In mid-1965, four like-minded rockers came together to form one of the greatest bands of the era. They called themselves the Small Faces. ‘Small’, because all members were shorter than average, and ‘Face’ being a Mod term given to the most highly regarded of the Mods. They shared a love of American R&B, soul music, youthful energy and a great sense of fashion. And if this weren’t enough for them to take on the world, they had a not so secret weapon in lead singer/guitarist Steve Marriott. His primal soul-drenched delivery coupled with a dynamic presence and a great sense of melody which made him head and shoulders above any rock singers of that era. The rest of the band were no slouches. Kenny Jones and Ronnie Lane were an incredible rhythm section, while keyboardist Ian McLagan, did his best Memphis/Stax sound that painted the songs with dynamic colors and rhymes. From stomping raunchy R&B to whimsical pop to psychedelia to hard rock, the Small Faces did it all. But by the end of 1968, Marriott, felt the band had run its course and wanted to move on. Steve would grab old friend and guitar slinger, Peter Frampton who had just left his own band, the Herd, and the two would form Humble Pie.
The band realized it was going to take two people to replace Marriott. As luck would have it, they hit the jackpot. They couldn’t have found a better replacement than the dynamic duo of Ron Wood and Rod Stewart, both fresh from a stint in the Jeff Beck Group. Both Wood and Stewart had made the rounds in the British rock and roll scene. The two got a call from the Small Faces and the instant gelling of styles made it obvious that this was the path forward. It was only right to drop “Small” from their name and just be referred to as The Faces.
Rod seemed more focused on the solo side of things and eventually, after a tiresome tour in 1975, the band would dissolve. Stewart departed and went on to have a magnetic solo career.. while Wood joined The Rolling Stones.
What we like most about British rock band, Bad Touch is that they know what they do.. and they do it pretty fuckin’ well..They’ve been around the block a few times.. Their fourth album, “Kiss The Sky” is set to be released in the early Summer. Their fan base is serious; they attend their gigs with all the passion you’d expect from seeing their favorite rock n’ roll band. Stevie Westwood, their charismatic singer, has this primal soul-drenched delivery; coupled with a dynamic presence and a great sense of connecting with audiences. With a single-malt soul down to its barrel-strength essence. It’s red-dirt R&B mixed with blue-collar rock ‘n’ roll, delivered with end-of-the-world intensity. His name could be mentioned along with British/Blues vocal elite.. Steve Marriott, Phil Lynott, Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry and Frankie Miller.
The band are a ragged.. defiant blues-rock band that can transform drunk and sloppy into unlikely compliments… loaded, cocked and ready to rock! If you are expecting a band that’s demure, meek and taciturn then you need to just move on. Their first track released from their new album, “Strut”.. is more muscular and melodically refined as many of the band’s followers would hope; and it’s their mission to make it all sound so effortless. They have a strong sense of togetherness along with a carefree attitude with plenty of good time songs about everyday life. They never try to be something they aren’t.. conceptualistic or enigmatic.. they keep rock and roll honest and friendly. Their riffs are powerful but not so nihilistic and always friendly, as they say: “Welcome to the party”. The band has never sounded tighter or more focused. There’s little doubt that their chemistry is at an all-time high, with each band-member playing off the others with fluent precision. Bad Touch are all skilled musicians playing their hearts out and having a jolly good time. No wonder their records are warm warm and accessible. There’s a somewhat imperfect thread woven into their music and at the end of the day, Bad Touch makes it all sound so authentic and genuine.
They transfer that “bloozy” bonhomie of their live shows into the studio..They can play it all.. blues, funk, country fried boogie-and they play it like the world is their bar stool and there “ain’t”no closing time! “Strut” is the tightest record the band has ever made. Granted that may be a relative term since there’s a whole lotta’ soul and a double shot of “rhythm “n” booze” at the heart of the band. What would be an impediment for others rock bands is an asset for Bad Touch. They will leave you with a knockout performing prowess along with a brash raucousness. The band’s chemistry is at an all-time high, with each band-member playing off the others with effortless precision.
We had the chance to catch Stevie to have short chat:
Always a pleasure to speak with Stevie Westwood… We did a story awhile back…Love the single, “Strut”… can’t wait for the whole album, “Kiss The Sky”…I appreciate under these uncertain times you’ve made time to answer our queries…
Rock Bands of L.A.com: Kiss The Sky is your 4th album… What do your fans have in store? What makes this album different than its predecessors? I’ve read the references saying Bad Touch is “the new wave of classic rock”… what do you think about that? We love “Strut”… It really kicks ass.
Stevie Westwood: First of all, yes “Strut” does kick arse… Secondly thanks for noticing! We have taken a lot more time, effort, sweat and tears when it came to this album from the get-go. Our attitude to song writing was a lot more critical. If a song wasn’t cutting-the-mustard, we either changed it until it did, or chucked it in the bin and moved on. No compromises! We recorded this album at the renowned “Rockfield Studios” in Monmouth, Wales. Famously where Queen recorded “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I sat at Freddie’s piano, it truly was awe inspiring.We can’t take all the credit, our producer, (who later became our friend), Nick “Brino” Brine, deserves a serious pat on the back. Through many tireless hours, he’s managed to capture and refine that raw energy that we’ve always had, but always struggled to get down on recordings up until “Kiss The Sky,” so to him we owe tremendous thanks. We love being a part of the ever-growing NWOCR family. It’s always nice to have a group of dedicated people turning up to shows and ‘tooting your horn’ so-to-speak. We hope that they love “Strut,” and are eagerly anticipating the rest of “Kiss The Sky” and our accompanying re-scheduled tour later this year! We as a unit are so proud of what we’ve created. It’s 110% Bad Touch, and it has taken everything, that each member had to give, to create. It’s been a hard-fought album, we’ve come the closest we ever have to killing each other, but the end product speaks for itself. “Strut” is just the first single… there’s plenty more to come!
Rock Bands of L.A.com:What I love most about Bad Touch music is that it works better live than most bands…Do you prefer being on the road than in the studio?
Stevie Westwood:That’s very kind of you to say. I don’t know why our music feels at home onstage, but maybe it’s because we do! We as individuals within Bad Touch all have different favourite bits of the job. But generally as a whole we live for being on the road. It’s where we’re at home.When you come to a Bad Touch show it’s just five guys having a blast, making loud sounds, and it’s just honest and open, squeaks and bum-notes and everything! We just want to create a space where people can go enjoy feel-good rock music, without having to worry about anything except just that.
Rock Bands of L.A. com:The Coronavirus has affected us all.. you’ve had to postpone your tour… How have you been spending your time?
Stevie Westwood:So yeah it screwed us over, but it’s done that to everyone. We could sit and seethe, but we’re just looking to the future, we’ve got a great album (in our humble opinion), we’ve got a fully rescheduled tour (badtouchrocks.co.uk for details) and the future is bright. We’re just going to sit back, hone our craft, look after ourselves and our loved ones, and come out the other side fighting and more electric than ever!
We want to thank Stevie for his time.. and of course Peter Noble… Let’s just be safe..