Review by Rob Billlingham, photos by Lisa Billingham
Northamptonshire based band Dead Frequency were appearing at The Roadhouse, Birmingham as part of a nine band line-up that was an all-dayer headlined by Muse tribute band Mused. DF were a bit late on stage due to an overrun by the previous band caused by their late arrival at the venue. Consequently their scheduled ten-song set had to be shortened by three and a drum solo. Shame really, as this band were well worthy of a full set. What appeared to be a bit of a technical hitch at the start soon morphed into Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’, which was to herald the arrival of the high-output dynamo with the pinky red hair that is vocalist Matti Fantasi.
The boys went straight into ‘Never Gonna Fall In Love’, a lively opener which really set us up nicely for the rest of the set. Although an originals band, DF showed that they can more than adequately cover other music with a stonking version of Sweet’s ‘Ballroom Blitz’. Dead Frequency have the glam and you can certainly hear the punk influences, but they have breathed new life into the glam/punk/rock genres; all three styles are evident in their music and so well blended. Check out the three track EP, Desire For Fire and the song ‘Your Love’, recently made available as a Youtube video to see what I mean. I particularly liked “Deaths, Knives and Broken Lives”, which delivers a social message with a punch. The whole band is blessed with excellent musicians who have the chemistry that makes a band “gotta go see”, rather than “oh yeah I saw them once somewhere”.
The songs are well crafted and the inter-weaving guitar playing of Brady Deeprose and Matti works really well. With James Bourne’s bass work maintaining a tempo which is never compromised, even in those intricate moments that bass players do have from time to time! With Sam Thorne’s drumming wrapping around this musical gift to our ears, I sense this is a band who can go a very long way. Although live-wire front man Matti is the obvious focal point of the band, Brady, Sam and James are all perfect foils to him and each other. Whilst there was a disappointingly small crowd to play to, it did not prevent the boys from delivering a set with enough energy, fun and relentless pace to leave you feeling like you have been poleaxed by a barrage of musical exocets! By the way, just what did Sam do to deserve being almost totally hidden from sight by two large pop-up Dead Frequency banners? I’ll put it down to the congested stage.