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Wednesday, 27 March 2019

A View From The Back Of The Room: Dead At 27 (Alex)

Dead At 27, The 501's & Chris Morgan, Fuel Rock Club Cardiff

Dead at 27 has a sizeable following – a fact evidenced by the amount of gig-goers sporting branded t-shirts tonight. Of course, that’s totally understandable. They are, in many respects, an alternative rock act, as are their support acts. Yet they bear just a tint of that classic rock flair, which shines through in both in their Songwriting and showmanship.

Chris Morgan (7) opens the night. Unperturbed by the hustle and bustle of the crowd as they cram into Fuel, he makes his way through half an hour of acoustic indie rock, packed with power and emotion. Considering his act consists entirely of one man and an acoustic guitar trying to please a crowd that is still far from heaving, his songs pack a whole load of energy and punch – almost the same sort of feeling derived from a traditional band set-up. Particularly memorable moments come with the addition of covers of Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky by Manic Street Preachers and Drop The Pilot by Joan Armatrading, rounding off the set.

Next, it’s the 501’s (8) turn to impress, a task which they wholeheartedly succeed at. Despite the influx of fans of the headline act, these certainly make an impression. Performing an acerbic type of pop punk which melds well with the freneticism of the act topping the bill, they elicit a loud reaction. The epic interplay between the rhythm section and both the guitars, certainly lend the performance a lot of gusto. Quite professionally, these musicians glide seamlessly from one song to the next, barely pausing for breath, except for the occasional shouts of ‘Cmon!’ and ‘Is everyone having a good time?’. In regard to that last point, by now the answer from everyone is a straight yes! Yes, we are!

Finishing off the night on a particularly high point is, of course, Dead At 27 (8). Like I mentioned earlier their style of rock is a catchy alternative, meets gritty, energetic rock n’ roll. By that, I mean that nearly every song has a hook for the audience members to sing along to, yet there is a distinguishable amount of fuzz on the guitars as well as a lot of roughness to Nathan's voice, giving the music a lot of presence. Despite lightheartedly expressing their discontent with the sweltering heat of the venue - a feature which regular goers to this bar are almost certainly used to by now – they play quite a long set, never letting up the intensity, even slightly. By the end of the night, everyone has that warm, buzzing feeling of exhaustion, which only comes from an exciting gig!

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