The Dead Daisies

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Another great night of live music amongst like-minded people

DEAD DAISIES, QUIREBOYS
Liverpool : Academy - 31st October 2021

I was just a bit concerned when some promoters began offering huge discounts on the ticket prices for some of the shows on this tour. Makes me wonder if ticket prices were not as extortionate for some bands and the booking fees were also removed how much more appealing and thriving the live scene would be. Fortunately the attendance was good; though by no means a sell-out.

The Quireboys have been doing the rounds for a long time now and always manage to entertain. If I am honest I would not go out of my way to watch them, but it is always good when they get added as the support act. You know what you are going to get and the Faces/Small Faces musical style never fails to warm up a crowd. Spike is as eloquent as ever. He gets the day wrong and professes to not drinking anymore; I think what he failed to add was that he doesn't drink any less either. The set focuses mainly on the 'A Little Bit Of What You Fancy' album and it is hard to believe these songs are now more than thirty years old. 'Hey You' and '7 O'Clock' get the most rigid toes tapping and many in the crowd have smiles on their faces as the band take their leave after forty-five minutes or so.

A lot has changed in the Dead Daisies camp since I last saw them at the Rock & Blues Custom Show, back in 2018. John Corabi (vocals/guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass/vocals) and Deen Castronovo (drums) have all departed, though Castronovo does play on the most recent 'Holy Gound' album. In comes drummer Tommy Clufetos from Ozzy's band and the one and only "Voice Of Rock" himself on lead vocals and bass. 2021's 'Holy Ground' is for me, start to finish, the strongest release so far from The Daisies. Classic Rock, full of big riffs and Hughes' trademark vocals. It was no surprise to find the show built around this set of songs, with half a dozen of the eleven making the set-list.

'Unspoken' gets things under way, followed quickly by the hard-hitting 'Rise Up'. Guitarists Doug Aldrich and David Lowey flank Hughes with Aldrich throwing shapes and providing most of the lead parts. Clufetos is one of the biggest hitters in the business and he batters his kit from the off. If Hughes' between song banter leaves a lot to be desired, what cannot be questioned is his singing. For a guy of seventy, who has been doing this for fifty years now, it is remarkable. He hits all the notes with ease and I'm glad some of his usual vocal histrionics are kept in check.

No Daisies show would be complete without a cover or two. In fact we are given four in total. Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Fortunate Son' and Sensational Alex Harvey Band's 'Midnight Moses' lead into a Clufetos drum solo (when I took the opportunity to visit the Gents) and then we get Deep Purple's 'Mistreated'. I love the song but never think anyone does it justice live. It was actually OK, even though it is really a Coverdale song. 'Like No Other (Bassline)' and 'Holy Ground' are two personal favourites from the recent album and bring the main set to a close in style. They return and tear through a barnstorming 'Long Way To Go' and then it is no shock when the show finishes with a great run through Purple's 'Burn'. Though I think the vocals of Castronovo and Mendoza are missed, and at times the harmonies sound a little thin, there is no doubting the calibre of this current Daisies incarnation.

Another great night of live music amongst like-minded people and if Hughes' promise of another album and tour in 2022 is to be believed then count me in.

Dave Bott

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