Toledo Steel And The Rattlebacks Whip Rock Fuel Rock Club

Before Tailgunnner swept up any doubters at Fuel Rock Club in Cardiff, Toledo Steel and The Rattlebacks both impressed on an evening which saw they headliners show that they are made for the bigger stage.

Toledo Steel  – The Rattlebacks

Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024 

Words And Photography: Paul Hutchings

Toledo Steel - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
Toledo Steel – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Toledo Steel

It’s a name I knew but I had never really paid much attention to. Toledo Steel have been spearheading part of the UK’s Second Wave Of British Heavy Metal for over a decade. When singer Rich Rutter admits that the South Coast band haven’t been to Cardiff before my guilt dissipates. 

What follows is a storming set of high-tempo Heavy Metal, which starts with On The Loose and concludes with the anthemic Toledo Steel.

Toledo Steel - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
Toledo Steel – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Sandwiched in between are seven songs that are so glorious in their delivery that they clearly push the headliners Tailgunner to up their game.

Sword and sorcery, medieval and fantasy themes, Toledo Steel bring it all. They draw from their catalogue of two albums and EPs with a well-balanced set that screams quality. 

Toledo Steel - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
Toledo Steel – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Aided by a decent sound that allows the dual guitars of Tom Potter and new guitarist Michael Lewis to shine, Toledo Steel have the music, the muscle, and the firepower needed. 

By the time they reach Speed Killer, one of their earliest songs, the job is done, and the audience is theirs. Check these guys out. They are fantastic entertainment.

Toledo Steel - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
Toledo Steel – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
The Rattlebacks

It’s to their credit that The Rattlebacks get stuck into their opening slot with an ease that many bands struggle with. Another band making the journey from the South for the first time, the Brighton group bring a different vibe to the two others on the bill. 

The Rattlebacks - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
The Rattlebacks – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Their mix of grunge, stoner, and classic hard rock may not sit as well with the Trad Metal fans and their patch-covered cut-offs, but that doesn’t stop The Rattlebacks from giving it a right good go.

The Rattlebacks - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
The Rattlebacks – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Vocalist Josh Clarke has a likeable swagger that makes him the focal point, but the band’s music is reliant on choruses and vocal harmonies, which rhythm guitarist Jack Coxy Cox delivers with aplomb. 

The Rattlebacks - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
The Rattlebacks – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Although the crowd are unfamiliar with their material, this doesn’t stop the band from throwing in new single Backdrop as well as some older material. 

It’s a decent set that certainly sets the bar for the evening, and despite the slightly odd pairing on these dates, one can see why The Rattlebacks are another UK band about which people are taking notice.

The Rattlebacks - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
The Rattlebacks – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
The Rattlebacks - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
The Rattlebacks – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
The Rattlebacks - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
The Rattlebacks – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Toledo Steel - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff - 18 April 2024
Toledo Steel – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff – 18 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

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Comments

  1. Thank you for the lovely review and great pictures, MetalTalk! I really enjoyed my first Welsh heavy metal show and it was a highlight of the mini-tour. Fuel is a real gem and I’ll definitely be making the trip from Southampton again as a punter. Mike – Toledo Steel.

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