It’s the day after the Welsh have been hammered by South Africa in the Principality Stadium. Fickle sport, all dependent on winning to have a good time. Meanwhile, there’s been a small pilgrimage to another place of worship, albeit on a smaller scale than the dominant structure in the centre of the Welsh capital.
Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons
Kings Of The Asylum Listening Party
Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 20 August 2023
Words and Photography: Paul Hutchings
Swing off Quay Street into the beating heart of the alternative scene in Cardiff, and you find Womanby Street. Head two-thirds up the road, and you’ll find Fuel, Cardiff’s main rock club.
Tonight, it’s a bit special. 50 or so members of the Bastard Crew, the Patreon membership of PCATBS, are gathering to an exclusive listen of the band’s soon-to-be-released third album, Kings Of The Asylum.
It’s a colourful occasion. Plenty of back patches proclaiming the love for both Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons and, of course, Motörhead are on display. The fans grab a beer, Roadcrew obviously, and head into the back room at the famous venue. Some have travelled a long way, including Switzerland and Germany, others mere minutes. They are all united in anticipation.
We’re greeted by members of the band. Bass player Tyla is welcoming us in, drummer Dane arrives a little later, whilst brother Todd is getting final preparations sorted. Relaxing on the sofa is Phil, one part of the trio, along with Lemmy and Mikkey Dee, who helped power Motörhead forward for over three decades.
Campbell is in good form, chatting with eager fans, posing for selfies, and generally enjoying it. Vocalist Joel Peters is also around, keeping it low profile without being reclusive.
PCATBS is a band that recognises the dedication of their fans. They are approachable, amenable, and friendly. It’s a big community. The Motörhead World, the club formed by Peter Lang Stephens after Lemmy passed, is here in force. Peter is here too, having driven down from Scotland the day before.
The fans gather around the stage. Phil takes the mic and thanks everyone for coming. No recording or filming, please. It goes without saying. It’s time for the first play of the album.
Kings Of The Asylum is cranked out to a lot of gasps. It’s a superb album and sounds marvellous, pumping through the in-house speakers. I’ve already heard it – check the review out: The Stunning Kings Of The Asylum.
Faces are smiling, and people are dancing. Hammer And Dance and Schizophrenia are already firm favourites, and we all know the choruses, if not the full lyrics.
The album speeds by. A huge round of applause breaks out. We’ve just heard an album that is not out for another fortnight. Special moments like this don’t come around very often.
It’s time for the team from Trigger Happy Creative to take over and film the band’s third video. Strike The Match is the song. The band are crammed onto the small stage. The fans push forward.
We’re instructed to “go crazy”. We get to lose it six times as the crew film the band and the crowd from a billion different angles. It’s great fun.
“Play it again,” one wag shouts after the first run-through. It’s a typical PCATBS crew here. Beers, laughter, fun, underpinned by some seriously good musicians.
Video done, we get to listen to the album again before heading off into the Cardiff evening.
There are many great things about Patreon, but this was a genuine highlight. Huge thanks to the band for the opportunity.
I’m off to Chepstow Castle next to see them support the mighty Hawkwind, before the album launch party at The Patriot, Home Of Rock, in Crumlin a week later.