Review: Dead Confederate / Darker My Love / A Place To Bury Strangers @ KCLSU, April 6th.

More often than not there’s a band that sticks out like a sore thumb when you look at a lineup. Not the case this evening. All bands are guitar heavy and loud, very very loud and luckily KCLSU has just the sound system for the job.

First up are Dead Confederate from Athens, Georgia (USA) who have been described as Southern Rock but there’s more to them than the big riffs of that whiskey drenched genre. Don’t get me wrong there are big guitars aplenty as are there rock out tangents but there’s a bit more introspection to it than all that. There’s a noticeably grungey side to the band too, especially in front man Hardy Morris and his Kurt Cobain like appearance and guitar style. Impressive facial hair on show from bearded guitarist Walker Howle and twirly moustached keyboard player John Watkins . They can play some too. Great slide guitar, haunting keys and driving beats make songs like their single, ‘The Rat’ a very special affair. They play The Victoria in Mile End tonight, go check them out for yourselves! I just hope their sound system can take it.

For Fans Of: My Morning Jacket, Nirvana, Soundgarden, BRMC, Radiohead.

mp3: Dead Confederate – The Rat


Darker My Love were a late but welcomed addition to this bill and as it turns out they stole the show for this listener at least. It’s rare to enjoy a whole set of a band whose material you’re unfamiliar with but it happened on this occasion. These guys have great presence, energy and musicianship. They’re not to be outdone on the volume front either. Their sound reminds me of other California bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Brian Jonestown Massacre but they take the jams further to an almost Led Zeppelin level at some stages. They possess two great guitarists in their ranks, Jared Everett and Tim Presley who also takes on most lead vocal duties, his voice used more as another instrument.

It’s a real pleasure to hear the way the duelling guitarists compliment each other. Just as you think there’s a danger of a riff going on too long one of them cuts in with an inspired new direction. The rhythm section relentlessly drives most of these songs with Rob Barbato’s fuzzy bass chords and vocals making sure all stage front band members are equally deserving of your attention. Then there’s drummer Jim (of band All Saints) only borrowed a week ago from band All The Saints (not to be confused with the 90s Girl Group!) who absolutely nailed every song. You may want to hold onto that one guys! All in all a GREAT LIVE BAND and luckily they’re back later this month for a couple of London dates. Prior listening not required for enjoyment but if you want their album for free then click here.

For Fans Of: BRMC, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Led Zeppelin.

mp3: Darker My Love – Summer Is Here


A Place To Bury Strangers did nothing for me I’m afraid but two out of three ain’t bad hey? Sure they had some nice visuals of moving landscapes and 3-d shapes to distract from the lack of stage presence of the 3-piece but the music seemed more focused on volume than content.  I didn’t get it but some of the crowd evidently did. They’ve partly risen to popularity from an impressive list of support slots (BRMC, MGMT, Brian Jonestown Massacre) but tonight they are outdone by their own support. Sweet irony.

For Fans Of: Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division, My Bloody Valentine.

mp3: A Place To Bury Strangers – Runaround

2 Responses to “Review: Dead Confederate / Darker My Love / A Place To Bury Strangers @ KCLSU, April 6th.”

  1. Nigel Birch Says:

    Firstly, the sound was pretty aweful for most of the night.
    Secondly, the review of Dead Confederate and Darker my Love is fair enough, but if you’re going to do a review at least stay for the main band and don’t just write blind.
    To say APTBS Have a “lack of stage presence” shows that you must have left before they came on. They are truly amazing live, try to catch them sometime…….

    • Firstly I stayed for a long half hour of APTBS and wasn’t feeling it like I said. Sure the vocalist was throwing himself around the stage a bit but as a whole it still felt a hell of a lot more empty than either of the first two bands. Secondly, have you been to many of the other mid sized venues in London as the sound at KCL is better than most of those with the exception of ULU perhaps. Sure I would have liked some fine tuning like more more lead guitar and vocals for Dead Confederate but seeing as each band just tried to out volume one another the sound wasn’t that bad. I’ll definitely try to stick out the whole show next time I come across them but won’t be going out of my way.

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