Review: Oli Brown and the Dead Collective/Dan Byrne – The Louisiana, Bristol

Oli Brown and the Dead Collective/Dan Byrne

The Louisiana, Bristol
Sunday Sunday 28th April 2024

Review and photos – Rob Wilkins

Despite attending many gigs in Bristol, tonight is my first sample of The Louisiana, an iconic music venue in the revitalised Wapping Wharf area of the City. It’s a tiny, upstairs venue and until a few minutes before Dan Byrne was due onstage the crowd consisted of three photographers, a reviewer, and a gentleman sat on a stool! We amused ourselves by discussing how much a mark on the backdrop appeared to have been made by a pair of buttocks and hoped for more people as this lineup deserved it! (the wonderful When Rivers Meet playing just a stone’s throw away bringing a night of classy music to the City).

Right on cue, the room filled, and Dan, Colin Parkinson, Glenn Quinn, and Max Rhead took to the stage and launched into “Hard to Breathe”.

Dan has spent a lot of time on the road honing his own material and it shows as the owner of one of the best voices around and one of the nicest guys you will meet interacted genially with the crowd between numbers.

The band are tight and a great fit. Parkinson is always active, Quinn is more studied, and young drummer Max Rhead showing why his reputation grows exponentially. Highlights of the set for me? “Like Animals” (that has been championed by PlanetRock) and “Death of Me” as well as a nod to his past endeavours with an airing of the Revival Black track “Wide Awake”.

A brief change of stage equipment and the trio that make up Oli Brown & the Dead Collective take to the stage. Unusual in being a twin guitar (the ubiquitous and always smiling Sam Wood being the other) and drums (Wayne Proctor) line-up the three deliver a set of quite extraordinary power.

From his blues days, via Raveneye, Brown always could deliver a unique combination of power and melody and this new vehicle is no different. It isn’t simply his playing that structures the sound. It’s also the emotive vocal delivery that the playing surrounds in a gorgeous symbiosis.

Opening with “Father”, the framework becomes clear as passionate vocals and subtle guitar work explode into life as Brown and Wood move together to the centre of the stage. The sound is simply massive!

Brown appears to be controlling the lighting (uplighters lending a ghostly appearance to the duo within their reach). Hard to photograph but atmospheric and evocative to watch. As opposed to Dan Byrne earlier, Brown prefers to let the music talk, and interaction with the crowd is rare. Just a brief pause and then straight into more crushing guitar work.

Two parts of the set stood out for me in particular. Firstly the stunning and bluesy “Haunted” where Brown’s vocals soar as much as his guitar (the solo is jaw-dropping), and secondly the passage of “Your Love” and “Home Sweet Home”, which set the bar, raised it, and then turned around and cleared it in a glorious leap.

The evening came to an end FAR too soon, (with two short sets I was on my way home by ten) but the smile lasted until I reached Devon and was still there the next day which is my sign of flipping good night!

Oli Brown & The Dead Collective perform in Huddersfield at The Parish on May 11th, more information HERE

Check Also

MASSIVE WAGONS announce new album with new single & video; UK tour in November

Today, Lancaster’s rock ruffians Massive Wagons announce their seventh studio album Earth To Grace, accompanied …

Austin Gold announce new single, video and join The Karma Effect on UK tour

Anthemic hard rock act, AUSTIN GOLD, have released a new video for their latest single …

The Struts announce UK & EU tour with Barns Courtney

Following the band’s sensational performance at Download Festival at the weekend, THE STRUTS will be …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *