Much has been said and written about the announced closure of The Borderline due to the devil’s own three-pronged axis of evil: Crossrail, soaring rents and high business rates. As I write, these three heinous factors are spat out with unrestrained disgust and with much warranted venomous vitriol. In fact, the whole rock scene in Soho that attracted not only the hardcore fans but also global tourists for whom the history of music born out of Tin Pan Alley and the raft of music venues in the surrounding not only kept the economy of Soho afloat but preserved the historical significance of this music town. After The Borderline closes this autumn, the number of music venues in central London dwindles perilously towards an inevitable zero.
That painfully aside, The Borderline has hosted many bands that were born for greatness and others that had fame thrust upon them and tonight’s star turn Collateral are in an enviable place twixt both as a long line of punters queuing outside attests.
As I have already written about the prospects of this breakthrough band in these back pages this February at Camden’s Blackheart, tonight’s show built upon their burgeoning reputation with an even more confident set of pretty much the same crowd-pleasing songs.
Flying out from the stage wings with the band pumping out the massive riff to Big Shot, theatrical frontman Angelo Tristan is a rock star in the making with his long highlighted hair and heavy eyeliner as he pumped up the partisan crowd with his powerful lungfull display.
The pulsating radio-friendly anthem of Midnight Queen sounds sharper with guitarist Todd Winger growing in stature with his shredding and melodic guitar play. Proving they are no one trick songwriting pony, ballad Going With The Wind has a hair – metal flavour running throughout and new country-tinged song About A Boy widens their repertoire and went down very well with this evening’s enthusiastic fist-pumping followers.
Aided by tonight’s superior sound system to that of The Blackheart, it’s clear that Collateral has grown in stature and cohesiveness over the past three months. Their current limited set gels together more than before and there is more playful banter between the band and a growing dedicated clique of diehard fans.
All of which promises success for this September’s eagerly anticipated debut album release which should enable Collateral to establish themselves on the much-travelled melodic rock road to bigger venues and international exposure.
Event Date: 18-May-2019
Words: Paul Davies Photos: Robert Sutton