On Monday night, Deadcuts played the New Adelphi Club in Hull, just as half of the band had done in Senseless Things three months ago. In the same way, this ‘secret’ gig provided a safe and intimate environment to test out yet more new songs on a real audience before hitting bigger venues. Always strong live, Monday was engagingly informal, predictably tardy and yet another example of how a band can shift gear so swiftly in two days.
In contrast, Wednesday’s gig at The Deaf Institute in Manchester saw Deadcuts as the second support for American band Bash and Pop. This time they are on stage on time and as tightly rehearsed as a swelling buboe and equally as ready to burst. There are no requests or written prompts tonight.
The stage at The Deaf Institute is a cross between a miniature theatre with its red velvet swags and patterned wallpaper and a colossal doll’s house, all of which suits Deadcuts’s macabre and often surreal imagery of living dolls. The set is a mixture of enduring tracks from their debut album Dark Is The Night and fine new tracks from soon to be released Hit On All Sixes.
It is a sign of Mark Keds’s increasing confidence as a front man that he has discarded his guitar by the second song, ‘DK’. He sings into the crowd which he is about six feet above, foot on the monitor. Jerome Alexandre backs up the theatricality with a cascading waterfall of a riff. New songs such as ‘Hold Me Up’ show that the new material continues to be inspired and finding fresh corners of music to explore. It also shows what a valuable addition new bassist Aaron Scars is as well as the power of a stable line-up.
On ‘Craving’, Alexandre and Keds crowd round drummer Cass Browne for a terrifying show of united playing. As ever, Keds and Alexandre play up their brotherly bond like a goth Bowie and Ronson. They share a mike, vocals, breathing space…at one point they play guitars so in synch it looks like are going to break into moves worthy of The Shadows.
They finish with the splendour of new track ‘Opium Style’. Jerome Alexandre is like a pretty Elvis leading the rhythmic racket. They work themselves up to a huge crescendo and then they are off.
Another taster of the beautiful dysfunction that is Deadcuts.