Gig review: Dead Cities album launch @ St Bride’s Church
Saturday 26th November 2011
Liverpool is full of bands who’ll tell you how good they are.
You know who I’m talking about: whenever you bump into them on Bold Street, EMI have just offered them a six album deal.
Well, scratch the surface a little deeper, and walk down, say, Hope Street instead and you’ll bump into unassuming musicians who just get on with making records and filling smaller venues off the beaten track.
Dead Cities are a great example of the breed: for over two years they have been a name on the scene, making good music and building a cult following.
Saturday night at St. Bride’s, the culmination of said hard graft paid off in front of a sold-out crowd – present to hear Dead Cities play live. They played great too.
Ostensibly a three piece band, of acoustic guitar/vocals, bass and drums, Saturday they were augmented by lots of friendly faces, who had also helped out in the recording of their debut album, This Killer Wave. The format worked great: musicians popped up to help out on electric guitar, keys, mandolin and ukulele and the pallet of the gig gained colour.
It was that type of night, with everyone in the crowd having conversations with those about to go on-stage and the atmosphere was triumphant. Singer Martin could have had the crowd in the palm of his hand – but chose to let the music do the talking.
It was both a good and bad decision: nights like this, with a captive audience, are becoming more rare, but the band kept their heads down and played great for 60 minutes, with no encores or tomfoolery.
The night hovered, rather than soared.
Was the music good enough? Time will tell, but the album had some great moments live: stand-out Sign Your Name, the brilliant When Your Heart Gets Sick and Dead Cities itself. Bigger and better harmonies could have sounded great in St Bride’s, but it would be churlish to suggest anything negative.
It was a perfect marriage of artist, venue and crowd – when Oli asked the crowd if they were “coming over The Cale’…” to celebrate, he didn’t have to give people directions.
Home, it would appear, is indeed where the heart is…
© 2011 Alan O’Hare
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