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Dr. Steve Haines

20 mei 2022

Hangar 18, Swansea, 20th May 2022

Another weekend and another bumper evening of rock from the Midnight Tornado team with their final offering before a brief hiatus. With five bands on show, it was a largely positive evening but with a somewhat subdued atmosphere (which sounds more refined than saying that Hangar 18 was practically empty).

It was unfortunate timing for this show with a clash with both Call Of The Wild Festival and a proposed Revival Black show down the M4 in The Patriot at Crumlin (which had to be pulled VERY reluctantly after Revival Black singer Dan Byrne was suffering vocal problems (Get well soon Dan from the Just Chopsing team). The upshot was a vastly reduced audience for this show lacking many of the familiar faces of recent weeks. But Midnight Tornado are developing a reputation for trying not to pull a show if it can be avoided so the show must go on.

First up were local boys Suns of Thunder and, I hate to say it, but I wasn’t keen. A band with a decidedly punk edge, perhaps they needed a rabid crowd to bounce off but for me, on the night, many of the songs lacked cohesion but I’m more than happy to concede that it’s just not my thing.

Next up were the recently formed De’Lour who had a decidedly prog metal feel. The singer was astoundingly good and the music was atmospheric. The lyrics may have been sad, but I definitely wasn’t. I’ll be keenly following the progress of these boys.

They were followed by Newport band Catalysts who were full of energy and charisma. An edgier face of rock was on display here and we had another great singer backed up by a talented band. They put on a solid set of driving rock music and like a man who is unable to pronounce the letter F, I couldn’t say fairer than that.

Main support came from Blackpool band A’Priori who were incredibly good. The band had been supporting The Mercury Riots for several shows and it was easy to see why, since the bands shared a similar bluesy rock feel (and both bands had prodigiously good guitarists). An extremely strong bunch of songs then the cherry on the top was a fantastic cover of Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name Of assisted by The Mercury Riots bassist Zachary Kibbee. Excellent stuff.

Headliners The Mercury Riots followed and the Los Angeles band created a party atmosphere from the outset. Their unquestionable talent and infectious love for playing music ensured that their set rocked from start to finish through original songs like Sweet Melody and covers including Hot Chocolate’s Everyone’s A Winner. But, in keeping with my recent trend of Hangar 18 lookalikes, we had not one but two in tonight’s headliners and when you consider the band are a three-piece, it’s pretty surprising. Singer/bassist Zachary Kibbee is a dead ringer for a guy I went to university with. That means nothing to you, but it freaked me the hell out when I bumped into him outside the venue at the start of the night. Perhaps more in keeping with the general populous, the other lookalike, perhaps more for people of a certain vintage, drummer Jonny Udell reminded me of Matthew Modine. My bizarreness aside, this was a truly cracking set and another phenomenally talented guitarist. It was a great, great showing from the American trio.

It was a shame there weren’t more people to experience another great Midnight Tornado show but those who were in attendance enjoyed another solid night of rock music in Swansea.

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