Needless to say, it's nice to be on the guest-list for a Cast gig however, Ralph's primary mission was to check out the support act on the evening Tony Steele and The Massacre whose new single was previewed on the blog late last year. let's face it, Cast are hardly going to be struggling for reviews.
They are currently embarking on a 20th-anniversary tour and this evening they were taking The Citadel Theatre in St Helens by storm. Not too difficult a task that being said as the audience was mainly made up of gentlemen of a certain age who were long time fans (some probably from John Power's Las' days) and had spent most of the evening previously in the bar.
To their detriment as it happens, as Tony Steele and The Massacre played an immaculate set of well-crafted songs, some Americana-esque some just plain rockin' it out. Whilst the pre-Cast crowd was relatively small they quickly warmed to the band and Tony in particular, as he put every ounce of his energy into the set.
Kicking off with the slightly psychedelic Americana-style Feel Love they showed that they'd formed a well drilled, tight unit. Tony's rough-edged vocal bringing the song to life. It was quickly followed by a slightly countrified track called A Ballad Of Dead Love which bounced into a skiffle vibe that Lonnie Donnegan would have been proud of.
|With thanks to @BazzaMills for the photograph|
I'm Back Home was reminiscent of early Faces tracks around the time of the classic Long Player album and again Tony's vocal carried it to a higher level and that was carried through into the more upbeat, crowd-pleasing One More Chance with its folky, rebel song vibe.
Next up, Along The Right Track had a feel of The Animals to it before turning into a real foot-stomper and the band proving they were committed to their craft with solid musicality throughout.
Penultimate track Fake Love had a cross-over Americana feel again, with shades of The Eagles brought up to date by being infused with Daughtry-like guitar and drums.
Finishing with a bit of a rock 'n' rolla Tony's strong, individual vocalising brought Bound to Collide to life and left me wondering how long it will be before Tony Steele and The Massacre take their rightful place as the headline act on a bigger stage.