@Newcastle Trillians, January 13 2022

According to Collateral’s punchy new power ballad there’s No Place For Love.

Well, a rowdy, Covid-busting Trillians crowd would surely beg to differ.

For many this was a first live show of 2022.

A rare night out and a chance to rock out.

Even the Prime Minister would have been tempted to crash this particular party.

No Place For Love? Not here. Not in Newcastle.

Of course, Kent’s über cool hair metal throwbacks are built to bring the love.

And the band’s trademark positivity and boundless energy created a sense of hope and expectation that’s been missing for so many rock fans for so many months.

Thanks to Collateral, it felt like this really could be the year when live music finally makes a full and unrestricted comeback.

A supercharged set was a statement of hope wrapped up in 11 fist-pumping anthems.

The pace never slackened during a rollercoaster ride of melodic rock excess.

And this felt like an adrenaline-fuelled booster jab for loyal gig-goers everywhere.

Get ready to plug in to Re-Wired

If No Place For Love is typical of the new tunes pacing Collateral’s upcoming crowd-funded album Re-Wired then long-time fans are in for a treat.

Think Bon Jovi meets Bad English meets Michael Bolton.

And it’s yet another dreamy vehicle for frontman Angelo Tristan and axe slinger Todd Winger to do their thing.

That ‘thing’ is  — and always has been — crafting superior pop rock with serious polish.

From the outset Collateral never intended to reinvent the wheel.

Instead they leaned heavily on the Sunset Strip’s late 80s heyday and sought to filter a winning formula.

On the band’s self-titled debut album there was more cheese than a Waitrose deli counter.

But that’s the point.

Unapologetic bangers like Mr Big Shot, Merry Go Round and Midnight Queen (all wildly received here) stopped Steel Panther in their tracks.

And Collateral set a new benchmark for retro-fuelled, fret-melting fun.

Can’t hold Collateral down

So what’s different about the band in 2022?

Tristan’s even more comfortable, cocky and achingly charismatic.

Winger? More like Collateral’s libero.

And drummer Ben Atkinson is working tirelessly to restrict the number of times he contorts his face during a typical Collateral show.

Returning to action on Tyneside, the band were slicker, sassier and sensing victory.

As well as space for No Room For Love there was spellbinding set opener Lullaby and a cool take on late 2020 release Can’t Hold Me Down

Danny Vaughan might have been missing for Midnight Queen (the Tyketto man guested on a remix of the song last year) but Tristan still had plenty of help from his friends.

And those sugar-sweet vocal harmonies are just one of the reasons why Collateral continue to stand out from the crowd.

More new tunes would have been the icing on the cake. 

But Tristan’s always been a tease…with added sleaze.

Black to the future

Bringing Revival Black along for the ride on this limited run of UK shows was another smart move from the Collateral camp.

The swaggering Merseysiders boast the current Rushonrock Red Hot Track Of The Week.

And the Free-meets-Black Country Communion vibe underpinning a stellar support slot whetted the appetite for another hotly anticipated NWOCR release in 2022.

Revival Black will release the follow-up to Step In Line later this year and the band’s new music made its presence felt early on.

Dan Byrne’s emotive takes on Believe, The River and set closer Wide Awake reinforced his growing reputation as the new Paul Rodgers.

And there’s more than a hint of Inglorious’ Nathan James deep within those powerful pipes.

Looking for a new blues rock hero to hang your hat on this year? Dan’s the man.

Images courtesy of Adam Kennedy

Enjoyed this review? Check out Rushonrock’s Best Melodic Rock Albums Of 2021.