and Aaron would probably give me a slap if I tried to! Whatever it is, it’s utterly brilliant. Fantastically well-crafted songs, delivered by surely the best showman in the business. He’s a young Freddie. Spellbinding. The crowd were utterly blown away, and Livewire could consider itself de-roofed!
Aaron also treated us to his party trick of walking out across the crowd’s shoulders and upstretched hands to perform a handstand. Yours truly had to give him a helping hand. Difficult when also trying to take some photos! It really does need to be seen to be believed!
Alas, their set was over all to soon, but it was a set that no-one who was there would ever forget. Aaron said later on social media that it was their best show of the tour. It was one of those ‘I was there moments’ and I felt privileged to witness it.
With the crowd still buzzing, the lights dimmed again, and on came headliners, Bad Touch. I thought that there was no way they could follow what I’d just witnessed. But boy did they give it a go. The band were tight and as one throughout their set, ripping through material from all three of their albums. I looked down, and sure enough my foot was tapping away, unbeknown to its owner! 🙂 Lead singer, Stevie Westwood, seemed genuinely touched at the incredible reception they got and they gave the crowd what they wanted – a fantastic set of southern fuelled rock.
And then it was over.
What a show! What a night! What a gig! This is what rock music is all about – the rock community coming together to make sure the show went ahead, with four fantastic bands, playing for not very much money, in front of a hundred or so people but performing as though they were in front of 80,000 at Wembley. You don’t get this at stadium gigs. For me, this is exactly where it’s at and exactly where I want to be. Bring on the next gig!
Follow the bands
Daxx and Roxane:
Aaron Buchanan and The Cult Classics: