It’s not every day that you see history made, but tonight it happened. While it may not have been a record-breaking number of appearances at the venue, The Dead Daisies bassist Marco Mendoza became the first artist to take to this hallowed stage on four separate occasions with four different bands. He debuted here, when it still went under the much-missed Spring And Airbrake monicker, as a solo artist back in May of 2012. Seven months later, at the tail end of the year, he was back, anchoring the bottom end of what was supposed to be one of the last ever outings by Thin Lizzy… and, then, a little under a year later, he returned again, fulfilling the same role with the nascent Black Star Riders, before shortly afterwards deciding to depart and plough his own path again. Ironically, on that latter occasion, the support band was the self-same outfit with whom the charismatic four string banger this evening found himself revisiting these hallowed boards… but we’ll come back to them in a few moments.
Despite the early start, a healthy crowd have gathered for Inglorious, being built up as one of the most exciting new bands on the circuit – and it’s not hard to see why, as they immediately breathe vibrant enerrgy into this historic venue with the opening crunchy groove of the hugely infectious ‘Until I Die’. Nathan James proves right from the off that he has all the characteristics of a great frontman: a commanding stage presence and a knowledge of how to work his crowd, combined with an incredible voice which lies somewhere between younger versions of Ian Gillan and David Coverdale, with elements of Robert Plant thrown in for good measure.
With the rest of the band, and particularly guitarist Wil Taylor – who is wreathed in sweat right from the off, as the temperature inside the venue veers towards virtually unbearable, despite the early hour – doing their best to warm up an early crowd which is very much on their side, James delivers the set’s hammer blow: ‘Holy Water’ showcases the full range of his voice, enervating the dense bluesy groove of the song with his rich intonation. All in all, Inglorious deliver a well paced and professional set – although we could have done without the faithful but proficient cover of ‘I Surrender’ – delivered with the right measure of passion and belief in what they do.
Perhaps cognisant of the early curfew, The Dead Daisies take to the stage ten minute ahead of their scheduled time, taking a lot of people by surprise in the process. They ease themselves into the groove with ‘Midnight Moses’, finding both their feet on the stage and the level of rapport with their audience: they need not have worried in the latter regard as, almost to a man and woman, everyone is singing along to the chorus. It’s three songs in before Jon Corabi invites us to ‘Make Some Noise’ with the title track from the imminent new album – and every voice in the venue duly obliges.
In common with the rest of the band, Corabi is in good humour, enjoying an easy banter with the crowd, regaling us with a story about an incident with a flag at the previous evening’s show in Dublin. Doug Aldrich is calm and confident in doing what he does best – grinding out classic riffs with ease and aplomb. Mendoza is in tremendous form, taking to the mic to urge the fans to sing louder and even taking to the floor during the elongated middle section of ‘All Right Now’. And special mention has to made of Brian Tichy’s amazing drum solo, most of which is played with his bare hands smacking off cymbals, snares and toms – and even triangles and xylophones!
The result is five supremely talented musicians interacting with each other to produce one supremely talented rock ‘n’ roll machine. It’s a very oiled one, but one which also has enough flexibility within its mechanism to allow its constituent parts to flow and merge into each other. These guys don’t care if they’re playing to 300 people (as they had done in Dublin the previous evening), the little more than 700 they rocked the arses off tonight or the several thousands they will entertain at the various festivals over the weekend and beyond… they just care about playing rock ‘n’f’n’ roll… and they wouldn’t have it any other way!
Photographs by The Dark Queen
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The Dead Daisies’ current UK tour continues as follows:
Saturday (23 July) – Ramblin’ Man Fair, Maidstone (onstage at 2pm approx)
Saturday (23 July) – Rock & Blues Custom Show, Derby (onstage at 10.30pm approx)
Sunday (24 July) – Steelhouse Festival, Ebbw Vale
Tuesday 26 July – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms (with Inglorious) SOLD OUT
Wednesday 27 July – Bingley, Arts Centre (with Inglorious) SOLD OUT
The Dead Daisies’ new album, ‘Make Some Noise’, is released via Spitfire/SPV on 5 August.
The Dead Daisies return to the UK in November for a co-headline tour with The Answer, with dates as follows:
Saturday November 12 – Aberdeen, Lemon Tree
Sunday November 13 – Glasgow, Classic Grand
Monday November 14 – Sheffield, Corporation
Tuesday November 15 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Riverside
Wednesday November 16 – Holmfirth, Picturedrome
Friday November 18 – Doncaster, Diamond Lounge
Saturday November 19 – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
Sunday November 20 – Brighton, Concorde 2
Tuesday November 22 – Norwich, Waterfront
Wednesday November 23 – London, Electric Ballroom
Tickets for all shows are on sale now.