LIVE REPORT: DEATHSTARS + THE DEAD AND LIVING – Manchester Academy 3 – 03/11/14

LIVE REPORT: DEATHSTARS + THE DEAD AND LIVING – Manchester Academy 3 – 03/11/14

By now you know the drill, I whine about the rain in Manchester and how I’m getting soaked as usual. Today is no different, except that I’d just interviewed Deathstar’s Skinny Disco. Which meant the rain could do one and I was too happy to care about being moderately moist.

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So, the gig. Them bands who play them instruments, and the drummers of course. Tonight begins with The Dead And Living a band, I’m not gonna lie I was all too familiar with. But after seeing them play a 45 minute set, I’m not sure I wanna get familiar with them again.

In my mind The Dead And Living was like watching an angsty 14 year old goth commit his poetry to songs made entirely of chunks of things left from the Black Veil Brides cutting room floor. Some songs about death, others about an oncoming apocalypse. They seem to be winning over fans tonight but only the youngest members of the audience. The band look somewhat awkward on stage which at the end of a two month tour isn’t a very good sign. Largely this is down their vocalist, a man who called himself Coroner. The rest of the band seem to know what they’re doing and are largely on point. However if your drummer can’t consistently hit the kick drum it is a good idea to think about triggers.

The string section are doing a fine job of carrying the songs they don’t seem to believe in so much. But after their overly long set, they were gone and we could begin once more to continue the mounting excitement for the headliners. This tour was supposed to have happened in March, but the band needed more time in the studio to complete their latest album The Perfect Cult. After the usual intermission, it was time to begin.

The Swedish legends of death rock are on stage and all hell was to break loose. The Temple Of Insects begins proceedings nicely, the artillery barrage that is Deathstars’ rhythm section is in full swing and as we’re swept through New Dead Nation and All The Devil’s Toys it’s clear the band are mixing things up tonight. Scattering treats from their ever growing back catalogue all over the shop.

Both Whiplasher and Skinny’s vocals are strong and in full force tonight which makes for exciting viewing and listening. The band themselves seem overjoyed to be back on stage after an almost two year break. Whiplasher commands the stage beautifully, his feminine and larger than life stage presence is matched by all of the members of the band. None more so than new drummer, Vice.

Deathstars 2014

A combination of my three personal favourites come one after the other, Chertograd, Play God and Night Electric Night lead the band toward the end of their set, well the end of the first bit, they’re rockstars after all, an encore is mandatory. There is always one at a gig that believes they’re cool by heckling the band, this time it’s some whacked out douche screaming the band ‘Play some Spice Girls.’ This endless barrage is handled by sharp and well delivered comebacks from Whiplasher Bernadotte.

The encore is a three track blast of the bands greatest hits, Fire Galore, Cyanide and Blitzkrieg which garner the biggest sing-alongs of the night. It’s great to see a crowd that don’t believe they’re too cool to get involved with a performance. But the guy filming the show on his iPad? There is a special place reserved in hell for you, my friend.


Pleased by their assault on Manchester the band retire with smiling faces. That was one hell of a show.

Deathstars latest album ‘The Perfect Cult’ is out now, find all info here: http://www.deathstars.net/

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