A rocking set from The Dead Love has just turned up the energy in this undeniably cosy venue, setting the tone for this evening’s standard of zealously vigorous rock.
All eyes are stage-ward as frontman Andrew Higgs addresses us awash in a magenta haze, “Let’s do it!”. Drummer Danny Leo flexes his arms dramatically then BAM! we’re drawn into a world of thunderous riffs and impeccable classic rock showmanship.
Had I not been fortunate enough to be completely blown away by these guys at their Frankies Pizza By The Slice gig a couple of months back (read Gavin Stocker’s review of it here), I would have been floored by the big band sound this two-piece manages to procure.
Andrew’s signature guitar wizardry conjures what sounds more like maybe two guitars with a bass, while Danny’s reputation for slaughtering the drums in a fusillade of fury precedes him.
It’s clear from the enthusiasm in the crowd that this is a band with a die hard following. Right in front of the mic, dreadlocks are being thrashed about and there’s even some vigorous air guitar from three guys whose faces are the absolute picture of rocked out bliss.
Andrew punctuates his performance with one raised arm whipping the air, an action that’s mirrored back at him en mass as we’re treated to favourites such as Ruby, and More Than You’ll Ever Know, the latter being segued into with short question and answer solos between drums and guitar.
Take It or Leave It is introduced with a brief interlude about how excessive regulations are ruining the spirit of live music. “Everyone needs to harden up a little” and the noise from the crowd signals that we’re all in agreement, screaming along in no time to chorus “You’re living in a padded room”.
The atmosphere keeps building as Ride elicits more unprompted chanting, “Get back on your horse and ride”. We’re encouraged to get even louder as Andrew takes the show up onto the right hand speaker. He’s at risk of hitting his head on the ceiling as he launches himself through the air at the end to screams and whistles of pure adulation, with requests now being bellowed out from all over the room.
At the wrap up of the show we’re told we’ve been “fucking awesome” and judging by the mad vibe in the smokey little room, the feeling is unanimously mutual.