I’m sure you’ve heard about those ‘I was there’ gigs, you know the one’s that everybody claims to have been at, those special gigs that you need to be ‘in the know’ about with a band on the verge of something big. Well Dead Sons at Trof in Fallowfield on a wet, cold night in March may have been one of those gigs.
Word of mouth had sold out this Northern Noise Live night in the tiny upstairs room of a cafe (not many gigs let you grab a nice cake beforehand) just off the main drag in the student friendly suburb of Fallowfield in Manchester. The expectant crowd had begun to take their vantage points during the support band sets of Civilians and The Covelles in readiness for the main event. If you can imagine Queens Of The Stone Age playing your front room on a Thursday night with all the furniture pushed to the side and the lights turned down low; this was the scene of the Sheffield band’s debut Manchester gig.
You could cut the atmosphere with a knife before a blast of feedback heralded the arrival of Ghost Train, the opening track of the recently released debut album Hollers & The Hymns it’s pounding manic drums enhanced by the two drummers, one with a standard kit the other with a customised set up to provide additional percussion, both of them hammering out the beat!
This was a no frills, no holds barred performance of raw, intense and exciting music, Bangonfullturn sounded particularly heavy, a heads down assault on your senses. The short straight to the point songs came think and fast until Electricity, the only song in the set not taken from the debut album, this being the b-side from last years Hangman single, which slowed the pace down to a head nodding groove and gives everybody a chance to draw breath before Room 54 came slamming in, my stand out track of the night, the double drumming taking the track to another level with its frantic beat being thrashed out and its howling guitar ringing around the room.
There wasn’t much space for movement, the band packed in with the crowd, no stage, the only barrier being the mic stands and the effects pedals. Rather than going crazy (there just isn’t the space!) the audience take in what’s occurring in front of them, absorbing and getting lost in the music. Shotgun Women and Hangman are the two most recognisable songs and didn’t disappoint before Hollers & The Hymns brought the night to a frantic and manic close, no encore, no holding back. For those lucky enough to be there the night was a great opportunity to catch a band on the cusp of something special in an intimate environment, I’m sure the next time we see Dead Sons in Manchester it will be in a much larger venue and the secret well and truly out.
The Last Man Standing At The Nine Till Noon Inn
A Love As Good As Ours
Black Hole Machine
Stuck In A Maze
Hollers & The Hymns