Review and photos by Peter Coates – www.facebook.com/InsideEdgePhotographyContinue reading Live Review : Alice Cooper + Airbourne & MC50 at Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney – February 15, 2020
Review by Peter Coates
A blast of classic AOR rock from a hard-working bunch of lads from Kent.
Over here in Australia I keep a jealous watch on the stream of quality rock bands emerging from all corners of the UK, covering classic rock, southern rock, , blues rock and all combinations of the above, playing at countless gigs and festivals throughout the country, and being encouraged by the continuing influence of bands who were their idols and heroes from the 1980s and 1990s, many of whom are still ripping it up around the pub, club and theatre circuit – Thunder; Tyketto; Gun; FM and the rest.
These guys may just be the pick of the current crop!
Collateral released their 4 Shots EP at the end of 2018 which was a taster of some quality melodic rock, delivered with a touch of swagger and some killer riffs that combined classic stadium AOR anthems of US and Scandinavian monsters, with a modern and slightly edgier British rock feel. When you hear the varied influences behind each of the band members, it sort of all makes sense.
Front man Angelo Tristan has a heavy country music side, and guitarist Todd Winger enjoys the ballsier southern rock of Black Stone Cherry and The Cadillac 3, while Jack Bentley-Smith flies the 80s big-rock flag, and drummer Ben Atkinson is from the darker, heavier end of the metal spectrum.
2019 saw the band head out on a number of support tours, playing the UK’s Camden Rocks and Ramblin’ Man Fair festivals, and also got selected from 200,000 entrants to support Jon Bon Jovi on his Runway to Paradise cruise, and they are just heading out around the UK with the mighty bluespower guitarist Jared James Nichols (here in Australia shortly with John 5) to give them yet more exposure, and then with Phil X & The Drills (Bon Jovi guitarist), before crossing the Channel to go round Europe opening for Skid Row before they are back in the UK with Scandinavian melodic rockers H.E.A.T. So the next few months are going to be flat out for the boys.
Mr Big Shot kicks off the record with a crunching riff which breaks down for the chorus to a kicking bass and drum line and leaps into the catchiest pre-chorus and the enormous crowd-vocals of the “Big Shot” chorus – call it derivative if you will…..but the band describes it as a slightly mocking self-parody of themselves and found the song developed a strength that meant it was perfect to open the album.
Another killer riff opens up Promiseland which features some guitar chops over a solid kick-drum through the verse, some soaring harmonies, and a ripper solo for Todd and a whole heap of epic harmony vocals and keyboards. Classic 80’s rock with a modern grittier southern edge comes to the fore with Merry-Go-Round which sees Angelo deliver a really strong vocal, with some subtle harmonies, and a sensational middle-eight and solo with crushing guitars before the stripped-back final verse.
Angelo originally wrote In It For Love over 10 years ago and the band re-visited it and changed the tempo, so it is a driving melodic rocker with some pounding drums and an odd time-change in the song that sort of works, but gives the track two distinct vibes which while both great in their own right, don’t entirely gel as the one song.
An absolute stormer of a track come out next with Lullaby which is a moodier riff-driven track with some immense drumming and a tasty solo, and the lyrics delivered with a bit of venom – this one will be immense live with the crowd-chorus, and was released as the first single from the album back in May 2019.
The opening guitars of Midnight Queen, the only track from the EP that is on the new record, are melodic and semi-acoustic rather than brutal riffs, and immediately bring to mind some of the classic AOR anthems from Nightranger, Honeymoon Suite, Loverboy, Foreigner and REO Speedwagon, with driving bass and drums, and a tasty line in guitar licks from Todd.
A rock ballad was always going to find it’s way onto the record, and Get Back To You has got it all – the breathy vocals over acoustic guitar before the band kicks in for the next verse, the soaring vocals of the chorus, and the melodic guitar soloing over huge keyboards – you can see the lighters in the air already. The solo leads into the power-ballad chorus and there is a second solo in the delightfully overblown outro which works so well. If it sounds as though I am critical, that is certainly not the case…….it is impossible to hear this and not be picked up emotionally at least a little.
Won’t Stop Me Dreaming opens up with a pile-driving riff that has more hook-lines than a trawler, as it races into catchy pre-chorus and even catchier chorus. The harmonies are seamless and the beat just forces the head to nod and feet to stamp – this will be a killer track live. Album-closer About This Boy has some of the country music influences, and ends up as a what could be a huge radio-friendly west coast rock song with a feel of The Eagles or their modern incarnation, Midland.
Angelo has the hair and the voice to go with it, with some wonderful harmonies in many of the choruses, with some quality lead guitar and riffing from Todd, and an absolutely solid rhythm-section in Jack and Ben, with the whole package supported by a huge production from Sean Kenny – this is stadium melodic rock of the quality of the likes of Bad English, with the commercial power of Bon Jovi and Europe, and the balls of Skid Row, tinged with the modern Scandinavian power and harmony of Eclipse or Degreed, delivered with a modern British edge as with the likes of New Device, Vega or Night By Night.The album is released on February 21st and is available on all normal formats and from the band website.
