Caught Live: Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters, Tivoli Venue Buckley 13th April 2019

I’d been looking forward to this one for some time. The management at the Tivoli are always willing to give newer bands a shot and it was great to see that they’d booked Beth Blade and her band for this legendary venue, a rock ‘n’ roller steeped in the old school although yet to hit her mid-twenties herself. I keep seeing Beth at other bands’ gigs, she’s as dedicated a fan as she is a performer but this was the first time I would see her tread a stage with a guitar.

It was a three band bill, and as usual with my busy schedule I got there in time to miss openers Marble Parlour. Apologies to them, especially since I was reliably informed they are a fine band worth checking out, so maybe next time. I did see local band Violets Leap, who were a decent hard rock act with a particularly good guitarist in ‘Gavin’ (they don’t appear to believe in surnames!) Vocalist ‘Jonathan’ asked the attendees were they ready for ‘The Blade’, which prompted a bit of ribbing from his bandmates!

After quite a bit of setting up, Beth and her Disasters plugged it in and rocked it out! They have a new album recently released (‘Show Me Your Teeth’) and they gave us several numbers from that, but also quite a lot from first offering ‘Bad Habit’. One thing I spotted straight away was that there was just the one microphone on the stage, no backing vocals required here! ‘The Blade’ carried it all off herself, even for songs such as ‘You and I’ which on record do have backing vocal, it was just the one voice delivering it live. One big voice! Beth is often compared to Lzzy Hale, and on this evidence it’s easy to see why. She was reminiscent of early Lzzy, she has that same power in her delivery. Sporting a Paul Stanley signature Ibanez guitar, she is also a mean rhythm guitarist providing plenty of wallop, and alongside drummer Sam Brain and bassist Dan Rowe (I’m not sure whether he is a full-time member; they have been performing with stand-in bassists for some time now, Beth herself played bass on the recent album) they gave the ideal platform for guitarist Luke Strickland Gilmore to do his best Doug Aldrich on the lead. Midway through, she performed ‘Poster Girl For Pain’ solo, before which she admitted to a few nerves. Needlessly, as it turned out!

As a frontwoman, Beth exudes confidence, striding to the front and getting those who were hovering near the bar to come closer to the stage. Aware of the significance of playing a venue which has seen (among countless others) the likes of Thunder, the Quireboys and going back really far – Slade – tread these boards, she was quick to praise manager Rokib Miah (rockin’ Rokib, as she called him) for booking this date. My only slight quibble was that they didn’t perform ‘1974’, the nostalgia-flavoured song on the current album which namechecks numerous classic bands. Make sure to include that next time, Beth!

She’s been a gig buddy at previous shows I’ve attended but from now on I’m a fan, and I look forward to catching ‘The Lancashire Lzzy’ and her boys at another gig very soon.

4 - deserving

4 – Deserving

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CD: Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters ‘Show Me Your Teeth’ (self-released)

I admit it, the name hooked me first of all. She had me with that short, snappy alliterative stage name; the hint of danger in the name ‘Blade’ and the band name ‘The Beautiful Disasters’ alluding to memories of the good old days of sleaze rock.¬† Then there’s that saucy album cover shot of Beth herself, holding a guitar behind her head and poking her tongue out in a manner not unlike that of Gene Simmons (she is a self-confessed KISS fanatic).

Album cover 'Show Me Your Teeth' by Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters

Album cover ‘Show Me Your Teeth’

So even before hearing a note of this album she already had me under her spell; this record is the second full album from the band, following up from 2017’s ‘Bad Habit’. It comes after the band were chosen to perform on last autumn’s KISS Kruise, an experience Beth is still pinching herself about. She and the band have been fortunate in their timing too, since this record was made possible by a successful Pledge Music campaign. They’re one of many bands affected by that platform’s sudden decline, but did get enough of their pledge money coming through so that they could record the album and crucially, press the CDs to send out to fans.

What’s on offer with this record is a straight-up serving of hard rock, guitars right up front and centre and a voice that demands attention, reminiscent of Lzzy Hale around the time of Halestorm’s first album. Opener ‘Secret’ is so much in the style of the Pennsylvania quartet it could have been an outtake from their first or second album. Beth can certainly pen a catchy power pop number (‘On And On’) as well as she can a no-nonsense headbanger (‘Jack And Coke’), but there’s also a chance to get your breath back with slower tracks such as ‘Crazy’. There are some clear influences, such as the Lizzy-esque twin guitar intros to ‘Into The Light’ and ‘I Ain’t Got Nothing (If I Ain’t Got Rock And Roll)’, and the old rocker in me had to smile at the numerous references to classic bands and songs in ‘1974’. That one has Beth wishing she could do a Sam Tyler and travel back to the year of Bowie, Queen and Bad Co but if you’re reading this Beth – take it from someone who was alive then – you also had just three TV channels with one music programme a week, you had to endure strikes, unreliable British cars and terrible clothes, not to mention brown decor everywhere (!)

This record is a definite step up from the debut, which showed promise, but this one is likely to get Beth and her Disasters a lot more attention. They’re touring the UK in the Spring, and if this record catches on like I believe it will, I can see BBATBD landing¬† themselves a support slot on a big-name tour.

4 - deserving

4 – Deserving

Listen to ‘Show Me Your Teeth’ for yourself via Spotify:

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