Last Sunday saw me boarding the train to Glasgow as I headed off to the O2 ABC for my first visit of the year.
I was heading into the city to catch up with a good friend for an early dinner (it was the 3:25 instead of the 5:25) before introducing her to the delights of the O2 ABC and its giant glitter ball.
Suitably satiated by pizza and a caffeine hit, we arrived at the venue- have I said how much I love this venue? – to find a healthy queue forming.
After a blessedly brief wait in the decidedly chilly February evening air, we headed inside and upstairs.
And the reason for this pilgrimage?
Theory of a Deadman were back in town!
First on stage for the evening were Forever Never, a five-piece band from Essex. In front of a small luke warm (blame the cold weather outside) crowd, they played a solid half hour opening set. There’s a certain charisma to their front man, Renny Carroll. A bit of a Jack the Lad. A bit of a likeable rogue. Plenty patter!
Highlight of their set for me was Speak Up where Renny succeeded in getting the crowd to participate and sing along. No mean feat for an opening act. Definitely a band to keep a watchful eye on.
Next up were Royal Republic. They exploded onto the stage in a manic frenzy of punk rock chaos in suits. My friend and I turned to face each other and exchanged glances that clearly said, “WTF?”
These four guys from Malmo, Sweden proved to be highly entertaining over the next forty five minutes. Their front man was oozing energy and covered a lot of ground on stage but that beautifully quiffed hair never moved out of place despite his frenetic gyrations.
Definitely a band to watch out for in future. (They are playing at Download this summer for those of you heading that direction – check them out)
One of the stand out moments of their set was the laid back drumming style adopted by Per Andreasson. He was casually sitting back, feet up on the top of his bass drum, legs crossed and keeping perfect time on the drums either side of him. Brilliant!
Musical stand out tracks were Weekend Man and Tommy Gun.
A hugely energetic band that had the growing crowd relaxed and in good humour by the end of their set and ready to rock it out with the Canadian headliners.
At nine o’clock Theory of a Deadman’s Blame Canada intro tape blared out across the now almost full venue, the drum beat began and the Canadians launched into their ninety minute set with Lowlife. This is possibly my favourite Theory of a Deadman song so it was the perfect start for me and, judging by the fans reaction around me, for many others too. Loved it!
Tyler Connolly informed the fans a few moments later that they would be playing songs from all their albums and that’s pretty much what they did.
This was the third time I’d seen these boys play live and the second time seeing them headline a show. The last time was in April 2015 when they had headlined a sell out show at the O2 ABC. Initially tonight there seemed to be something missing. That wee spark wasn’t there for the first half hour or so but by mid-set they seemed to have found their mojo again.
Joe Dandeneau delivered a stunning drum solo amid a blaze of lights. Awesome stuff!
Fan favourites peppered the set. One of the most popular with the crowd was the beautiful Santa Monica although for my personal taste they dragged this one out just a tad too long at the start. It was followed by another of my personal favourites, Angel. Love this one and the only thing that could have made it even more special would have been if they had played the acoustic version. Next time, boys, please? Hint! Hint!
Blow and Panic Room both from their current album Savages were firm favourites with the crowd. Panic Room in particular generated the energetic high of the night from the audience.
Hate My Life rounded off the main body of the set. The Glasgow choir were in fine voice for this one and sang along to every word. Another lyrically fabulous song!
When they returned for their encore Theory of a Deadman treated the fans to a taste of Sweet Home Alabama..or was it Sweet Home Glasgow ( as Tyler redeemed himself for an earlier faux pas when he referred to the audience as English…tut tut) and a rendition of Paradise City ( not quite GnR or Slash but I’ll forgive them) before ending the evening with Bad Girlfriend.
With promises to return with a new record and a new tour, Theory of a Deadman bade us all good night.
I, for one, will certainly be back! Hurry back, boys!