Review | Golden Touch Festival, The Wedgewood Rooms: 'Worth the wait'

Arriving on stage to the sound of buzzing, controlled bursts of feedback before the riff emerges, Bang Bang Romeo’s opening number Stone Cold Superstar is a statement of intent.

By Chris Broom
Monday, 13th September 2021, 8:43 pm
Stars Walker of Bang, Bang Romeo in the crowd during Golden Touch Festival
Stars Walker of Bang, Bang Romeo in the crowd during Golden Touch Festival

They may be playing to a few hundred in The Wedge, but frontwoman Stars Walker is still performing as if she’s back on the stage at Wembley Stadium where they supported Pink in front of tens of thousands.

On record, the four-piece are a more poppy proposition, but live, they seriously rock.

And their set is packed with singalong anthems.

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Crystal Tides closing out Golden Touch Festival at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea, September 2021.

While the band are tight, it’s clearly Stars who has the – ahem – star power. Besides delivering her powerhouse vocals, she’s a force of nature – there’s self-deprecating banter and good-natured fun with the crowd, singling out individuals who aren’t clapping along at one point.

There’s a clear link with her audience. And make no mistake, it is very much her audience.

She prowls every inch of the stage, even entering the crowd at the set’s end.

Current single Shatterhand (aka ‘the Bond anthem that never was’) is a highlight.

Doncaster’s finest are worth the ticket price alone.

Co-headliners Crystal Tides come at the end of a day which has seen 18 bands ping-ponging between The Wedge and its smaller sister stage, The Edge of The Wedge.

But if there’s any signs of fatigue from the crowd, you’d be hard-pressed to spot them when Crystal Tides hit the stage.

One of a crop of Portsmouth acts poised to break out onto a wider stage, the four-piece have been steadily picking up national attention.

This hometown audience are clearly a partisan bunch – singing along to many of the songs and bouncing along with vigour.

Their ebullient indie provides a fitting climax to the day.

If you’re heading to the Isle of Wight catch them on Friday at the This Feeling Stage. With any luck they’ll soon be on the bigger stages.

Golden Touch has been much delayed thanks to the pandemic, but it was worth the wait.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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