Written by: Erik De’Viking
Pictures by: Adrian Hextall \ MindHex Media
It’s three o’clock on a chilly autumn afternoon in London. They sky is as grey as the offices that reach towards it, and it’s been raining off and on for hours. A cold wind is whipping through the city, making it clear that winter will soon be upon us. Shivering with anticipation, or is that frostbite, are a flock of the rock faithful, waiting for their entry to Daislyand.
For their second show in London in as many days, The Dead Daisies decided to change things up from their normal Daislyand routine, with the band offering entry for Steelhouse ticket holders as well as the first 100 fans in the queue. Stating, “Be there at four pm for something super special!” it was clear this was not one to miss.
The intimate set which included fan favourites like “Dead & Gone”, “Something I Said”, “Lock N Load”, and “Face I love” also included some notable covers. With David Lowy on vocal duties, and John Corabi on support, the band performed a rousing version of the Ringo Starr classic “It Don’t Come Easy”. After a slight derailment thanks to Deen setting things up for a cover of “Maggie May”, the band ripped into the Faces “Stay With Me” with Deen on vocals.
Finishing up the set, John told a story about how the recent carpool karaoke featuring Paul McCartney inspired their inclusion of “Let It Be” which finished off the hour of acoustic music to stunning effect. Wrapping things up, the band mixed with the fans, signed autographs, and took countless selfies. Ever humble, and ready to give their fans exactly what they want (within reason), they hugged, kissed, and chatted their way through the queues.
Flash-forward to seven o’clock, and the sell-out crowd start to filter in for what is set to be an electric night. Opening the proceedings are veterans of the burgeoning British music scene phenomena of NWOCR (New Wave of Classic Rock), Massive Wagons.
It’s safe to say the band simply do not know how to put on a bad show. They have the core ingredients that should make them scale the heady heights of success with ease. The songs… the latest from album ‘Full Nelson’ proving that the band can remain hard rockers whilst being wholly radio friendly the band… Barry Mills and Adam Thistlethwaite forming the perfect lead singer and leag guitarist duo with ease and of course the moves.. the five piece as a whole looking every inch consummate professionals each able to shine under the spotlight as both individual and as part of the greater collective.
It’s been a long haul for the band with their origins suggesting a full on metal outfit was in the offering. Even the last album ‘Welcome To the World’ had moments that Metallica would be proud of. The latest though shows a band forging a path that anyone whatever their taste in rock music should be able to latch on to and enjoy.
The bill was a good fit for the Wagons and the Daisies crowd seemed to lap up everything on offer, be it Baz’s frantic, energised moves, Adam’s stylish guitar work or tunes like “Back To The Stack” that saw fists punching skyward from the off.
Whipping the crowd up into a frenzy before The Dead Daisies took the stage, Massive Wagons simply delivered a blistering 40 minute set which also included, “Billy Balloon Head”, “Black Witch”, “Ratio”, “Hate Me”, “Last On The List”, “Tokyo”, and “Fee Fi Fo Fum”. They’re going to go places, check them out in a small venue while you still can.
The Dead Daisies
Bursting out on stage with “Resurrected”, and playing straight into “Rise Up” with John strutting about the stage letting everyone know he owns it, and Doug looking every inch the old school rock god playing upon his guitar, while Marco, Dave, and Deen lit the place up, The Dead Daisies came out on fire. Asking the crowd, “London are you ready to Make.. Some.. Noise?” John quips a quick hello and gets the crowd clapping as the band rips into “Make Some Noise”. For a man who had to have the doctor visit him at the hotel for a sinus infection and bronchitis, John Corabi’s vocals were on totally on point, and he belted out song after song effortlessly throughout the night. A testament to the work ethic this member of the hardest working band in rock has.
Challenging the crowd to outdo the previous night, the band carried on with “Song & A Prayer”, “Face I Love”, “What Goes Around”, “Lock N Load”, and “All the Same”, which featured Marco jamming out in the crowed during the break-down while Doug performed a solo centre stage. Pausing for a moment John proclaimed “we’re going to do one of our favourites now! Do you remember a band called Creedence Clearwater Revival? This is Fortunate Son!” At that point he band ripped into a killer cover the classic which was point blank, balls to the wall rock, which transitioned into a brief acoustic interval. Framed by funny anecdotes and stories about the band, the set included “Something I Said”, “Set Me Free”, “Maggie May” with Deen on vocals, and “It Ain’t Easy” with Dave and John on vocals. Featuring an infectious energy, soulful singing, and brilliant harmonies on the backing vocals, the band truly stepped it up a notch from the afternoon performance.
Cranking the volume back up to eleven, the band stomped through “Evil” and a truly hardcore rendition of “Mainline” which had the crowd going mental as John started to introduce the band. This turned into a mini-set of its own, with each band member getting their own special nickname and micro-cover: “The thunder from down under” David Lowy, featuring “Dirty Deeds”; the “brother from another mother, from south of the border” Marco Mendoza, featuring “The Boys Are Back In Town”; “the master of mayhem” Deen Castronovo (to chants of Deeno from the crowd), featuring “Rock N Roll All Night”; “the man with the golden guitar, golden hair, and golden finger touch” Dough Aldrich, which got quite the reaction from the female members of the audience, with John quipping, “ok ladies calm down,” as Doug performed a solo featuring burning riffs and stratospheric highs as it broke into “Smoke On The Water”; and finally “the man with the plan” John Corabi, featuring “Holy Diver” with a heavy dose of crowd participation.
Finishing off the main set, the band ploughed through “Leave Me Alone”, “Dead & Gone”, “Mexico”, and a cover of “Helter Skelter” which broke down mid-way into Led Zeppelin’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” before snapping back into the Beatles classic, bringing the show to a raucous conclusion. After a brief pause, the band were back on stage, to deliver “Join Together” and “Midnight Moses” as the encore. Giving a truly heartfelt thanks to the crowd, John shouted out “Thanks for inviting us to your party London! Thank you guys, thank you for all your support and telling all your friends about us. We can’t thank you enough.” Having given every ounce of themselves to the crowd with boundless energy throughout the two hour set, the band proved once again that they are a force of nature. At the start of the show The Dead Daises made it clear they were there to blow the roof off the O2 Academy, and by the end of the evening, they most certainly had. An amazing show.
Set Me Free
Something I Said
Maggie May (Rod Stewart cover)
Ramble On (Led Zeppelin cover)
Let It Be (The Beatles cover)
Lock ‘n’ Load
Face I Love
Get a Haircut (George Thorogood & the Destroyers cover)
It Don’t Come Easy (Ringo Starr cover)
No Matter What (Badfinger cover)
Hard Luck Woman (KISS cover)
Stay With Me (Faces cover)
Song and a Prayer
Dead and Gone