Words by Alan Daly
© Olga Kuzmenko
Photos by Olga Kuzmenko
Tonight sees Irish trio Dead Label performing their first Irish headline show in a very long time as a warm-up for their forthcoming debut appearance at the Download Festival. Somewhat ironically, tonight is billed as an official Bloodstock Festival club night, with free tickets to Bloodstock up for grabs amongst other prizes. But despite the fact that Dead Label ripped it up on the Sophie Stage at Catton Park last August, there is no doubting which festival is fresh on the collective minds of the band tonight.
Filling up the support slots are a selection of some of the best Irish metal bands on the scene; Words That Burn, The Devil Wants Her Swagger Back and Alpheidae. We arrive in time to see five-piece Dublin-based Alpheidae take to the stage. Rumours that tonight may be their last ever show turn out to be based on the fact that it is indeed their final performance with rhythm guitarist Leon Bourke, and the last for the band for the foreseeable future. The lads proceed to belt out a blinder of a show in front of an enthusiastic and sweaty crowd.
Singled out by Download booker Andy Copping and listed by WhatCulture.com as one of the top ten bands you need to see at Download this year (putting them in the company of acts like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Max & Igor Cavalera), Dead Label are surely at the peak of their career to date. And tonight, the steely determination and hunger for more are clearly visible in a ball-busting run-through of their prepared setlist for the Derby audience. A surprising and well-received cover is included which is sure to get the crowd shouting along even if they have never heard their original material before. Words can’t do justice to their performance, but if you haven’t had a chance check them out yet, follow the links below to two of their outstanding videos for “Salvation in Sacrifice” and “Pure Chaos” (which you may have already spotted on Scuzz TV).
And more importantly, drag your asses out of your tents in time to catch them on the Dogtooth Stage at 11am on Saturday June 10th at this year’s Download Festival. You won’t regret it.