Talking Heads, Southampton


On Sunday 18th August DEAD are rolled into their hometown of Southampton for the conclusion of their Beautiful Broken Bones tour, which has featured support slots with the Fearless Vampire Killers as well as a smattering of their own headline dates.

Kicking off the evening’s entertainment were Hey September, with a hybrid of straight-up rock and pop punk. They’re a passable band and they sound reasonably good live, especially their cover of the Bowling For Soup classic “1985”. However, they fail to really ignite any fireworks and it takes a while to get into their sound. They’ve got a couple of decent songs of their own though, with “Beautiful Mess” standing out in particular.

Next up was Ugly Love, a far more ferocious proposition, with their combination of 80’s sleaze rock and punk. The cocktail of sound they come up with is something quite interesting, with the 80’s riffs and shouty vocals sometimes clashing better than they match. It’s catchy stuff though, and good fun, especially when singer Tom gets out in the crowd and has everyone jumping up and down at his word. Ugly Love manage to inject some enthusiasm into the crowd and, all in all, it was a good effort from them.

The main support of the evening was provided by Bristol quartet Ashestoangels and their ambitious gothic punk sound, and from the very first song they play it’s clear that they have the audience in the palm of their hand. It’s rare to see a band give a performance with this much energy, with lead singer Crilly whirling all over the stage like a human tornado, and at one point even colliding with equally hyperactive guitarist Falkor. With this much enthusiasm being displayed on stage, it’s impossible not to be swept up in the madness, and the crowd duly jump, scream and sing their lungs out, often all at the same time. Tracks from new album “With Tape and Needles” such as “Dorian”, “Elsinore” and “Dolls Dolls Dolls” are tailor made for gigantic sing-alongs and are catchy slices of dark perfection. By the time final song “Wintervention” came around, the crowd were drained, but they obviously loved every second of Ashestoangel’s phenomenal, if sweaty, performance.


The obvious problem with a support act of this calibre, however, is that, by the time the main act comes on stage, everyone’s already exhausted. This goes some way towards explaining why the first half of DEAD’s set fails to ignite the mood of the crowd as it should. They play their solid punk rock well and break out a catchy arsenal of songs. There’s nothing to break the mold here, but it’s an enjoyable show all the same. The exhausted crowd manage to rally towards the end of the show, and give “Beautiful Broken Bones” the reception it deserves. It’s an excellent song, really memorable and definitely the highlight of DEAD’s set. In fact, the crowd enjoy it so much they demand an encore from the band after it’s finished, which I’m almost certain was not a planned occurrence! Towards the end of the show Crilly clambered onstage to perform with DEAD, a nice moment which underlines the camaraderie and friendship between the bands on this bill. Overall, an excellent evening was had by all, with each of these four bands giving strong performances of which they can be proud. For sheer energy and passion Ashestoangels were my band of the night but in truth, none of the bands gave a less than enjoyable performance and if you get the chance to catch DEAD or Ugly Love in a venue near you, you certainly won’t be disappointed.


Dead Set List
Brand new untitled
Everything Everything
A jazz song
End of the world
Damned Restless Future
Beautiful Broken Bones

Band Links

Review By Elinor Day.

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