www.dprp.net- Dead Heroes Club

Summer's End Festival 2010
Lydney Town Hall, Lydney, UK
Sunday, 10th October 2010

Article By Geoff Gold & Photographs by Bo Hansen


This year's Summer's End progressive rock festival in Lydney was a veritable helter-skelter of Prog royalty and talent. The stage was graced by those such as Roine Stolt of Flower Kings and Transatlantic fame, John Mitchell newly of It Bites but once of Arena, Frost and Kino, Pete Trewavas – bass maestro of Marillion and Transatlantic – all of this consolidated by powerhouse acts such as Phideaux, Sylvan and the overtly Genesis-themed The Watch.

Out of the shadow of such illustrious company and into the stage fog and the dimming lights stepped Irish band Dead Heroes Club, a relatively unsung but now unquestionably emergent force in Prog Rock. From the first note of their performance this band lived every second of the music; each song was delivered with unmistakable passion, bucket-loads of power and lorry-loads of melody. The vocalist Liam Campbell came down into the crowd at one point as if he wanted to sing every word directly to everyone in attendance. His passion was a focal point for the band’s raw energy. This was prog, yes certainly: atmospheric moments awash with strings, melodic and detailed guitar lines, driving bass and stand out drum subtleties, yet this was more. This band writes fantastic songs, any listen to either of their two studio albums can confirm that, but live they offer these songs from the heart, and play as if they mean it, as if the music is not merely an exercise in musical gymnastics, but a cry from the soul. This came across at Summer’s End, no question! To use a tired, but descriptive, old cliché: Dead Heroes Club quite simply blew the roof off the venue with their impassioned, powerhouse brand of Prog Rock.

Lyrically Dead Heroes Club’s second album in particular ‘A Time of Shadows’ is a paragon of how emotion can make a song. Seeing the band live at Summer’s End, the emotion of the songs and the band’s delivery of those songs was unmistakable, palpable even. Make no mistake, Dead Heroes Club are a bona fide progressive rock band, one can easily detect the classic prog influences of Genesis, Pink Floyd and even bands like Rush in their music, but they bring something of their own to the live arena: a passion for the genre and the songs, an energy and a raw edge that a lot of modern prog lacks.

There were certainly great performances at Summer’s End 2010, The Flower King boys: Stolt and Reingold, the guys from Sylvan and The Watch all provided music and showmanship of the highest quality, yet in the midst of these names, for this reviewer, Dead Heroes Club stole in and stole the show. Surely it is only a matter of time until this Irish band is playing the biggest prog stages in Europe and further afield. The band announced at their Summer’s End show that they are working on new studio album and even premiered one of the new songs live, I await their new adventures into prog with bated breath to see how far these boys can really go!

Prog Rock Legend Phideaux Xavier was on the same bill as the boys at the 2010 Summers End Festival and he commented on the DHC performance. This is what he had to say...

Summers End
by Phideaux Xavier on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 10:42pm

I really enjoyed Summers End. We arrived at 9 am Friday morning on the overnight flight, and couldn't get into our rooms until 2 pm, so we wanted to collapse and sleep. Therefore, we missed Resonance Association and Tinyfish! I'm sad because I've heard Tinyfish and wanted to hear them live. Defense of Realm was great, as one would expect. And fun skits. I loved the last Kino song they played. It is just so evocative and sad. I LOVE tragic music (but if you've heard mine own you probably know that!).

Saturday we got there a bit late as well, missing Hakan who I heard were great. We saw arK (did I spell that right?) and I'm ALWAYS happy to hear anything John Jowitt is involved with. Great, dramatic music and stories. Unitopia were classic, and most of the folks in my band were won over. I was most excited to hear Agents of Mercy vs. Karmakanic, so I was disappointed because we had to leave fairly early to go back to apartments and rest our voices.

