Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a gig of the Dead Heroes Club, Ireland’s only Prog Rock Band who happen to hail from my home town Derry. I’m always a little apprehensive about ‘local’ bands but I needn’t have been, as the Dead Heroes Club are deserving of international acclaim. They are also well worth seeing live if you ever get the opportunity. If Pink Floyd ever gave you have the impression that prog rock is a po-faced affair then be prepared to be converted as the Dead Heroes take progressive rock reinvigorate it and make it thoroughly entertaining. Accompanied on stage by slick projected imagery, the band of musicians are tight and clearly experienced, and the front man never fails to enthuse and get the crowd going, climbing on platforms, striking poses and at one point even vanishing off stage to reappear with a mysterious machine man gas mask for one particular song. You really have to see them, they have a great energy.
Click on the image below to listen:
Musically the Dead Heroes Club have been compared to King Crimson and Yes, or to Gabriel era Genesis and early Marillion which I get, as the singer sounds a lot like Fish. This is no bad thing as those are two of my favourite vocalists/lyricists. (Fun fact folks – the first proper live gig I ever saw was Fish in Cambridge back in 2001!) Thematically the band’s songs are inspired by big things and where better than Prog Rock for big ideas; war, ecology,poverty, epic fantasy and the machines of modernity. The Dead Heroes Club are almost gleefully leftist leaning with a deft touch and a nod to their literary heritage, with song titles like ‘The Centre Cannot Hold‘ and ‘Theatre of the Absurd‘ it’s hard not to notice just who their dead heroes might be. If you fancy checking out the Dead Heroes Club (and I urge you to!) you can find a special introductory EP of a selection of top tracks from their existing three records for only £2.50 download or simply listen for free here: WELCOME TO THE CLUB
And if that hasn’t sold you, try this track Sale of the Century for one of their all time bests.