Rapidly rising progressive hard rock five piece Touchstone was formed in 2003 by keyboard player Rob Cottingham & guitarist Adam J Hodgson. Bassist Paul Moorghen joined in 2006, and award-winning vocalist Kim Seviour joined in 2007. Henry Rogers completed the line up on drums in June 2010.
Touchstone released their first studio EP ‘Mad Hatters’ in 2006,swiftly following up with debut album 'Discordant Dreams' in July 2007 with John Mitchell (Kino, It Bites, Arena, Frost*) mixing, and Tim Turan (Motorhead, Frost*, Marilyn Manson) mastering the LP. However it was the band’s second album 'Wintercoast' that really put Touchstone on the map in 2009, with Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons featuring as a very special guest performing the prelude narration. The album was voted 4th best album of 2009 by PROG Magazine readers and by Classic Rock Magazine’s Geoff Barton in the Critics’ Choice.
In 2010 Touchstone opened the first ever High Voltage Festival in London’s Victoria Park, playing alongside bands such as ELP, ZZ Top, Black Label Society among countless others. The band have toured worldwide including appearances at major festivals in the UK,Poland and USA, and have supported prog rock legends It Bites, Arena, Von Hertzen Brothers, Magenta, Def Leppard's Joe Elliot's 'Down n Outz' band, and Quireboys to name a few.
In October 2011 Touchstone released their third studio album 'The City Sleeps' to exceptional critical acclaim, entering the official UK rock charts at No.36. The album has gained outstanding reviews across the board in UK & Europe and won numerous plaudits including being amongst the top 20 albums of 2011 in the Classic Rock Magazine Critics’ Choice Awards and being voted 5th Best Album of the Year 2011 by PROG Magazine readers. Incredible award-winning female vocalist Kim Seviour was also awarded 2nd best female vocalist. The band were nominated in the New Blood category at the inaugural Progressive Music Awards 2012.
Touchstone’s brand new 4th studio album is due for release early October 2013.
VON HERTZEN BROTHERS
True to their name, the Von Hertzen Brothers are bonded by blood and this brotherly connection really shines through in the music. Formed initially as a project in 2000 in their hometown of Helsinki, they have since reached far and wide with their epic rock.
It’s rare for a progressive and challenging rock album to top the national charts but Von Hertzen Brothers did it three times – with their 2nd album, Approach, with their 3rd, Love Remains The Same, and again with their 4th album, 2011′s Stars Aligned. All three albums have been certified gold in their native Finland.
Their 2011 release Stars Aligned also helped the band make major in roads into the UK where they played a number of headline shows and drew huge crowds to the Prog Stage at the High Voltage festival in London. They were nominated for the ‘Best New Band‘ Award at Classic Rock Magazine‘s annual awards show and the “New Blood” category at the Classic Rock Prog awards 2012. After touring widely throughout the European mainland they spent the autumn of 2012 in studio preparing their 5th release.
Their 5th studio album, Nine Lives, will be released in March 2013. The album was preceded by a new single and video – ‘Flowers & Rust’ –released on Feb 4th, 2013.
Musically it is impossible to pigeon hole these brothers of rock. Although their music embraces so many unique rhythms and abstract scales, using traditional rock instruments makes it all approachable and intriguing. This blending of the familiar with the unfamiliar results in mishmash that somehow makes perfect sense. There are elements of classic rock bands in the bands music, yet it always feels fresh and modern.
Drawing lyrical influences from writers such as William Blake, classic Indian authors, the writings of the ancient mystics as well as contemporary playwrights, the songs originate from the deep yearning for freedom and peace of mind that the brothers feel.
“von Hertzen” is German and means “from the heart”.