Words & Pictures: Ellie Blackman
A great double bill on offer at KOKO. Brit rockers Toseland who continue to move up the ladder engaging audiences around the world with some solid hard rock and Theory of a Deadman, the Canadian act who celebrate some 17 years together with the release of ‘Wake Up Call’, the latest album they are now showcasing to audiences around the UK. We dispatched Ellie to Camden on a Monday night to cover a band she adores and another she knew very little about.
James Toseland began his full-time music career after collaborating with Toby Jepson to create a hard/classic rock album. The English singer has also had a career as a professional motorcyclist, but after becoming a double World Superbike champion he decided to pursue a career in music. James is essentially the quarterback that you see depicted in lots of Hollywood movies. He’s got the looks, the sports career, the talent and the girl….. The ladies love him , the guys want to be him, grudgingly looking up to him as an aspirational goal to be achieved. If one man has managed to tick pretty much all of the boxes in his life, it’s James Tosleand and fair play to him!
But what about the music? Although Toseland have been playing for some years, how do they cut it as a live act?
Playing as the opening act for Theory of a Deadman at KOKO the band definitely made a grand start to the show. Before the show I had personally only heard a few of their songs and was rather excited to see them live and they did not disappoint. The band really got the crowd involved. They definitely made an impression and their first song ‘Puppet on a Chain’ was incredible holding the audience captivated throughout the performance. Bassist Roger Davis made a huge effort whenever he could to get the audience involved especially towards the end of the time they had on the stage. My favourite song that they played was ‘Crash Landing’ with its rough, upbeat delivery and lyrics that were also very relatable. Toseland are definitely I will be looking out for in the future.
Toseland Set list:
Puppet on a chain
Living in a moment
Life is beautiful
Too close to call
Hearts & bones
Theory of a Deadman
Theory of a Deadman, the Canadian rock band from Delta, really knew how to perform for a crowd, being one of the first bands to be signed by Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger’s 604 Records imprint in 2001. Soon after being signed, they brought out their debut album ‘Theory of a Deadman’ in 2002 and since then, they have performed with various other bands and toured around the globe. Their music being a mix between; country, acoustic, post-grunge and alternative rock always tends to have a similar twist to it which has formed their identity today. The band’s name originally came from a song on their first album about a man who was preparing to commit suicide, this track was later renamed ‘The Last Song’.
Hands down one of the best concerts I have had the pleasure of going to. With such an intense start from Toseland, Theory needed to step up to the plate and thankfully they didn’t disappoint. After introducing themselves to the crowd getting them ready, they started with the song ‘Hurricane’ from their first album and it kicked off their performance brilliantly. Throughout they played a few of the most famous songs from their catalogue, my favourite being ‘Bitch came back’ and ‘Rx (Medicate)’. Clearly I wasn’t alone in this view as the crowd really got involved and sung along with front man Tyler Connolly. The humour the band brought through their music and performance was incredible, all of their songs feeling completely relatable to most and the message put across understood by all. Although these were some of my favourite songs ‘Wicked Games’ could not be faulted, from the clarity of Connolly’s voice to the smooth rhythm of the music the song was one of those perfect concert moments that we all dream about being a part of.
And who doesn’t enjoy a classic? Towards the end of the show Theory played a small section of the opening to ‘Paradise City’ making the audience go wild. Connolly got the whole crowd to clap and sing along to the song with him and the rest of the band.
Last of all one of the bands most popular songs from their 2008 album ‘Scars and Souvenirs’, ‘Bad Girlfriend’. I couldn’t have chosen a better song to end the show with. They finished with a bang and the song had everyone in the room singing along. It was sad to see the show eventually come to an end but what a show it was, I’m excited to see Theory when they come back to London hopefully in the near future with another incredible performance.
Theory of a Deadman Set list:
Bitch came back
Say I’m sorry
The Truth is… (I lied about everything)
Not meant to be
Hate my life
Paradise city (cover)