Live Review: The Idol Dead – Glasgow

Rocketflaire from Edinburgh. The four piece are big on harmonies: Darren Hendrie handles the lead vocals, while fellow guitarist Paul Murray and bassist Martyn Simpson lend a hand with some tasty three-part harmonies. Jimmy Eats World meets The Beach Boys, maybe? Wayne Clipstone on drums leaves the vocals to the guys upfront, and instead concentrates on providing the backbone. ‘Nae Sayer’ and ‘We Catch Fire’ are happy-go-lucky groovy moments that would force a smile out of the grumpiest of grumps. ‘The Real Me’ continues this at a faster pace, whereas ‘Rattlesnake’ is introduced as the heaviest song they do. And yep, it’s the heaviest song of their short set. There’s more of a crunch to the sound during the intro, and the song develops into a head-bobber, complete with some rather nifty guitar licks. Job done, and another new band to keep an ear out for. Glasgow’s own PowderKeg have been out with The Idol Dead for a few dates in Sheffield and Newcastle, and now they get the chance to crash in their own beds and drop the washing off at their mams. KC from The Idol Dead thinks a lot of them, describing them as, “Your new favourite band: you just don’t know it yet.” He thinks so much of them that he is pulling double duties tonight. Before he takes to the stage later on with a six string, he gets to show off his four string abilities by strapping on a bass and playing it the way a bass should be played, slung low. Self described as a “Beer-fuelled feel-good hard rock band”, PowderKeg are all of that and then some. A little bit of punk, a little bit of glam… heaps of attitude. The classic rock n’ roll twin guitar line up, stagecraft, and playing harks back to the classic G’n’R line up. If Brian is Slash, then Andy must be Izzy. A couple of belting guitarists that wouldn’t look out of place in the house band at The Rainbow. ‘Make Up Your Mind’ is vintage rock n’ roll; a classy riff rocker meshed with some punk attitude from vocalist Jen. The guitars take centre stage, as both guitarists constantly peel off lick after lick with ease. Highlight of the set is the wicked ‘What Doesn’t Kill Us…Won’t’, an infectious little number that you will be singing for days to come. Like anything that Michael Monroe puts his name to, it breaks down any supposed barriers between genres and leaves everyone smiling. PowderKeg are a live band, stick them on any stage anywhere and stand back as they ignite it. Oh how we have missed you The Idol Dead. Easily one of the most electrifying “new” British bands on the live circuit; more than just a gig… an experience. It’s frenetic, with little room to catch breath, constantly on the front foot. The Idol Dead don’t believe in sticking just to the stage. The monitors are merely there to give KC and vocalist Polly something to launch themselves from. The industrial piping above the stage? That’s for climbing on. At one point, Polly goes walkabout through the crowd, none of that fancy wireless stuff, we are talking old school wired microphone here folks… and he’s barefoot. From the off, it’s relentless, louder-than-shit, full on rock n’ roll with a dash of punk. At times, it reminds me of The Damned, G’n’R, The Sex Pistols, The Wildhearts, and Hanoi Rocks. ‘Blue Skies’ is incredible; a chorus that defies you not to scream it at the top of your lungs. It’s interesting to watch the contrast in both guitarists during the early stages; KC is everywhere, unable to stand still, and over on the other side is Tim, who opts for a more laid back approach… but then again, maybe he’s just scared to get in the way of the big man, bassist Dan. As a bottle of Cloven Hoof is getting passed around on stage, the crowd are chanting “chug..chug…chug” as it reaches Dan, he takes a few sips and passes it on. Polly quips “He gets drunk then you are carrying him, have you seen the fooking size of him?!”. Later on in the set, Polly swings Dan’s mic stand round and twats him right in the mouth! Outside, after the gig, Dan is showing everyone the gap where a tooth once was… Having a shit week? things getting on top of you? The Idol Dead are the band that you want to catch. For that brief time that they are on stage, The Idol Dead make everything else disappear. Even though the music is fast and full throttle, there is a serious message to some of the songs. KC has openly talked about his struggle with depression, and how he had seen some of the same signs with his bandmate Polly, the very person who had been there for him during his darkest days. ‘Heart On Sleeve’ started off as a letter of support from KC to Polly, but grew into something special when Polly added his own thoughts to it. Live, you can tell that there is something special behind the song. It’s a charged few minutes, and one that resonates with many in the crowd. As it’s the last night of the tour, there are some of the usual shenanigans. Booze is everywhere. This was the only show which had an actual promoter, so Polly drags him up. Mainy from Reservoir Droogs is a well known face on the circuit, and does this for the love of it. He gets a hug from Polly, who presents him with a bottle. I think by the time that he cleared the first few rows of punters, the bottle was nearly done. Top work, fella! ‘Samsara’ has a bit of banter between KC and drummer Nish about who actually sings it. Both can be heard, but KC looks like he is claiming it. Jen from PowderKeg is called up to help out on an incredible version of ‘I’m Drowning’ from the ‘Dark Little Hearts’ album. Polly breaks out an acoustic guitar as Jen and KC act as cheerleaders during the early stages. It’s an epic six minutes, with vocal hooks to die for. The chorus? Oh, man! Chaos reigns supreme as PowderKeg and a few others end up on stage for a magical last few moments on the last track of the evening,’Bones Of You’. A pretty special end to a special evening. One of these days, a major label or promoter will realise that The Idol Dead are the real deal, and snap them up. Stick them on first on one of these all-the-rage multiple band bills and they will put the heebie jeebies into anyone that has to follow them. Review: Dave S Images: Dave J [gallery type='flickr' user_id='132278830@N06' view='photosets' photoset_id='72157696718538684' columns='3' tag_mode='any' sort='date-posted-desc' per_page='43' layout='square' caption='title' thumb_size='s' main_size='z' ]]]>

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