Review by Natasha Wyborn
He will, He will, rock you.Continue reading Live Review : Adam Thompson Performs Queens Bohemian Rhapsody Soundtrack at Ulumbarra Theatre Bendigo – 8 February 2020
Review by Natasha Wyborn
With a stellar lineup comprising Hunters & Collectors, James Reyne, The Living End, The Angels, The Baby Animals, Killing Heidi and Boom Crash Opera the Red Hot Summer tour hit South Australian shores on Sunday. Playing to yet another sell out crowd off around 3,000 people. The audience demographic was mixed with a heavy focus on the 50 plus bracket who enjoyed a drink and settled in for an afternoon of fine music and memories. With the rest of the country sweltering in 40 plus heat the temperature dropped rapidly to a chilly 18 degrees by late afternoon. With old brick work and rusty razor wire from the days gone by as a backdrop the crowd was waiting for the fun to begin.Continue reading Live Review : Red Hot Summer Tour at Old Mount Gambier Gaol – 5th January 2020
Review + Red Carpet photos by Wendy Robinson
Keith Urban with Amy Shark and John Butler at Sydney Coliseum 21/12/19
On December 21st, while Western Sydney sweltered on a 44 degree Summer day, the local brand new events venue began it’s official Opening Day celebrations. West HQ (formerly Rooty Hill RSL) unveiled The Coliseum, a beautiful new concert and entertainment precinct, featuring a state of the art 2000 seat auditorium.
Review by Natasha Wyborn
For those of us lucky enough to have lived it the first time around it’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since the release of the ‘Matchbook’ album. On Saturday night at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne the near full house got a chance to relive the memories live again. We may all be a little older but Ian Moss has lost nothing in momentum or ability to engage and play an electric guitar like an extension of his own anatomy.Continue reading Live Review : Ian Moss at Palais Theatre, Melbourne – 16 November 2019
Words and Pics: www.hoskingindustries.com.au
Mid-week gigs are always a mixed back for international acts. They really need to be pretty big names to ensure a full house. Some, even after some 30 years, can end up with a small room only half full and that is what New Orleans sludge veterans Eyehategod were faced with at the Cambridge Hotel’s smaller Warehouse room.Continue reading Live Review : EYEHATEGOD + Black Rheno + Post Truth at The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – 13 November 2019
Review by Natasha Wyborn
It’s hard to believe the act I was witnessing in 2019 originally formed way back in the early 60’s. The Seekers have been a part of Australian music culture for close to 60 years. Formed as a folk quartet in Melbourne in 1962 the band has travelled the work and left its mark alongside some of the biggest bands of the 60’s. To put The Seekers popularity into perspective at the height of their career the seekers shared the same bill with The Rolling Stones and the Beatles whilst drawing an estimated crowd of 200,000 to the Sydney Myer Music Bowl. The original lead singer Judith Durham has left the quartet however the remaining three original members Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley continue to delight fans both within Australia and abroad.Continue reading Live Review : Mirusia & The Original Seekers At Melbourne Recital Centre – 2nd November 2019
Review and photos by Meghan Player
Hot on the heels of a sell-out show in Wollongong the night before, it was bound to be all guns blazing for the Newcastle leg of the ‘Chemical Hearts’ tour.Continue reading Live Review : Grinspoon + The Hard Aches + The Gooch Palms at Newcastle Entertainment Centre – 1st November 2019
Review by Peter Coates – www.facebook.com/InsideEdgePhotography
The more artists I discover for the first time, the more ignorant I think I must be about the music scene!
A CD that dropped into the letter box this week is the new release from Perth bluesman Matty T Wall, which is a collection of some absolute blues classics from some of the all-time greats, performed by Matty and his band, and features a few guest guitarists – with the concept inspired by the Gary Moore release of Still Got The Blues back in 1990.Continue reading Album Review : Matty T Wall – Transpacific Blues Vol.1
Review and Photos by : Ben Hosking – www.hoskingindustries.com.au
I was lucky enough to witness Canada’s Cancer Bats in action back sometime around 2013 and was struck by the band’s intensity and obvious enjoyment with what they were doing. That was a Sidewave at Sydney’s Hi-Fi Bar supporting Bullet for My Valentine – which in this reviewer’s mind was a bit of an odd pairing, but whatever…Continue reading Live Review : Cancer Bats at The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – 11th October 2019
Review and Photos: Peter Coates – www.facebook.com/InsideEdgePhotographyContinue reading Live Review: Country to Country (C2C) at Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney – 28 September 2019
Review by Natasha Wyborn
On Saturday night in front of a full house in Bendigo Victoria a packed house got to witness one of the last remaining treasures in country music. Hitting the stage with the enthusiasm of a man considerably younger than his true age, Kris Kristofferson started what can only be considered by any standards a marathon set. Playing almost 2 hours with a traditional intermission in between. It’s hard to believe it has been over 50 years since his debut album. A lot has happened during this time with Kristofferson maintaining a consistent reputation as one of country’s music’s great troubadour’s and performers.Continue reading Live Review : Kris Kristofferson at Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – 21st September 2019
Review by Ben Woning
Judging by the ratio of sitting real estate v.s. standing, at The Amity Affliction’s Heaven and Hell festival, I’d say there’s a good chance we’ll see it back again next year, because like Frenzal said, ‘all we need is a punch in the face’, sonically that is.
As the ‘new festival kid on the block’, Heaven and Hell needed to deliver, and deliver it did, like an Uber Eats scooter on nitrous with bells on.Continue reading Live Review : THE AMITY AFFLICTION – ‘Heaven and Hell’, Brisbane Riverstage – 14 September 2019
Review by Pete Coates – facebook.com/InsideEdgePhotography
Canadian artist Leeroy Stagger’s name might not ring too many bells with Australian music lovers, but hopefully that situation is about to change with the release of his latest album, Strange Path – released on Sept 13th through True North Records / MGM. Despite the lack of familiarity, Leeroy has so far released 11 albums, 2 EPs and has 17 years as a singer-songwriter under his belt which has seen him develop a reputation as a masterful lyricist and exciting performer, garnering a strong following in his homeland, while also making inroads into both the UK and US in recent years.Continue reading Album Review : LEEROY STAGGER – STRANGE PATH