Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Customer Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Sign up for newsletter
Album Reviews
Gig reviews
Special features
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website
Gig Reviews...

Just witnessed your best live gig?.. send us a review!

TOUCHSTONE/Heather Findlay
Robin 2, Bilston, 16 October 2011

Zoom (Click large image to cancel)

Two quality performances on the Robin 2 stage this Sunday evening, headliners Touchstone playing the final leg of their UK launch tour for new album The City Sleeps with very special guest Heather Findlay opening the show with a one hour acoustic set accompanied by fellow ex Mostly Autumn band member Chris Johnson.

Heather's set was a well selected mix of material from her debut solo EP, Mostly Autumn numbers, a gem from the Odin Dragonfly album and tracks from two of Chris Johnson's projects and began with a brace from her debut solo release The Phoenix Suite EP, 'Cellophane' and a stunning 'Phoenix' (destined to be a classic). Later in the set from the same EP they also performed a powerful 'Mona Lisa', all of the new material worked very well in the acoustic format as did the set as a whole.

Heather Findlay, photo by Andrew Lock

It would be hard to think of anyone better Heather could have chosen to play alongside her for this gig (and the other shows on this short tour) than Chris, outstandingly talented on both guitar, vocal harmonies and lead vocal at times, also of course someone she has performed alongside many times.

Mostly Autumn fans were kept happy with beautiful renditions of 'Gaze', 'Blue Light', 'Silver Glass', 'Yellow Time' the soft gentle version rather than the equally good "bonkers" (Heathers own words) rendition performed with her full band line up, and a majestic 'Evergreen'.

Chris Johnson, photo by Andrew Lock

From Chris's other bands we had a lively 'Out of Season' recorded by the Evernauts and secondly introduced by Chris as "a mean song" the powerful indie rock style 'The Dogs' one of the standout tracks on the excellent Parade album The Fabric. We were also treated to a spirited performance of 'Magpie' a gem from one of Heather's other musical projects Odin Dragonfly which consisted of herself and good friend (also for a long time also fellow Mostly Autumn band member) Angela Gordon.

This was a first class performance in every way, Heather's voice seems to be improving all the time and she and Chris worked so well together on what was a really well chosen set list.

Touchstone, photo by Andrew Lock

Having released in my opinion one of the strongest rock albums of recent years in 2009's Wintercoast I have been looking forward to Touchstone's follow up, titled The City Sleeps the band are performing most of the release live on this tour along with a few selections from their quality back catalogue.

After a humorous intro tape of the Laurel and Hardy theme tune (always elements of fun somewhere with this band) it was straight to business with a bouncing 'Shadow' from the 'Discordant Dreams' album, followed by the first taste of the new material with 'Good Boy Pscycho' (fabulous riff) and 'Horizons', which has a top draw chorus; first thoughts on the new album, very positive.

Other highlights from the new album performed were the epic title track 'The City Sleeps' which just about matched the grandeur and splendour of Wintercoast's title track and is in fact the second part of a Wintercoast trilogy and 'When Shadows Fall' the latter full of Rob Cottingham's trademark keyboard skills.

Touchstone, photo by Andrew Lock

Must admit personally I would have loved a few more tracks from the Wintercoast album to have made the set (especially that albums spectacular title track) but quite understandably being an album launch tour they wanted to perform as much of their new baby as possible.

The Wintercoast tracks that made it to the set were the catchy pop/rock masterpiece 'Joker in the Pack', the equally catchy and full of energy 'Zinomorph' and saved for the encore a pumped up performance of live favourite 'Strange Days' during which Heather, Chris and a few of the crew joined the band on stage.

The band also paid a visit to the Mad Hatters EP with the lively assassin themed 'One Shot'.

On the strength of this gig and the excellent new material the future looks bright for Touchstone a leading light of the British prog rock scene (with the emphasis on rock) well crafted numbers with intelligent lyrics, plenty of light and shade, great melodies and also a band that gel perfectly together and enjoy every minute up on stage.

Kim Seviour is a superb vocalist who can deliver both the raw power needed for the rockier numbers and the emotion required at other times as well as being able to charm the crowd with her funny stories (this show included tales of Spinal Tap like problems on the tour and zany props they would like to add to the next tours stage show - budget allowing !).

Adam Hodgson is up their with the best of them on guitar and really rocks out out times with bass player supreme Paul 'Moo' Moorghen', while young drummer Henry Rogers keeps things steady in the engine room, and last but not least Rob Cottingham as always giving a masterclass on the keyboards.

Excellent evening of quality music by both acts and a special mention to Touchstone as well for the excellent idea of the special 'available at the launch shows only' tour edition of The City Sleeps with plenty of goodies, signed artwork, tour laminate and much more.

Review and photos by Andrew Lock


Featured Artist 2011

Special feature/interview

Album review

Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group