Fresh from the release of their debut album ‘The Golden Age of Not Even Trying’, released just the day prior, Dead play their first headline Leeds show to a packed out Key Club on Saturday 27th January.

Earlier on in the afternoon, they treat a small amount of fans to a short acoustic set and signing at Crash Records nearby, in which they debut new, laid back versions of the brand new tracks from the album.

This short set gives a whole new feel to new tracks The Golden Age of Not Even Trying, Jessica, W9 and You’re So Cheap. Lead singer Alex Mountford’s unique vocal completely envelopes the entire room, transfixing the attention of everyone in immediate ear shot, while guitarists Louis and Sam Matlock get the chance to show off their individual talents, with intricate licks and slides coming into prominence where they would usually be lost in the ruckus of sound.

 

Photo credit – Chloe Ross

Attending the acoustic session also allows the opportunity to gain more context for the background information regarding the songs. Mountford states thoughtfully that Jessica isn’t so much about a particular girl, it’s invention came about when he and guitarist Sam Matlock were discussing how you miss the situations surrounding that relationship, for example, their parents, pets and so on. Getting this chance to hear the band discuss writing sessions in depth is definitely a rare opportunity.

 

The main event at Key Club begins with local four-piece Conflare. The group are ridiculously tight, playing through every one of their alternative-pop, ultra catchy tracks with the ease of old professionals. Their song New York (featuring a highly impressive cow bell throughout) gets the crowd utterly hyped, with its bouncy, fun-loving vibe. This Leeds based group are definitely ones to watch on future line ups.

Photo credit – Ruby Price

 

Next on the bill is London based punk outfit The Kenneths, and it has to be said that the group of merely three musicians bring the crowd to its’ knees. With their tongue in cheek lyrics, fast rhythms and devil-may-care attitude, they hold the entire room in the palms of their hands. A particular highlight of the set is I Can’t Focus, which vocalist Josh introduces by explaining that the fast-paced, raucous track was written about his diagnosis of ADHD. The group are a breath of fresh air on the punk scene

Photo credit – Ruby Price

 

As the clock hits 9.15pm, after some technical hitches are smoothed out delaying the starting time by a quarter of an hour, London-based headliners Dead! finally take to the stage. Opening with recent single The Boys ✞ The Boys, the bar for the rest of the night is set extremely high. With enough energy to make a can of red bull quake in its boots, every single member throw themselves around the tiny stage, thrashing their bodies around like their lives depend on it.

Newer album tracks such as Petrol & Anaesthetic and Any Port get heavily positive crowd reactions. This is a particularly good sign, given that said album was only released a day before this gig.

As the band approach their play of new track W9, lead singer Alex Mountford states that the song was written about him and guitarists Sam and Louis Matlock’s time spent living in that very postcode together, with the three of them sharing a bedroom. The slower jam is delivered effortlessly, emotion seeping out of every pore of their skin.

The end of the night looms, and with the crowd clearly wanting to make the most of every second left, the front few rows erupt into a violent mosh pit, (a first for me, having attended Dead! shows prior to this), much to the bands sheer delight.

All too soon, the last song of the night begins with the unmistakable riff of crowd favourite You’re So Cheap. The already rowdy gig-goers go into an absolute frenzy, with one fan taking to the shoulders of a dedicated pal to scream the lyrics directly to the face of the band. The set ends with Mountford pointing his microphone to the crowd, who sing the last few lines of the track for him dutifully.

 

Photo credit – Ruby Price

 

With this album being recorded over a year prior to its release, it’s absolutely wonderful to see such a packed out Key Club present tonight, and it merely emphasises the leg work Dead! have put in to build up this fan base, slowly but surely, before finally getting to show case their debut album. The four-piece seem so passionate about this tracks, and making their live shows the best they possibly can. Their album may be titled The Golden Age of Not Even Trying, but it certainly doesn’t apply to the effort Dead! have tirelessly put into their musical achievements.

Photo credit – Deborah Bennett 

 

Catch Dead! on tour in the UK.

Buy their new album ‘The Golden Age of Not Even Trying’