Review: The Dead Daisies – Cathouse, Glasgow
The Dead Daisies head back to the UK after a stunning set at this year’s Download festival. Can the “Supergroup” keep up the momentum?
First up tonight, were London’s The Wild Lies. I will be honest, I hadn’t heard this band before tonight. They got the tough job as opener and with this early timeslot they were playing to a half empty venue. Not that it stopped them rocking the crap out of everyone who was there. Two songs in, and the Glasgow choir were impressed. The band play balls out, classic rock with the swagger of world champions, and the confidence of a band that has been going far longer than two years. They were a perfect fit for this bill, and even got the crowd singing along. They reminded me of Black Stone Cherry way back at the start, and if tonight’s performance is anything to go by, I can see them playing much larger stages before long. An excellent set from an interesting band that I will definitely be looking out for.
So where the hell did Colour of Noise come from (oh, I can hear you all shouting Little Angels, Furyon or Magic Bullet but that is not what I mean)? They have burst onto the scene this year. From a standing start, they have played Download, HRH, Steel House and bagged Thunder’s European support slot… and to top it off they threw down their debut last week (stay tuned to DGM for the review). Being a massive Little Angels fan, I was always going to be interested, so I have been looking forward tothis for a while, and I was not disappointed. This is a band with a ’70s approach and a laid back attitude. You could not tell how Bruce was feeling as he was locked up in an emotional void. It was as if we had the coolest robot you ever met playing guitar. There may have been many years passed since that Little Angels heyday, but his strut, demeanour, classy playing, and that gorgeous, battered Gibson have not changed a bit.
The rest of the band on the other hand were letting it all hang out, Matt, on vocals, could not keep the smile from his face, and enjoyed every classic rock moment on that stage, with a frontman persona of decades ago. The band got a decent eight song set, and by the time they burst into the chugging “Medicine Man” the crowd had filled out considerably since earlier, as I am sure they were as curious as me. I reckon it took less than one song to get the crowd on board with plenty singing the ‘whoa oh oh’ parts from the off. For me, the highlight was “Rock Bottom”. This sent the crowd up a notch and paved the way for the last two songs. I have no doubt in my mind that Colour of Noise are going to kick off in a big way in 2016. Once the album has broken, you will all be waiting for the next batch of tour dates.
So tell me folks, are you like me and systematically go through your large band t-shirt collections to pick the most suitable one for the show? Tonight, I had a few dilemmas… do I wear the Little Angels one? The Motley Crüe one? I am up front in the photographers pit, so I do not want to offend anyone if I can help it, so I went for a neutral (and bought a Dead Daisies one to make up for it). Touching on Crüe very briefly, I did give a little shout of ‘nooooooooooo‘ when Mr Corabi was announced as The Dead Daisies singer. Nothing to do with Dead Daisies, and more to do with my hope that he would once again work with the likes of Mick Mars, as that album is still one of the most underrated albums in the whole of rock! After witnessing this show tonight, I can tell you it was a work of sheer genius. The man is a perfect match for this band. It has taken them to a completely new level of class. Before his arrival, I did think the band had slipped into that all too familiar territory of the sum of the parts being greater than the total. The first album was good, but it was just missing something, and that something was the man stood in front of me tonight. The thing that amazes me nowadays is that I can go to a club gig like tonight and stare upon talent that has graced the biggest stages the world has to offer. This is not one of those band’s ‘all washed up and cannot play anywhere else’ moments. By rights, each and every member of this band could fill this place on their own, never mind collectively, so I feel very humbled to look at a band who are made up of members of bands that were my heroes, and to be fair I have no idea who I want to watch… so I came out with a sore neck from darting between band members all night.
As the intro mash up of Zep and Sabbath hit the PA, there is no room to move. The venue is that packed, people are having to watch screens in the bar. The band blasted into “Midnight Moses” and for the next 16 songs I had no thoughts other than Dead Daisies.
I did manage to get a sly look at the set list for tonight before the band came on and I had loads of “No Way” moments. A band this good and with two albums out has no need to do covers, but this was what made the night for me, and every person I spoke to afterwards. You could quite easily say what a cop out, who wants to see covers, how lazy, and any number of stupid comments, but to me it was just outstanding. They mixed them in well and as soon as the opening chords of ‘Hush’ kicked in, the Glasgow crowd were over the edge and into ‘blown away’ mode. There was not much room to move up there. Corabi was constantly at the edge of the stage playing the crowd like a puppet master. Mendoza was ever present in assisting if the crowd got into a lull of any kind. He loomed large over his segment of the stage like a prowling lion. He and David Lowry were a kind of double act coming together, laughing and joking, and generally having a good fucking time. Poor Dizzy was stuck in the dark confines at the back of the stage, with only his white tie letting you know where he was at times… not that you needed to know where he was musically, as he was on fire the whole evening. This leaves just Mr Fortus and Mr Titchy, both of whom again were outstanding. Fortus was just ‘cool’ personified, strutting the stage in his black leather trousers with the red go-faster stripes, and Brian, with his cheeky grin and Drumchucks… yes I said Drumchucks people. A classic part of this show was when the two had a battle of instruments…. I will not say who won. Do you see what I mean about trying to take all that is happening on stage in? There was so much going on, with so many amazing musicians, I wanted to see it from more angles. One of my highlights (and a choice no one would have foreseen) was Aerosmith’s “Sick As A Dog”. It was brilliant, and a good friend, who had to bail last minute, was not happy when he heard this song was in the set (yes, he is a massive Aerosmith fan, and yes, I did rub it in!). After this we are hit with a double barrel of the amazing “Lock N load” and an incredible version of Free’s “All Right Now”, A song Corabi’s voice was made for. We get a Tichy drum solo, which I reckon was to let the rest of the band have a breather, more than to show off his skills. As we head into the tail end of this gig, we are given two more slices of cover brilliance in “Helter Skelter” and Fortunate Son”, and it is all over, but this one will live with me for a long time. We are getting to the tail end of the year and this one ranks way up in the top five gigs of 2015, and that is no mean feat with the amount of performances I have seen.
I was expecting a good gig. I was looking forward to seeing this band play a full set after their Download performance, but I was not prepared for the show I witnessed tonight. Six giants of the rock world took to this Glasgow venue and owned it. Take a bow gents, and thank you for adding to my collection of brilliant performances I have witnessed in my 36 years of gig going… and please come back soon.
Images and review: Ritchie Birnie