Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
No matter where the past ends up, it becomes the present for a reason. Past glories never truly fade but they do become the bench mark to which future endeavours are judged and scrutinised over and in respect that always seems to be a moment in which can be looked upon as surreal, almost bogged down; nobody is ever the same person ten years on, what an individual did or didn’t do a decade ago is not indicative of the person they are today, the same should be said of music, musicians and bands.
To look at Touchstone, one of the great modern Prog acts of the 21st Century, and compare the two eras they now straddle is to deny the senses of what makes the band one of leading exponents of their desired genre. Too deny is take away hope and as one era remains vibrant, absolutely riveted in the mind, a new period takes shapes; there should be no comparison because what fundamentally drives the band is passion, pure and simple delightful enthusiasm and strength in performance.
The band’s new E.P., Lights From The Sky, is one that reflects on the introduction of two new members, Liam Holmes on Keyboards and the very fabulous voice of Aggie, it is a presentation of a time to come rather than dismissing the past for whilst nobody can ever replace the contribution laid down before, they should also now embrace what is being offered. There will be moments in which the listener will quite naturally hark back to the tone of voice especially played with such searing honesty of Kim Seviour, that the balance in their minds might be one of regret. However, what is there during the four songs is not only memory but imagery of a different time, of an ensuing passion brought to life by voice not trying to compete but carrying on the distinctive edge that Touchstone bring to the studio.
With the creative edge supplied by the superb Henry Rogers, Moo Moorhen and the erstwhile Adam Hodgson, the E.P. soars, it flows outwards like love being passed on with no thought of demanding it return, purity in abundance and in the songs Fear, Tangled Lines and the two versions of the E.P. title track, Touchstone have carved a new path without losing sight of the one that brought them to be recognised as one of the finest of their generation.
The past moves on, we bow our heads in those that take a different path and thank them for every moment of brilliance they supplied but the story, its characters must remain in the groove; it is a groove that Touchstone have adapted and kept shining.
Ian D. Hall