Words and Pictures: Adrian Hextall \ MindHex Media
Riding into town like the Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holliday, the four members of Collateral arrived at the Black Heart tavern in Camden Town for a showdown at sunset in front of a mix of fans and assorted press luminaries.
The buzz around the band over the last few months has been considerable. A four track e.p. has, to date, been the only product the consumers could get their hand on and the songs have, by now been played to death by the people who turned up at the Black Heart, eager to hear something old, something new and, to prove their own material stands on its own merits, nothing borrowed and definitely nothing blue….
There’s no denying the band have drawn their influences from the classic hard rock sound of bands like Bon Jovi and Winger. Angelo Tristan, the charismatic front man of the band is a ringer for JBJ circa ‘Blaze of Glory’ complete with cowboy boots and acoustic guitar to finish the look.
Flanked by guitarist Todd Winger and bassist Jack Bentley Smith, the trio had ‘just’ enough room to prove that they were a band with the looks, the shapes and the songs and with professional Vulcan Ben Atkinson stepping away from his ‘I Am Spock’ tribute act [check the latest promo photos] and getting back where he belongs behind the drum kit, the band sounded like they had been performing at venues ten times the size of the Black Heart for years.
Whilst Angelo may well have had a version of Collateral as a band under his own name previously, when the stars align (and they clearly have here) the rebrand, the four members working as one, a clear direction and the right support means that Collateral should be a name we hear a lot over the next few years.
The band, recently playlisted on Planet Rock radio for a remixed version of e.p. single Midnight Queen, were introduced by breakfast DJ Paul Anthony who has, thankfully, seen what a lot of others have and that is the cavernous gap in the scene for an act like Collateral. Many of us grew up in the 80s and see that decade as sadly overlooked musically with critics bemoaning the fact that the hair was bigger than the bands at the time and that the 70s should be where people need to focus their attention. Utter rubbish if you ask me. Bands like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard were arguably some of the biggest on the planet towards the end of the 80s and if new music draws inspiration from there as opposed to the retro sounds of the 70s then that’s OK by me. Those in attendance would agree wholeheartedly given the number of songs the fans (many of whom had traveled up to London on the same bus as the band) sang along to word for word. The fans and band together around the UK could become a thing so expect “Collateral: Presented by National Express” on a tour poster near you soon!
The show itself was short, sharp and did exactly what was needed to raise awareness about the band. Everyone who’s heard of them knows what an amazing guitarist Winger is, knows what a great songwriter and frontman Angelo is and the rhythm section makes you wonder if Jack and Ben were separated at birth, that’s how tight they were.
If there’s one critical appraisal I would offer, well perhaps two, it’s that their music sees them at a bit of a cross roads at the moment. There are, for want of a better comparison, two types of Bon Jovi. There’s the Bon Jovi that released albums like ‘Slippery When Wet’ and ‘New Jersey’ and there’s also Jon Bon Jovi releasing his soundtrack to ‘Young Guns II’ and heading out with ‘Blaze Of Glory’. Collateral at the moment are more ‘Blaze of Glory’ then ‘Slippery..’ and that’s where the forthcoming album can help them immensely (Depending on the direction they want to go). The Romesh Dodangoda remixed Midnight Queen (video below) gives the song, as the Sex Pistols once succinctly put it “some bollocks” and it’s the added oomph that the album needs to display as well. Check out the solo around the 2:50 mark ‘if you see what I mean‘…
Merry-go-round and Lullaby, closing out the show are set to make the new album, the former being a corker of a track that got the room really jumping and the latter is set to bring back mix tapes as young men awkwardly try to entice a girl to go out with them. Playlists never take as much effort as a real mix tape did and this is the sort of track that should sit on it without a doubt!
The future is definitely bright for this band. The groundswell for them and the music is noticeable and will hopefully continue allowing them to get the album out to great critical and commercial success.
One last aside to note about the show in Camden. You’re moving up in life now lads, the venues you’re going to be playing will have their own lights (the Black Heart does) so you don’t have to lug your own lighting gear to shows any more. The, what can only be described as, LED tombola barrel in front of Angelo may make him glow like the Archangel Gabriel for most of the show but the venue lights would have helped it look more like a normal gig rather than the final scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark when the Ark is finally opened!
Roll on the release of the album, check out the video from the show below courtesy of videographer and PR to the band Peter Noble.https://www.facebook.com/collateralrocks/videos/2460780020617385/
Angelo Tristan – Guitar/Vox
Todd Winger – Guitar
Jack Bentley Smith – Bass
Ben Atkinson – Drums
*Denotes songs from “4 Shots! EP”
**Denotes songs from forthcoming debut album
1- Calm Before The Storm
2- When Faith Breaks
3- You Were the Only One
4- *Going With The Wind
5- Coming Home
6- Move On
7- *Just Waiting For You
8- **Promise Land
9- **Merry Go Round
Fans can order Collateral’s “4 Shots!” EP from Roulette Media – https://www.roulettemedia.uk/product-page/collateral-ep-4-shots
Collateral will play the following shows in April, May and June.
Leo’s Red Lion, Gravesend
Supporting Bad Touch
Friday 26 April2019
Saturday 8 May 2019
Co-headline with Daxx & Roxanne
Camden Rocks, London
Sunday 2 June 2019