I’m pleased to say that Firebrand were given 2 bites of the cherry on this tour with this second bite taking place at the largest of the Backstage, Munich venues, Backstage Werk.
This isn’t a venue I’ve been in previously although I have visited the 2 smaller venues within the complex which, combined, look like something out of Scrapyard Challenge. It’s an industrial setting to say the least.
Werk has a bit of an usual layout and holds around 1,600 people, tonight it was pretty full for the battle of the flowers as German band The New Roses take the support role to The Dead Daisies.
The New Roses have a very healthy, and growing, following in Europe and are well respected here in the UK, on home territory they’re a monster hit, and it’s easy to see why. The 4-piece band from ‘just up the road’ in Wiesbaden know how to entertain and this full-of-energy quartet barely stopped for breath during their fairly short, but enormously entertaining, set.
The band have released three albums since 2013 and tonight’s set had songs from all of them. The latest release, ‘One More For the Road’ formed the core of the set with five songs coming from it. At times it’s almost impossible to deny the similarity between the band and early Quireboys. The musical style, the vocal style, it’s undeniably Quireboys, and that’s no bad thing.
‘Every Wild Heart’ kicks off the set followed by ‘Forever never Comes’ and ‘Dancin’ on a Razor Blade’ all from ‘One More For the Road’. A couple from 2013’s ‘Without a Trace’ follow then it’s ‘Life Ain’t Easy (for a boy with long hair)’, with its raspy vocals, close your eyes, is that Spike singing?
The set soon finishes with a single tune from ‘Dead Man’s Voice’, ‘Thirsty’ sees the band leave the stage to wild applause. I’m looking forward to seeing them over here in the UK later this year, they’re a cracking band and one for you to see if you’re a Quireboys/John Mellancamp fan.
There’s nothing dead about the Dead Daisies, nothing could be further from the truth, they’re not even mildly withered!
The band were put together in 2013 by vocalist Jon Stevens and rhythm guitarist David Lowy, Lowy being the single constant in the band’s short history. It’s fair to say that in the five years of their existence there has been a bit of a turnover in staff, particularly drummers, the current skinsman, Deen Castronovo being the fifth such member.
The present line-up comprises David Lowy, Doug Aldrich (lead guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass), John Corabi (vocals) and Deen Castronovo. Despite the heritage that these musicians have it’s still a little unusual for a band as young as this (I’m talking young as in the ensemble not the band members individual ages which I won’t go into to!) to amass such a huge following in such a short time.
The latest album, ‘Burn it Down’ has been out just a few weeks and, fittingly, most of the songs in tonight’s set come from the album. Although the band have never been ‘dead’ they open the show with ‘Resurrected’ from ‘Burn it Down’ and this is followed by ‘Rise Up’, also from the new album. Wind the clock back a couple of years to the release of ‘Make Some Noise’ and we’re treated to the title track and then ‘Song and a Prayer’. The crowd are well up for this, as John Corabi struts the stage front to back, Marco Mendoza and David Lowy flash side to side and Doug Aldrich pulls an array of face as he tries to kill the double necked Gibson hanging over his shoulder. The songs switch between ‘Burn it Down’ and ‘Make Some Noise’ with a single entry from 2015’s ‘Revolución’ intervening. After song number 10 the band take a break and leave Deen Castronovo to his own devices as he gives a lesson in drumming.
The band don’t shy away from playing covers, going so far as to even include them on the albums. The first of those covers follows the drum solo. This is ‘Bitch’ by the Rolling Stones and the song is included on the latest album. One more song then it’s on to the band intro’s; 5 band members, 5 snippets which included ‘Rock and Roll All NIght’ (Kiss), ‘Highway to Hell‘ (AC/DC), ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ (Thin Lizzy), ‘Smoke on the Water’ (Deep Purple) and finally ‘Heaven and Hell’ (Black Sabbath).
Two more songs from ‘Make Some Noise’ gets the band to the next cover, this time it’s ‘Midnight Moses’ originally by Alex Harvey. This song appears on ‘Revolución’ and sees the end of the main set.
The band return to rapturous applause and much verbal encouragement, encouragement the band hardly need to carry playing. ‘Judgement Day’ is played and dismissed as the band then get into their final song, and final cover, of the night, Deep Purple’s ‘Highway Star’. A cracking song to end a cracking night; both bands gave everything they had in, what was, a bit of a sauna by the end. The venue remained intact, though I’m not sure how, must be the German engineering that saw it through. There’s nothing weedy about the Dead Daisies, see them you must!
I’m very grateful to Claire Lloyd of Central Press for arranging this.
Words and pictures: Reg Richardson