by Jess Boswell
London based four-piece Dead! are making their mark on music and have been climbing up since their formation in 2012. They hit a massive milestone this year already, having their released debut, full-length record The Golden Age of Not Even Trying; a record that is racking up plenty of buzz with fans and critics alike.
They have been on the road ever since the albums release back in late January, covering every corner of the UK from Edinburgh to Portsmouth and around Cardiff before making it to their sold-out show at Bristol’s Louisiana.
With them they brought RXPTRS for the night and their pals in The Kenneths, who have graced the stage alongside Dead! for the 22 date tour. The London trio, The Kenneths may not be the headline act in this scenario but it doesn’t stop them from completely taking control of the stage and winning over the audience. Frontman Josh Weller quickly finds his way into the centre of the room, advising members of the crowd to hold his mic while he shouts along with songs like ‘What Happened to the Radio’ and their latest single ‘Favourite Ex’; a track that lets drummer Aicha take the vocal spotlight.
Dead! take the stage and the room fills to the brim. The Louisiana is not the biggest of venues but this night must be one of the busiest times the favoured pub has seen for a gig night. They start with a bang with ‘The Boys † The Boys’, their latest single and opening track to their fresh album release. They waste no time in getting stuck into their set, following up with the ever energetic and angsty ‘Enough Enough Enough’.
They rocket through a large portion of their debut album content and each song is powerful and exciting for the packed audience. ‘Jessica’ is always a treat to hear live and they’ve been playing it even before it was digitally released; now it has become more widely heard, the sound of people singing along is a delight.
Inspired by a time when the band were in close quarters living in London, ‘W9’ came to existence. It provides the first chance for the band to take a step back with their speedy tempos. The steady rhythm and flowing guitars compliments the raw lyrics and still fills the entire room with a pleasant change of pace.
The room soon turns into a chaotic whirlwind of bodies with songs like ‘Up For Ran$om’ and ‘You’re So Cheap’ giving the extra nudge for people to jump around and shout along with the pounding chorus line. It is a crazy atmosphere that still remains incredibly enjoyable from start to finish.
They wind down their set with a classic older track ‘Phantom’ and debut record title track ‘The Golden Age of Not Even Trying’ but the audience are only left screaming for more. The five musicians re-adjust and make room for Josh Weller – Kenneths frontman – to return to the mic for a quick paced rendition of The Who’s ‘My Generation’; a conventional addition to Dead!’s repertoire.
As it is the penultimate day on their tour, it is incredible that Dead! have energy left at all, yet their performance is a wild one. These guys are a group that should be watched and appreciated for their determination and hard-working nature that has kept them incredibly busy for the past 12 months. Dead! may be still relatively young, but they should not be taken for granted. They have plenty more to give and the prospect of seeing them on much larger stages in the future is an exciting one.
This year is already shaping up to be an epic one for Dead!, having already shared the stage with Don Broco on a leg of their earlier UK tour and with plenty more appearance to come in the remainder of 2018. Intrigued to see these guys for yourself? They join Waterparks on their UK/European tour in March.
All photos: Jess Boswell