Live Reviews

Published on February 25th, 2018 | by Gary Spiller

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Thirteen Stars, The King Lot, Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters, Excursia – Fuel Club, Cardiff – 16-2-18

Located on one of the oldest streets in Cardiff, the vibrant Womanby Street, Fuel Club is at the very heart of the Welsh capital city’s grassroots music scene. Providing an intimate setting for musicians and punters alike, this venue has become a firm favourite of this contributor over the past 12 months. Coupled with a burgeoning raft of local talent, including the likes of Florence Black, Those Damn Crows and Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters, this is a match made in heaven. It’s the latter of this trio of superb bands that have provided the main draw personally for this evening’s gig but I’m most interested to see Scottish power trio, The King Lot, and Cumbrian southern rockers Thirteen Stars, as they bring their 15 date Outlaws and Angels co-headline tour into town.

Promising Caerphilly metal outfit, Excursia, open the evening but sadly a four hour trek, straight after work, from West Cornwall means I miss them; comments are favourable and it’s another one added to the ‘gonna catch them live soon’ list.

My first musical entertainment of the night comes in the form of personal favourites Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters. Every now and then a band comes along and gets their collective hooks into your very soul and steals your musical heart; Beth and her rock n’ roll partners in crime committed this very act last November with a blindingly stunning performance at Hard Rock Hell which blew apart the second stage in spectacular fashion.

Flame-haired Beth along with fellow six-stringer Luke Strickland, bassist Nicko Goodwin and drummer Sam Brain are in no mood for taking prisoners or for using their first outing of 2018 to merely blow away the metaphorical cobwebs as they truck through their set in typical rifftastic style. Pushing on from the release of their well received 2017 debut album ‘Bad Habit’ this Cardiff-based quartet are not resting on their laurels and take the opportunity to introduce not one but two brand new numbers into their all too short 30 minute set; demonstrating a self-belief and confidence in their new material. It’s well founded too as ‘Give It All You Got’ and ‘On and On’ prove instantly infectious and slot in well alongside established favourites such as ‘Beautiful Disease’ and ‘Hell In High Heels’. The gathered faithful lap it up and the house is brought down by the anthemic set-closer ‘Ready to Rock’; this is turbo-charged rock turned up to 11 just the way we love it.

Next up are West Lothian lads, The King Lot; there’s been a lot of very positive chatter regarding this threesome of late and good friends from Glasgow have spoken very highly of the talent they possess. From the off its most apparent that this is bang on the money and in bassist Jason Sweeney they have a most personable frontman who’s comfortable in exchanging banter and chatting between songs as he is applying his rasping vocals and laying down a rumbling bassline.

Alongside slick guitarist Jay Moir and solid sticksman Chris Gillon The King Lot have a tasty recipe to stride into 2018. Their set is drawn, in main, from their warmly approved self-titled debut album with a couple of numbers from their critically-acclaimed second long player ‘A World Without Evil’ released just a couple of weeks ago. In amongst catchy numbers like ‘One of These Days’ and ‘Hearts on Fire’ Cardiff is hit directly between the eyes with a barnstorming version of The Cult’s 1987 classic ‘Lil Devil’; job’s a goodun, I’ve been suitably impressed.

The night’s closing act, Thirteen Stars, are completely unknown to me but within a few seconds of set opener ‘I’m Ready’ their smooth brand of southern infused rock has my foot tapping. Hoss Thompson’s gritty vocals blend neatly with the slick guitar licks laid down by Jax Sedgwick and himself; all atop a structurally sound rhythm section most ably provided by bassist Ryan Bell and drummer Andy Bates. The crowd warm to these four chaps very quickly and engage in the banter between the Stars and King Lot that has clearly developed during the course of this tour. Funny moment of the night goes to Ryan who beckons Mr Sweeney forward and then proceeds to swipe his pint, retreating to the recesses of the stage once his ‘prize’ is firmly grasped! Quality tracks ‘Breadline” ‘Daddy’s Girl’ and ‘Tired of Waiting’ give a good insight into their 2015 album, ‘White Raven’, which has added itself to the ‘to purchase’ list.

Credit must go to Krissy and Mark Christansen of Total Entertainment South Wales for promoting this excellent bill of bands; an evening which has seen two local bands provide excellent support for two Northern-based bands seeking their fortune on travels out of their region. It’s been a tough night number-wise with Bowling For Soup at the Motorpoint Arena having an unwelcome affect but full marks all around as the on-stage performances were stadium quality throughout.

Here’s to future successes for Total Entertainment South Wales with their March gig with Massive Wagons, Those Damn Crows in Swansea and July’s tantalising three day Seven Sins Festival.


About the Author

40 something Cornish rock fan who's been addicted to music since first hearing Quo's Just Supposin' album back in 1980. Nearly 40 years later and the passion burns as brightly if not brighter with the wealth of talent currently emerging in the rock scene. Love pretty much anything from punk to blues via rock and metal with a dash of folk and country added in for a bit of variety. Consider myself lucky as my better two thirds, Kelly, shares the same passion for rock music and is getting to grips with the challenges of gig photography. Combining our love of music with that of travel has seen us up and down the length and breadth of the UK and, in the last few years, heading further afield across mainland Europe. Currently addicted to too many bands to name check individually but it's safe to say the future of rock has never been in safer hands!



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