Positioned above a rock bar below that is one of Camden Town’s more recent landmark music watering holes, the upstairs room at The Black Heart is an unforgiving venue: small, claustrophobic, sweaty, cramped sight lines and a frankly appalling P.A. Nevertheless, many bands, of current and past note, have experienced a baptism of fire in this intense gene pool furnace of rock and metal as they attempt to move along the conveyer belt of fame. And rightly so, as no-frills venues such as The Black Heart separate the metal men from the wannabe hard rock boy bands, the rock goddesses from the pseudo girl power snowflakes.
Situated opposite what was once a boyhood home of Charles Dickens, a multitude of aspiring bands with great expectations have played this venue. The latest of which is Collateral, who possess an onstage presence and 80s arena-rock tunes that should give them a strong hand to play the fame game and achieve their own rock ‘n’ roll dreams.
Championed by Planet Rock’s own DJ Paul Anthony, who introduced the band in his inimitable adrenalised style, Collateral hit the stage to open with Calm Before The Storm; a presciently catchy tune which instantly reveals the killer charisma of singer Angelo Tristan in his full glory. Establishing his frontman credentials from the get-go, he whipped up a crowd of mutual friends and curious punters who didn’t let up on their loud support throughout tonight’s showcase set.
This tour-de-force of a show, with the prominent inclusion of songs from their recent excellent 4 Shots EP, turned up a notch when single Midnight Queen clanged out of said P.A. In fact, this is the song that rock DJ Anthony is rightly plugging on his ever-popular radio show. A nailed on punchy AOR melodic rock classic, Midnight Queen is possibly the song that will propel these apprentice rockers along the yellow brick road to superstar status in years to come. Frankly, all that is lacking in their early repertoire is a faster, banging song to raise the pace and adrenalin of their current set.
Talking of their current set, an added twist is the inclusion of a raft of numbers from their forthcoming debut album which keeps the melodic, arena-rock vibe purring along nicely.
Hailing from the Kent coast renowned for its seafood, many bands playing this genre may have the musical oyster but Collateral possess the pearls with their dizzying array of radio-friendly rock songs.
Ones to watch? Most definitely! Tonight’s satisfied punters buzzing out of the venue can rightly say that they were here witnessing the future of the New Wave of British Classic Rock.
Words: Paul Davies Photos: Andras Paul
COLLATERAL 2019 UK TOUR DATES
Leo’s Red Lion, Gravesend
Supporting Bad Touch
Friday 26 April 2019
Saturday 8 May 2019
Co-headline with Daxx & Roxanne
Orange Yd, Manette St, Soho, London W1D 4JB
Camden Rocks, London
Sunday 2 June 2019