Dead Sea Skulls + Magpies & Vagabonds @ The Victoria, Birmingham – Friday 11th July 2014


Review & photos by Rich Ward

Magpies & Vagabonds are a Birmingham based pop rock band. There’s a definite big American sound to them. Think Weezer / Gaslight Anthem and you’re someway there. A cover of the Clash’s ‘Clampdown’ gives you some further idea of where they’re coming from musically. A good enough opening band for the evening.

The Dead Sea Skulls have now been going for almost a year. However, Midlands gig goers should already be familiar with the Crutchley brothers from past stints with Raven Vandelle and the Quireboys’ Spike amongst others.

Dead Sea Skulls
Dead Sea Skulls

Joining Jimi and Nick is drummer/vocalist Ash Sheehan. Standing behind his kit at the front of the stage, it certainly makes an impressive and unusual sight. They immediately hit their stride with the first song ‘Absent Ones’ which gets the hot and tightly packed crowd jumping and singing along. The pace keeps going for ‘Come Around’ and it pretty soon becomes apparent that the Victoria is the place to be on this Friday night. The trio are damn tight and are kicking some serious arse, and everyone in the rooms seems involved.

Dead Sea Skulls

Dead Sea Skulls

Dead Sea Skulls

Dead Sea Skulls

The songs keep coming with riff after relentless riff and with more groove than John Peel’s record collection. There’s simply no let up in quality. Ash squeezes into the audience at one point leaving Jimi to keep the momentum going on the bass drum. Their passion and enthusiasm is infectious; it takes little encouragement to get everybody joining in on the chorus for ‘Turnin’ Away’. They finish on a rousing ‘Ridin’ High’, during which everyone is encouraged to film it on their phones and send the footage in to their website. I’ll be interesting to see what happens. A magnificent end to a cracking gig.

If you haven’t checked them out yet, do yourself a favour and see when they are playing next. They may well be the most exciting local band you’re likely to see all year.


  1. Absent Ones
  2. Come Around
  3. Nowhere I Belong
  4. Givin’ It Up
  5. The Remedy
  6. Time (It Waits For No One)
  7. I Wanna Buy A Rolex
  8. 1F# 2A 3B..
  9. Walkin’ The Night
  10. Oh No
  11. Turnin’ Away
  12. Ridin’ High


Check out our review of their New EP Eau De Kitchen here

See more of Rich’s photos here