Live music is alive and well in Swansea with not one, not two, but three acts of pounding rock on one night.
First up was gaming and music YouTuber Captain Meatshield with a set of Star Wars-inspired guitar virtuosity. It was Star Wars Day, you see - May the Fourth Be With You! Playing as a one-man band, he used his tailor-made backing tracks to introduce 'mistakes' he attributed to his 'off stage backing band' to good effect. His rocked-up versions of sci-fi tunes set the tone for the night well.
Next up: King Kraken. Frontman Mark Donoghue stalked the front of the stage like a bear woken up mid-hibernation and he had a roar to match! Backed by Richard Mears' pounding drums, Karl Meyer's thumping basslines and the twin axes of Pete Rose and Adam Kowalski Healey, the band powered through a set of original songs including The Grey, new song Kidnap and ending with the soaring Heatwave. King Kraken crushed it yet again and showed why they are, deservingly, through to the grand final of Bloodstock Metal to the Masses in June - an achievement all the more surprising considering it is only six months since their first gig!
The night ended with Helldown. It was my first time seeing these guys, but it won't be my last! Call it what you want - thrash, speed metal, post-hard-soft-core-chugga-chugga - when you have three guys headbanging in unison and creating a rocking wall of sound, I'm a happy man! With a set containing original tracks like The Watchers and covers like Metallica's Creeping Death, the band sated a very receptive crowd and showed why this band are creating a very healthy buzz on the local scene!