Arriving at the O2 ABC just before 6pm on Sunday for an interview with bass player Dean Back, I couldn’t help but notice that over an hour before doors there was already a queue forming down the street. Theory of a Deadman fans are nothing if not keen. You can listen to that interview here
Opening the show were Essex boys Forever Never. Frontman Renny was quick to apologise for the fact they come from the same place as “that abomination of a sitcom” but they were easily forgiven as they announced their intention to have fun. Renny even had the word emblazoned on his Tshirt. They did a great job of whipping the crowd up, with One Life being a particular highlight. The crowd was more than willing to join in and responded to Renny’s thumbs up with plenty of their own.
Next up was Swedish band Royal Republic, a band I wasn’t familiar with but I will now make a point of going to see again in the future. They put on an absolutely brilliant set full of excellent tracks interspersed with stories and jokes. One story in particular told how bass player Jonas used to be the funny guy of the band until a recent trip to the Alps. Jonas decided to ski down the big boy slope and as a result has just undergone some pretty serious knee surgery. Only two weeks later he’s on crutches but managed to stand and play his part in a great performance. Highlights included Tommy Gun and Full Steam Spacemachine. Royal Republic will be back in the UK this summer for Download and hopefully some headline dates will be announced sooner rather than later.
After the reaction to Royal Republic the crowd were now well up for Theory of a Deadman and as they burst onto stage and straight into Lowlife the noise levels went up another few notches. This continued
through the opening few songs, from Lowlife, through So Happy and Bitch Came Back, which is just a brilliant song live, it really inspires a singalong every time. The band seemed to be having a good time too, with Tyler at one point getting his phone out to record the crowd. He enjoys a chat with the crowd and told how Led Zep’s Whole Lotta Love was the song that changed everything for him, just like Justin Beiber or the Backstreet Boys. I sincerely hope he was joking. That led into one of their oldest songs, but by far one of their most popular, Santa Monica. The midpoint of the show was marked by an excellent drum solo from Joey, almost invisible behind his kit but unmissable at the same time. The second half inspired more singalongs, in the form of Better Off, Panic Room and the fantastic Not Meant to Be.
It’s testament to how well liked Theory of a Deadman are in Glasgow that frontman Tyler Connolly could commit the cardinal sin of announcing his belief he was in England on stage on Sunday night and for the most part get away with it. He did look momentarily confused by the collective drawing in of breath and the few boos that followed, but I’ve seen far more extreme reactions to that particular mistake before, so he got off fairly lightly. As the band followed that by launching into one of their biggest hits, Hate my Life, most of the crowd forgave him and got back into the music, although I could still hear a few voices around me calling, “Scotland, Scotland.” That brought the main set to a close and I wonder if when they left the stage someone pointed out the mistake as when they reappeared they veered off from the setlist for a minute to play a chorus of Sweet Home Alabama, with Glasgow substituted for Alabama, followed by a rendition of Paradise City. They then closed the set with Bad Girlfriend and by the time that was over everyone was friends again. It was a good show, but very similar to the one they played here last year. Having toured Savages for two years now it’s definitely time for some new material.
Bitch Came Back
All or Nothing
Make up Your Mind
Not Meant to Be
Hate My Life
Bad Girlfriend[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157664678301120″ size=”z” count=”100″]