Live: Def Leppard/Whitesnake/Black Star Riders

Feeling particularly festive, Santa delivers a rock’n’roll Christmas gift that just keeps on giving.

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The Christmas spirit’s truly flowing through the Welsh capital.

Confidence, charisma and authority ooze from David Coverdale, that loveable, enviably quiffed and critic-proof cove. Watching him lead Whitesnake 2015 through their set tonight is to watch an old-school master at work. It’s in the perfectly timed drop of the mic stand, smack on a beat; it’s in the resting of his mane on Reb Beach’s shoulder as he ends another epic guitar solo; it’s in the sweary bonhomie – the Merry Fucking Christmas Cardiffs and the Make Some Fucking Noises – and the dad jokes.

The set’s swathed in Purple – fiery opener Burn, The Gypsy, and Mistreated, which gets a particularly mesmerising read that re-establishes the connection between rock’n’roll and its blues roots. An acoustic Soldier Of Fortune is the set highlight. These days Cov is much richer and more controlled in the lower register; higher up he’s shouty and… a little pitchy at times, with the three-tier echo on his mic meaning any duff note is repeated in unforgiving triplicate. The gig’s fun though – second guitarist Joel Hoekstra runs through The 80s Axe God Manual with unironic élan, Tommy Aldridge completes his drum solo with his bare hands, and those ’Snake hits just keep coming: Here I Go Again, Still Of The Night… with the crowd eating it up.

Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.