Dead Sons (Album Launch): Library Theatre, Sheffield

It’s here! The much anticipated debut album, The Hollers and the Hymns, has finally landed. With a cracking line up and Steel studded audience (Wet Nuns, Joe Carnall), tonight is set to be the mother of all album launch parties.

Kicking the evening off is Jonny the Firth. The Wakefield one-man-band has the fast-filling theatre captivated as he simultaneously plays the harmonica, drums and guitar whilst singing bluesy tunes like ‘William’.

John J Presley and his band are up next. The frontman is the epitome of Rock ‘n’ Roll with his all-black attire, wild mane and beard, making you want to grab a bottle of Jack Daniels and rock out. Accompanied by Richard Franklin on drums and Danielle Perry (radio presenter by day and Fender Rhodes rocker by night), the Birmingham trio treat the crowd to a Tom Waites meets Jack White infused set.

The dark and moody folk/rock goes down well with the sold-out crowd who give the band a great response after each song. ‘Rise To My Confession’ and ‘Sweet Sister’ is their finest moments with Presley’s raspy vocals accompanied nicely by his heavy, distorted guitar riffs.

But tonight is about one band and one band only…

After a short interval, the curtains are drawn open and there is no need for introductions. Dead Sons rip straight in to crackerjack ‘Ghost Train’ and everyone clambers down to the front to get closer to the action. Percussionist Mathew Byrne provides extra oomph on a second set of drums, making your eardrums feel as though they’re being punched. Without taking a breath, they pound through ‘The Last Man Standing At the Nine Till Noon Inn’ followed by ‘Bangonfullreturn’ where the frontman snarls: “Pay phone -Cocaine- Sex room, Death star -Love gun- Boom F*cking Boom!”

Tom: “This one’s not on the album but it probably should have been. It’s called ‘Electricity’”

I think they made the right choice after all. The track’s not as hard-hitting or full sounding as the tracks that did make it on to the album but seems to go down alright with the audience, nonetheless. It’s clearly a night for celebration as the band can’t stop smiling between tracks as they pass round a bottle of wine or two amongst them. ‘Room 54’ has the whole room vibrating from the ferocious riffs and thumping drums.

Fan favourite ‘Junk Room’ is followed by their most sinister tune, ‘Hangman’ which is packed with violent riffs and menacing lyrics. The band walks off stage to overwhelming cheers and return to play an encore of two songs: a sexed-up version of ‘Hold On’ and a rather fitting finale ‘The Holler and the Hymns’.

This is definitely the fearsome five’s finest hour. Make sure you catch them on tour if you want to witness their divine dessert rock first-hand.

Setlist:
Ghost Train
The Last Man Standing At the Nine Till Noon Inn
Bangonfullreturn
A Love As Good As Ours
Black Hole Machines
Electricity
Room 54
Junk Room
Quest for the Fire
Shotgun Woman
Hangman
Stuck in the Maze
-Encore-
Hold On
The Holler and the Hymns