1865, Southampton

Bad Touch, Daxx & Roxane, Eythrfield + Skinny Knowledge

Most gig-goers never spare a thought about what goes on behind the scenes to actually put on an event. Gig promoters are a rare breed and they need to have many skills that few people possess. Patience, drive, enthusiasm, positivity, organisation skills, tolerance, broad shoulders and reserve of cash if things go wrong. The pandemic and spiralling domestic costs have hit all music promoters hard, yet they still continue against all odds to put on shows. Tonight’s event Nozlite the little brother or aperitif to August’s Nozfest has been put together by young local promoter Jodie Bowie. Jodie must be applauded before a note at this event is even played for having the staying power and the drive to continue to bring us music fans these great events.

Tonight we have a quartet of acts to engage with our musical curiosities and they are part of a modern movement which shows the evolution of the much loved rock music genre. The first act on is Bournemouth four-piece Skinny Knowledge, who last year graced us with their debut album Don’t Turn Out The Light, featuring 14 great tracks. Frontman Andy Smooth seems really revved up tonight and after their performance at the Teddy Rocks Festival last weekend and recent tour the band seem to work like a well-oiled machine. Along with Andy on lead vocals/guitar, the band features Max Harris on guitar, Kristian Lee on drums and Rabbie McGowan on bass.

Kicking off with the recent single “I Wonder” the band is a heady mix of fresh melodies, soaring choruses and infectious rhythms. Andy is a self-confessed superfan of Green Day and the Foo Fighters, which is where much of the song’s influences come from, although, that is no bad thing. A slight diversion from the band’s original tracks leads up to an early audience sing-a-long with The Beatles “Get Back”. “Imagination” is one of the highlights and the band shows their creative side with some great dual guitar work along with some hard-hitting vocal delivery. After a really entertaining 35 minutes on stage, the band deliver their last song with the same energy and skill as the first, and they leave the stage with plenty of assured applause from the crowd.

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Next up are young pretenders to the progressive rock throne Eythrfield, who are three chaps from Newton Abbot in Devon. The band have been themselves rattling a few cages since forming in 2018 with same major supports slots with a host of top acts including Judas Priest, Nightwish and Gojira along with some notable festival performances. Brothers Zach (Bass/Vocals) and Ben Cornish (Guitar/Vocals) and joined by Dan Ashton on drums, together they make one hell of a glorious noise. The debut album “In Delirium” was released last year and the band kick off tonight’s set with one of the tracks from it “Sunstroke”. Despite only being a three-piece, the three create a big sound full of complex rhythms, wondrous guitar melodies and some impressive harmonizing. The band provide so many elements to enjoy. One of the high-lights of the set is a tune call “Remembering”, a track that slowly smoulders with some divine passionately delivered vocals, along with some gentle understated guitar work before, the track positively lifts off and the trio take us on an atmospheric journey through some wonderfully uplifting moments. You cannot fail to be impressed with what these guys have to offer. Further tracks like “Serenity” and “Bitter Wishbone” show the band firing on all cylinders and giving the audience one hell of a great performance.

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The penultimate band of the evening are a new band to me, I’ve heard just a few tracks from various Spoifty playlists before but never had the pleasure of seeing them live before. Daxx & Roxane are a four-piece with a big reputation, they are originally from Switzerland and moved to London to chase their rock n’ roll dreams. They arrive on stage with opening number “Ticket to Rock’ and it’s immediately clear that these guys aren’t shrinking violets. They are full of explosive energy and they are full of entertaining movement that is visually great to watch. Each tune they deliver with the same energy as they last and apart from the two really annoying guys in the front row chatting about their military service throughout, the whole of the audience is motivated by them.

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There is so much to enjoy, agile guitarist Cal Wymann’s blistering solos while pulling so many shapes, playing his trusty six-string in so many different ways. Cedric Pfister shows off a wide and passionate vocal range as well as playing some cracking basslines. Simon Golaz brings his unique rock n’roll stylings with his complimentary blues guitar riffs and harmonica skills. While the shirtless Luca Senaldi effortlessly provides a barrage of dramatic rhythmic drum patterns that is the backbone of each number. With tunes like “A Strange Woman”, a beautifully re-worked cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and the powerfully emotive “Lust in Love”, the band soar to new heights. The final number “Wrong Side” sees guitarist Cal ditch his axe for part of the song and playfully take over on the drums. Their music is undeniably rock filled with a host of different eclectic influences, which gives them a wonderfully creative unique sound that audiences cannot fail to be inspired by.

Tonight’s headliners “Bad Touch” from Norfolk seem really excited to be here playing in front of a live audiences once again, after the almost relentless rehearsals. The band are relishing the opportunity to once again stretch their legs and perform in front of rock fans regularly. Fronted by the very unmistakable character of Stevie Westwood with his flowing mane of hair, beard, flowery shirts, boot cut jeans, cowboy boots and a positive hip swaying swagger. These five guys light up the place and kick off with “Lift Your Head Up”, a perfect opener with its driving rhythms, soaring guitars and infectious chorus.

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It’s clear that each of the band members enjoy what they do and their infectious energy radiates out into the audience. The “Good on Me” (Jeans Song) gets the crowd singing early on in the set and a funky cover of Edwin Starr’s “Twenty-Five Miles” is a real hip shaker for us audience members. The band are happy to wear their own influences on their sleeves, with their songs showing a blend of 60’s and 70’s styles. There is a huge slice of blues, southern style country, a dash soul/funk and a large helping of classic rock. This makes for one really infectious sound that gives us rock fans danceable infectious music that provides a much-needed release. The set ends on a high with “Outlaw” with the two guitarists Rob Glendinning and Daniel Seekings lighting up the place with some impressive string work, before finishing the evening off with the classic “99%”.

The band take their bows and humbly thank the crowd for their attendance and support. They also eagerly encourage us to continue our support of independent music venues like the 1865, Stevie says “Use them or lose then”. There ends a great evening of thoroughly entertaining rock music, shame on you if you didn’t attend you missed a fantastic night.

Set Lists
Bad Touch
Lift Your Head Up
Good on Me (Jeans Song)
Dressed to Kill
Let Go
Too Much of a Good Thing
Twenty-Five Miles (Edwin Starr cover)
I Get High
Can You Save Me
Hand in My Pocket (Alanis Morissette cover)
Come a Little Closer

Daxx & Roxane
Ticket to Rock
Girl next door
A Strange Woman
Sugar Rush
Wild Child
Superstition (Stevie Wonder cover)
Lust and Love
Fast Lane
Wrong Side

Free The Dog
The Hunter
Laying on Of Hands
Bitter Wishbone
Bag Of Bones

Skinny Knowledge
I Wonder
Not Coming Down
Get Back (The Beatles)
Keep Me Out Of It
King of Nothing feat ‘All My Life’ (Foo Fighters)
Don’t Turn Out the Lights
Heavy Metal Interlude


Nozfest returns to The 1865 in Southampton on 13th August featuring Ethyrfield, Dead Man’s Whiskey, Gallows Circus, Scarlet Rebels, Western Sand, The Hot Damn!, Collateral, Florence Black, Massive and Mason Hill. Tickets can be purchased in advance here.


Words & Media by David Chinery (Chinners).