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Collateral + Piston + Sons Of Liberty

Saturday 28th September 2019

The Lounge, Archway,  London

I’ve always been a fan of live music so when I was invited to come down to watch three live Rock bands on a Saturday night in North London I jumped on the opportunity. When music is played live you get a clearer understanding of the musical influences, how it is portrayed by the performers, how the music is accepted by the public, and comparing the live performance with a recording you get a buzz unlike any other. Therefore, I jumped at the opportunity to go and experience this and I was mesmerised by the experience and inspired to write a review of this amazing evening.
Upon arrival we were welcomed by the doorman and welcomed in. Prices upon entry was £5, very well priced especially for London entry into a nightclub. Even before appearing through the doors, I could hear the first band playing their song. Going through the doors we came across a partitioning wall on the right and a bar on the right. The bar was well stocked with the usual alcohol, spirits and soft drinks. Very reasonably priced, four beers came to £15 which is a fantastic price especially given the London prices I was expecting. After picking up our drinks we followed the music, past the partitioning wall into the main dancefloor. The dancefloor was busy with patrons watching Sons Of Liberty who were on a raised platform in front of the mixing desk. The sound/light engineer was positioned on the opposite side of the room to the band and to his right there was a small alcove which was selling the band merchandise which was busy with more patrons buying t-shirts, albums and other band merchandise. Atmosphere felt cosy and as if we were amongst friends with friendly staff and band members willing to talk, provided they weren’t performing!
Five-piece Sons of Liberty, consisting of two guitars, bass, drums and a baritone vocalist (not forgetting a kazoo), drew on influences of AC/DC, late Country Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Black Rock. It was a fantastic start to an amazing evening, with lots of Country and Western inspired musical genres all wrapped up into one. Some good synergetic moments of audience participation between with song 'Damned If You Do', being passed from singer to the audience. All band members kept the tempo and structure going with a great understanding of tempo changes. Upon chatting with a band member who was selling merchandise after the act he mentioned that they had been playing together for a long time and are friends for “far too long” (made me laugh)!! A very entertaining start before the main event.
Set list:
Big Ass A
Dixie Whiskey
It's My Bad 
Rich Man, Poor Man Beggar Man Thief
Up Shit Creek
Start It Up
Into The Great Unknown
Marvin Popcorn Sutton
Damned If You Do
If It Ain't Southern
Co-headlining five-piece Piston, consisting of two guitars, bass, drums and a baritone vocalist, were a great middle act with a good stage presence. Even though it had its moments, overall the music was fun, thrilling and engaging. With influences potentially including Red Hot Chilli Peppers/Mid-80's Rock, the drummer filled in whilst the guitars we’re changed and tuned which was good for the audience as it filled the gap and provided some fantastic entertainment. Also a guitar string broke which meant a change in guitars but didn’t affect the performance and even though there was a break whilst the instrument was being replaced, the singer, guitar and drummer played to the crowd to keep the interest going. Musically and performance wise - extremely entertaining. 
Set list:
One More Day
Blow It Away
Gone Shootin
Carry Us Home
Go Now
Leave If You Dare
Into The Night
Proud Mary
Final co-headliner Collateral, in contrast, are a four piece consisting of drums, electric guitar, bass guitar and a vocalist. With baritone/tenor elements,  the singer had a fantastic presence about him and drew the audience in to him at the start of the performance, opening  with a number that was well known to his audience and was a signal of intent from the band that they meant business. Musically, brilliant, not a foot wrong with songs moving from one to the other with few stops between numbers. Looking out onto the audience they were drawn into the music and were smiling, singing, nodding heads to the music, hands in the air with “rock” symbols. The introduction of the electro-acoustic guitar was a welcome change in timbre and mood as most of the evening was electric guitar orientated. A good repertoire with a strong following meant this band was one of the highlights of an amazing evening.
Set list:
Big Beginning
Big Shot
Going With The Wind
Merry Go Round
Just Waiting
About This Boy
In It For Love
Midnight Queen
All three bands were amazing and we had a wonderful experience. Different types of Rock music blended into one fantastic evening. Thank you to the venue and the organisers who put on a great show. A special thanks to the Wrinkly Rockers Club who mentioned the event to me earlier on in the day and to all the patrons who came along to watch the event. 
Chris Higgins

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