Live in Asbury Park, New Jersey
by TK Smith

“I have seen the Second Coming of Rock ‘n Roll and its name is …COLOURSOUND!” When Rolling Stone first coined that immortal phrase it was in reference to Bruce Springsteen whose high-energy weekly gigs at Asbury Park’s Stone Pony were what legends were made of. So it was all too coincidental that a little-known band from Wales take on the legend full in the face.

Six blocks north of the Stone Pony on the same stretch of Jersey shoreline stands the Asbury Fastlane, a religious shrine to the history of beach-party rock. Its walls are cluttered with wallpaper-thick nostalgia ranging from Springsteen and Bon Jovi to Southside Johnny and George Thorogood. Fishing nets hang from the ceiling and a hodge-podge of junkyard throw-aways adorn every open space.

The name on the club’s skylight reads ColourSound, an open-ended band name, attracting an audience of mixed breeds. The band are a super group of sorts made up of members of the golden age of crossover rock that infested the record charts over a decade ago. Mike Peters formally of the Alarm fronts the group. He is the inspiring link that brings the basic song subtitles to the crowd. Billy Duffy anchors the band. His “Rock-Star” blonde mane is now fashionably ‘90’s, close cut, over the ears and off the back collar. Duffy brings to the band the legend of the Cult. His big-open chords plow through Peter’s rhythm slamming with distinctive thundering. Each song for Duffy is a performance, he plants his feet firmly, holds his Gibson hollow-body low and deep then leans back as the rafters rattle with orgasmic affirmation. It is the Duffy trademark that brands the band, loud and proud.

A power duo as forceful as Duffy and Peters demands an equally dynamic rhythm section. Enter bass professional and harmony vocalist extraordinaire, Craig Adams. From 1980 to 1986 Adams slogged through Goth’s underground with Sisters of Mercy then migrated to the more elaborate volume of The Mission (UK) 1986-1992. The other half of the rhythm section is comprised of drummer, Steve Grantley most recently of Stiff Little Fingers.

Peters and Duffy became friendly at the Phoenix Festival football tournament. The friendship led to Duffy adding his bit as guest guitarist to Peter’s current release, Rise, an exceptionally melodic CD enchanted by the singer’s lyrical prowess. The two forged ahead writing heavier chord centered songs and sparks ignited. Forming a working group, they debuted at The Gathering, a festival hosted by Peters in Wales. The band next scored big among American record exects where the buzz in the industry was louder than Duff’s Marshall feedback. A bidding war began with monster metal producer Bob Rock (Metallica, Cult) foaming at the mouth for a shot at producing them. They eventually signed with VelVel and promise a record in the spring of 1999.

However, tonight it was Asbury Park that got a sneak preview of the full magnitude of ColourSound. Uniting their untidy audience, the four piece simply plugged in and let go. "Under The Sun" punched holes through the smoke filled room with Peters hunched over his Les Paul Standard violently strummed the rhythm parts looking up only to bellow out his gut-wrenching vocals. "Where Do You Want To Go," "Independence" and "Fountainhead" dipped closer into the Alarm territory but with a fire only Duffy could deliver. The crowning jewel was a blistering version of the Alarm’s "Strength." Never had it sounded so perfectly raw. Mid-set, "Perfection" transcended the mixture into the Cult classic and audience favorite, "Rain." Peters looked through his sweat-soaked blond hair and announced, “This is one of Mr. Duffy’s” then the wide-open chords of the Cult’s signature riff blew through the nightclub like a typhoon.

"Fade In-Fade Out-Fade Away" was a typical pop-rocker with instant appeal as was "Heavy Rain" followed by the very addicting "Alive," which closed the show. It was already way past midnight so the rush for the encore was brief. Toweled off and one beer down, out they ran taking the stage. “You might remember this one,” were the only words that left Peter’s lips before "She Sell Sanctuary" echoed through the hall. Old men wept, children huddled close to their mothers and adolescent girls started disrobing…it was a beautiful thing!

Websites: Mike Peters