Touchstone came to The Garage in London on their co-headline tour with Finland’s Von Hertzen Brothers.
As this gig, Touchstone were on stage first, and proceeded to put on the sort of impressive show we’ve come to expect from them. Almost the whole set came from the new album “Oceans of Time”, and the new harder-edged material works extremely well live, with Adam Hodgson’s guitar much more dominant in the sound. Kim Seviour has been very dynamic frontwoman and visual focus of the band for a long time now. But now she’s really coming in to her own as a vocalist with material she had a greater hand in writing.
It’s great to see a band like Touchstone playing larger venues and drawing the sorts of crowds they’ve been deserving for a long time. It will be very interesting to see where they go next.
As for Von Herzern Brothers, it took a few songs before what they were doing really made sense. Their sound is a quirky and sometimes rather bonkers mix including polished harmony-driven AOR and off-the wall psychedelia. They have some very retro 70s sounds, their keyboard rig including vintage Moogs and a real Mellotron. Their music shows influences as diverse as King Crimson and Styx withough sounding remotely like a pastiche of anything else. It’s all highly melodic, and they put on a very entertaining show.
The size and enthusiasm of the crowd and the reception given to both bands is a good advertisement for the idea of co-headline tours. Yes, it can be great to see a band play an extended two-hour set digging deep into the back catalogue. But there’s something to be said for a tight focussed set where the band doesn’t have to worry about pacing themselves. And with two great acts, you get two bands for the price of one.