Sunday was nerve wracking (as always) waiting for our show. But hearing Multifuse definitely put me in a blissful zone. They had a quality like Magma, but a little less totalitarian! They were definitely a kinder, gentler Magma!. And I liked it. Awesome vocals (and I gushed after the performance). Then, Dead Heroes Club, who suprised me. Just looking at the font on their album cover made me think: Deep Purple Stormbringer! So, I wasn't sure what to expect, but they were just great. The singer is Fantastic! He reminded me of the singer from Iluvatar with a bit of Bernardo Lanzetti from PFM Chocolate Kings era. Really hard to imagine going on after them.

From www.imarocker.com

Sometimes a cd can make such a good impression that you don’t know if the live show will live up to that little shiny disc. So at the Nerve centre on the 24th the Dead heroes club had big shoes to fill when they not only had their official cd launch but inaugural performance.

I didn’t really catch the support band immunise, they were tight but I was distracted by a few heads I hadn’t seen in a while so I can’t say too much about them. I have heard that they have big things on the horizon and I hope they do well.

After immunise a white screen was put up on the stage, this led to a discussion, was this going to be a Fish with Marillion (circa 1982) silhouette show? Thankfully they kickedoff with a film show of their ‘dead heroes’ as featured on the cd cover. As Gerry Mcgerigal (guitar) put it, how
many bands give you a film show before they play. I recognised some of the’ heroes’ but not all of them from the cover… how many can you name?

The band came on stage to the sound of a telephone ringing, soupy (vox) decked out in a long leather coat, hat and sunglasses a precursor to later theatrics. The band kicked off with ‘falling from grace’ the track on the cd, so mid song I went to snap some pics from the site, after storming their
way through the opening number I heard a familiar sound, hang on was it, naw.... jesus it is, they’re playing Rush, feckin ‘new world man’ and what a version.
A bit of banter with the crowd followed before we got ‘feel the dark’
another DHC original, I have to say at times on the cd Mickey Gallagher
sounds a bit restrained ( well sometimes less is more!) but he let rip on this they had now found their feet and were in full swing. Next up was ‘a day in the life of the world’ one of my favourite tracks on the cd. Complete with sound samples triggered, this was no half assed show, they were tight. This led us into another surprise cover a storming version of Tull's 'living in the past', brilliant stuff. This is a band who wears their influences proudly on their sleeves, never detracting from their own material which sat perfectly with the cover tunes. 'Press any key' was up next and I know some people think this track was a bit weak on the cd but in fairness it shone live, they hit all the right buttons.

'Sunrise on the trenches' was next, a song about the battle of The Somme, roll intro and out with the acoustics, which led into a little ‘lord of the rings’ keyboard wizardry from Chris Norby, before the band chilled a bit with the acoustic laden ‘third light’. Another surprise cover awaited us ‘Roger Waters’-the bravery of being out of range’ fitting nicely in on the same
theme as sunrise’. I haven’t listened to Roger Waters ‘amused to death' for sometime, but after this I’ll give it another spin. A brief break, some fancy fretwork by Gerry and we were into ‘one day too soon’ featuring , that legend in his own bathwater’ Frankie Robinson’ Frankie known to most people in the town as great guitarist joined them on saxophone this was another song that really sparkled live. Then more familiar noise clocks ticking..clocks ticking ..’time from ‘pink floyd's’ dsotm leading into 'Breath', the band were again joined by Frankie on sax. A bit of info on the dead heroes from Soupy before we went down the road to 'Jerusalem' a song about our peace, or lack of it without being preachy. Partway through the song Soupy pulled out a handheld spotlight and began to ‘buzz’ the crowd, the band and the hall with swathes of light.

'A secret never to be told', the last track on the cd clocking in at a nice epicy 10mins showed off the individual talents of the bands members but never getting overly self indulgent this is a serious musical workout and they showed us their mettle.

The band left the stage to great applause from the audience before returning for an encore a genesis medley that ran from classic Gabriel era 'Selling England by the pound' & bits of ‘back in new york city’ before ending up as 'Turn it on again'. At this point I was having a prog overdose, breathtaking to say the least, then that was it. After such a performance, the music the theatrics where do the DHC go next? Somehow I don’t think they’ll have a problem pulling something out of their sleeves and surprising us..

Set list.

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