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A Baptism Of Fire

This month Foz brings you news of a line-up change for a leading Norfolk rock band. He also welcomes a new blues club in Suffolk and previews a show in Ipswich by one of his all-time favourite singers.

Norfolk rockers Bad Touch have recruited Sudbury guitar virtuoso Harry Slater as their new lead guitarist. The 20 year old replaces original guitarist Rob Glendinning who suggested him as his successor. It’s quite a baptism of fire for the young man as this month Bad Touch embark on a UK tour co-headlining with Birmingham’s Broken Witt Rebels. These are heady days indeed for Bad Touch having recently supported The Kentucky Headhunters on tour. At the end of 2016 Bad Touch released an album called Truth Be Told featuring a couple of singles remixed for radio by Rolling Stones’ engineer and co-producer Chris Kimsey. As you might expect, the tour includes a date in rock-friendly Norwich. Catch both bands on Wednesday, March 22 at The Waterfront.

One of my recent guests on my Drivetime show on BBC Radio Suffolk was Terry Walden, the man behind the Milkmaid Folk Club in Bury St Edmunds. Not someone to let the grass grow under his feet, Terry has now established the Milkmaid Blues Club. He has persuaded Cambridgeshire-based blues man Brooks Williams to be patron and has lost no time in putting monthly gigs together for 2017 and beyond. This month (10/3) sees the house band Milking The Blues taking centre stage while on Friday, April 14 Essex slide guitarist Martin McNeil brings his wonderful take on country blues to the Con Club. Other names looking forward to spending a Friday night in Bury St Edmunds include Spikedrivers, Dave Kelly, John Verity and Kent DuChaine.

From time to time we all come up with a list of albums we would take to a desert island and one which would make mine is an LP called Five-a-Side by the Sheffield band Ace. It was an album that was on heavy rotation on Radio Caroline back in 1974 and was my introduction to the voice, keyboards playing and the songs of Paul Carrack. All these years later Paul remains one of this country’s great pop and soul singers. He’s best known for his work with Mike And The Mechanics and it’s a strange twist of fate that Mike Rutherford’s latest line-up is performing at the Ipswich Regent on Thursday, March 9  just two days before Paul is back at the same venue with his band. I’m fully intending to go to both shows when songs like The Living Years, Over My Shoulder, Another Cup Of Coffee and Silent Running will surely get an airing in both concerts. While Paul Carrack has never achieved super-star status, he has most certainly had a successful career as both a solo artist and as part of various groups including Squeeze, Roxy Music and Nick Lowe’s Cowboy Outfit  as well as the aforementioned Ace and Mike And The Mechanics. Catch Paul and his band at the Regent on Saturday, March 11.