Often derided as clones of their mentors and fellow Canadians Nickelback,
Theory of a Deadman have carved out a niche of their own, and though
much bigger across the pond than over here, have graduated with regular
touring to mid sized venues like this. And anyway, who wants to sit in
an arena with once-a-year gig goers who only know a band through a sofa
they are rather unflatteringly known, are a simple pleasure, taking
Nickelback's grunge lite a stage further and sugar coating it with
catchy pop rock hooks. Up tempo songs such as 'So Happy', 'The Bitch Came
Back', with a rolling beat inspired by The Doors 'People Are Strange', and
the rather autobiographical 'Lowlife', which leads off their current 'The
Truth Is' album, had the whole of a predominantly younger crowd singing
their cue from Nickelback's stadium-friendly presentation, just two
songs in, 'Got it Made' was broken up by lead singer - and Robin Van Persie lookalike! - Tyler Connolly stopping the show to divide one side
of the hall from another in a singing contest, ensuring the atmosphere
was pumped up.
Initially his singing sounded rough and even tuneless in
places, but as it settled I convinced myself it was merely a microphone
problem, while his rather faceless band beefed out the sound with rather
harsher sounding backing vocals.
previous - and best - album 'Scars and Souvenirs' featured heavily and
the break up ballads 'All or Nothing' and 'Not Meant to Be' are the
types of melancholic anthems that doubtless feature heavily across the
pond as the soundtrack to TV sports montages, whereas we have to suffer
a diet of Coldplay or Snow Patrol.
There is a
pleasing classic feel to TOAD with Tyler and fellow guitarist Dave
Brenner both having an old school guitar tone with barely a downtuned
riff in sight. Influences from the seventies when pop and rock were not
mutually incompatible also crept in - opener 'Gentleman' was propelled
by a stomping glam rock like beat, the verses of 'The Truth Is' reminded
me of T.Rex and new single 'Out of My Head' had a Cheap Trick feel to
first two albums are now almost ignored completely, and on the basis of
a rather dreary ballad 'Santa Monica' and the overblown 'Nothing Can
Come Between Us' that may be no bad thing, although 'Better Off' was one
of the heavier and most convincing songs of the night.
Tyler is a
likeable frontman and compere, and his Jack-the-lad ordinariness made me
give him the benefit of the doubt that he does not practice what he
preaches, with rather tasteless references to hookers, cocaine and a 19
year old girl at the front being too old for him.
snatch of 'Paradise City', 'Bad Girlfriend', with its classic riff
borrowed from the Cult's 'Fire Woman', ended the main set and had
pockets of people pogoing, while after a few lines of 'Cocaine' - the JJ
Cale song that is! - they encored with 'Hate My Life' to finish a short-ish
hour and 20 minute set. The sentiment may have been Nirvana-esque but
the delivery seemed positively joyous.
underestimate Theory Of A Deadman - they are one of the standard bearers
of modern melodic rock for our age.
Photos by Alayne Taylor
Wilson attended the band's "secret session" in Glasgow at the start of
their tour on 23 February...
A Deadman are a busy bunch. This is their fourth visit to Glasgow in a
couple of years, the last being in tow with Black Stone Cherry and
Alterbridge at the tail end of 2011. The band are back in Glasgow as
part of their latest headline tour, but before the main show in the
Queen Margaret Union, they were playing a short acoustic set for
competition winners at the latest Real XS Secret Session.
The Box venue is just that and it can be best described as an 'intimate'
venue. The host for the evening's festivities was once again the man
that has been keeping rock alive in Glasgow for the last 30 years, Tom
Russell. After a quick intro, the band, who as it turned out were
sitting at a table next to me having a drink, took to the stage with
They were playing as a three piece for this pared back set and they
opened with possibly their most well know song 'Lowlife'.
Tyler ConnOlly was in tremendous voice and the guys were clearly
enjoying themselves on stage. Next up was 'The Bitch Came Back' which
worked well with the acoustic treatment. This was played at the request
of Tom Russell as he gets into trouble for playing it on air, reason
enough in my book.
they played their last single 'Out Of My Head' which was excellent and
contained some great slide guitar work from Dave Brenner, this rounded
off the musical part of the evening.
A short question and answer session followed, which was chaotic and
amusing in equal parts. It featured questions on Canadian coffee, kilts
and the subject of the song 'The Bitch Came Back', the band though were
far too gentlemanly to answer the last one!
This was a great session which no doubt earned the band another few
followers from the assembled competition winners and the guys looked
like they enjoyed it just as much.