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Collateral, Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters, Pearler and Raider

Dr. Steve Haines

14 mei 2022

Hangar 18, Swansea, 14th May 2022

Hmmm, choices, choices. Do I go to the latest offering from the Midnight Tornado team or do I watch the Eurovision Song Contest. Given that the former are quickly developing a reputation for putting together ridiculously strong bills of acts and the latter is a political poopfest, it really isn’t a choice but I had to make you think I had a modicum of youthful vigour.

Getting here early was one of my best decisions since, well, ever. Opening band Raider were pretty darned amazing. Incredibly polished, talented and a singer who was in the final of The Voice, these guys have been a band for quite a while but, obviously, thanks to the global bastard, have only recently started gigging but they say practice makes perfect and it’s clear that these boys have been practicing. Melodic rock the way it should be done and an awesome start to the evening. Though I wonder if anyone else thought the bassist looked remarkably like Dominic Monaghan. Just me. Ok then.

Next up we’re local legends Pearler. At the heavier and thrashier end of the rock spectrum, these guys ooze charisma and energy. They always put on a great show and tonight was no exception. You know when you’ve had one. And I did. Again.

They were followed by a band adopted as Welsh in Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters. Beth always seems to stick her tongue out at me. I don’t think it makes me special, I think it’s just my social repugnance. Thankfully, Beth and the boys made me forget my woes with a stomping, high energy set including crowd pleasers like I Ain’t Got Nothing (if I Ain’t Got Rock & Roll) and Jack and Coke. Good job, young lady (and guys), good job.

Finally, we had Collateral. I wasn’t hugely familiar with the band ahead of time but having spoken to a number of the audience throughout the night, this band have been greatly anticipated in South Wales for some time, again due to the global bastard. It was a fantastic set of melodic rock including great songs like Midnight Queen, About This Boy and Mr Big Shot. Extremely polished and with a the ideal melodic rock double whammy in a charismatic frontman Angelo Tristan and obscenely talented guitarist in Todd Winger. There was a special moment when the band brought up their “favourite Welsh fan”, who I think was called Megan, to sing backing vocals at one point as well as an impromptu reel with Angelo. Having gone through their planned set, ending with Merry Go Round, the audience were still baying for more, so Angelo improvised an acoustic encore that included “Get Back To You”.

It was another stunning success for the Midnight Tornado team and Matt Jones from Hangar 18. They are rapidly becoming like a new family to me (obviously I’m the weird uncle nobody talks about). Fantastic work guys!

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