Bad Touch’s latest tour with The Karma Effect proves that NWOCR is the bullish genre that just keeps on giving. Here are five things Rushonrock editor Simon Rushworth learned from a barnstorming double header.

1. Believe the hype where The Karma Effect’s concerned

It’s a big year for throwback classic rockers The Karma Effect as the band readies its Earache Records debut for release in May.

And it’s little wonder a label that hoovered up Rival Sons and The Temperance Movement back in the day has chosen to hang its hat on the rising stars of the NWOCR scene.

Rushonrock first caught the swaggering Londoners in action at Call Of The Wild Festival last summer and we were immediately hooked.

On Tyneside, frontman Henry Gotelier owned the stage with all the understated cool of Purple-era Coverdale and peak Paul Rodgers — comfortably persuading a passionate crowd that no band deserves their support more right now.

In tandem with fellow six stringer Robbie Blake, Gotelier’s guitar work provides the impeccable platform for a slew of 70s-soaked, 80s-styled singalongs destined for a bigger stage.

2. Louder isn’t always better

In the band’s updated bio, The Karma Effect’s sound is described as ‘hip-shaking rock’n’roll positively gleaming with 80s keyboard shimmer’. It sums them up to a tee.

Disappointingly, that 80s keyboard shimmer had almost disappeared without trace by the time Gotelier and co. dug into their hotly anticipated Northumbria University set.

Turning up the amps to 11 might suit Spinal Tap but it’s a disastrous decision where The Karma Effect is concerned — their intricate melodies and relatable lyrics deserve a pared down, more pragmatic approach. Less is definitely more when it comes to volume.

Superstar tinkler Seb Emmins is, arguably, the ace in the pack and yet his best work was inaudible as he fought an heroic, losing battle for top billing. If keyboard shimmer is a key feature then please don’t bury your keysman in a muddy mix.

3. See Bad Touch, get a good feeling

Would it be rude to describe Bad Touch as the godfathers of the NWOCR scene?

Ripping up clubs and festival stages for the best part of 15 years, Stevie Westwood and co. pre-dated the community that’s become home to the best in new classic rock and metal.

And yet their finest work fits NWOCR’s sound and ethos like a glove.

Bag a ticket for a Bad Touch show and you’re guaranteed a fun, feelgood, life-affirming blast of the very best in British classic rock. 99% of the time, at least.

This was one of those nights when Westwood could do no wrong — the affable, authentic and always entertaining frontman living his best life in front of a few well-oiled Geordies enjoying their Friday downtime.

On a busy night of live music on Tyneside this was the only place to be.

4. There’s a sense of Bittersweet Satisfaction watching Bad Touch in 2024

Bad Touch might be staples of the NWOCR scene and regular visitors to the UK’s biggest rock cities but one question remains: why hasn’t this super tight, super cool, super talented crew already graduated to City Hall-size stages and arena undercards?

It’s genuinely baffling. And if not now, when?

With a classy cannon of work under their belts — a flawless 15-song set in Newcastle was all killer and no filler — and hundreds, if not thousands, of live shows living long in the memory of fans worldwide, Bad Touch should be a much, much bigger deal.

Good On Me (Jeans Song), Lift Your Head Up and 99% are joyous, genius, genuinely special rock songs deserving of a far wider audience.

Credit to Westwood and his buddies for their unswerving commitment to the cause but Bad Touch deserve their big break — before it’s too late.

5. Big love for Bad-Boys reunion

Talking of big breaks, Bad Touch has never forgotten the opportunity afforded the band in 2013 when rock and roll royalty Quireboys took Norfolk’s finest across the country on their first full UK tour.

And so it was entirely fitting that Westwood namechecked one particularly prominent member of a bouncing Newcastle crowd.

Paul Guerin is back in the North East putting the finishing touches to the Guy Griffin-fronted Quireboys’ new album — due later this year.

But the six stringer loves to support live music and chose to spend his night off (in truth he was heading home later to resume work on a Joe Elliott collab) at Northumbria University’s small but perfectly formed Reds Bar.

Guerin caught up with both Bad Touch and The Karma Effect after the show — and while Westwood and his buddies will always be close to Paul’s heart it looked like The Karma Effect have another new convert.