Dead! Livingston

Dead! – Livingston Studios, London, 23/8/16

Dead! are looking more and more like the natural heirs to the My Chemical Romance estate with every show and last night was no different.

As the crowd entered the tiny Wood Green studio, it was pretty clear it would be an incredibly hot and sweaty show about the size of a house show only with double the number of people. Off to the side in the makeshift bar were various members of lesser known bands, one of whom were support act Airways. They walked onto the stage clearly not phased by the Damned Restless Future members ahead of them and began to play through their tracks. After hearing current single One Foot, it’s no wonder the band are featured on the ‘Walk Like A Badass’ playlist on Spotify and are supporting Nothing But Thieves on their giant UK tour later this year. The track shone brighter than the rest of the tracks they displayed; it has pop hooks, huge basslines and a carefully considered structure that brings the track to life live. After making the tiny room suitably sweaty, they left the stage to raucous applause and cheering; they definitely made some new fans during their half-hour set.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, now it was time for the main event. Dead! took to the stage and within seconds were already breaking out into brand new single Something More Original (see below fan-filmed footage). Guitarists the Matlock brothers brought an energy to the show from the very off and before second track We Are Dead! was finished Sam was already climbing up the amplifier stack, jumping off and screaming back at the bellowing fans before him. Adding to the atmosphere was frontman Alex’s enigmatic stage presence. It’s hard to describe, but his mannerisms onstage captivate even the most sceptical people in the room and he can wrap the audience round his finger to sing along to their dangerously catchy tunes.

Powering through more punky unreleased track Enough only forces tiny cluster of sweaty fans to get more active. Despite having fewer than a hundred people in this room, a circle pit was opened swiftly and the rug that covered the floor of the room was brushed aside just in time for everyone to get off their feet to the regular, funky rhythm of Phantom and the pure energy of Skin and Enemy. The room had gotten to become truly oven-esque, to the point where Sam demanded the door to be opened so “we don’t actually die in here”, much to the relief of everyone else around. They then slowed right down for Alaska as Alex stopped singing for the first time of the night to let the crowd fill in for the chorus, promising the band “we will live like wolves” and there was a genuine and heartfelt connection between everyone in the room at that very moment. From that point, the whole crowd were friends. From that point, the whole crowd were the Damned Restless Future. That is the ability of Dead! to change mindsets and to change lives.

The band finished up with the massive, relatively new single You’re So Cheap and there wasn’t a single voice not at it’s full capacity. A true triumph for the band and while by no means the largest show they have played it was a sincerely special moment. Reading & Leeds should prove to add more gravity to their CV, but this band are on the cusp of something special.