Any thoughts that The Dead Daisies are little more than a retirement collective or pension top-up for aging rockers was firmly dispelled tonight. There was too much passion and commitment coming off the stage for this to be anything other than a sincere collaboration.
We can take The Wild Lies and the Colour of Noise together as musically there’s little between them. Both British bands played solid, sleazy, heavy rock very well but it’s a well-trodden path that’s not greening up anytime soon.
The intro mash up of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath sort of gives the game away. Dead Daisies come from the ‘classic’ side of rock albeit with a bias towards the US dynamic. Plunging into Midnight Moses the band are super tight with bass and drums keeping that groove lead heavy for the guitars and vocals to reign free. Should mention that Dizzy Reed is on keyboards but other than a few songs he’s virtually inaudible.
The one-two of John Corabi on vocals and Richard Fortus on lead guitar is the attention grabber. Corabi’s great mane and beard giving him a vague resemblance an early ‘70s Roy Wood, though without the make-up. He’s on full voice tonight carrying the various covers – All Right Now could have been tricky – and of course the Daisies own material, with aplomb.
And there is a fair sprinkling of covers with Hush – featuring a Reed keyboard solo – and Aerosmith’s’ Sick as a Dog – somewhat wrong-footing the audience – being the highlights. All good, reliable, familiar stuff that could easily have overwhelmed their own material. It didn’t because they have some damn good songs of their own. Mexico’s border-crossing swagger and the oh so funky Get Up, Get Ready easily hold their own.
Tommy Clufetus is one of the best drummers operating at the moment though whether he needs (what felt like an interminable) solo to drive that home is debateable. Maybe an idea to take a leaf out of Fortus’ book who kept his superb solos succinct and scattered throughout the set, rather than lobbed out in one indigestible outing.
A full blooded and ferocious Helter Skelter closes the main set, the perfunctory encores just seal up a powerful performance from a band that looks to the past but is very much of the present, and future.