The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


Both Australia and the world in general need The Dead Daisies. Once was a time when rock of this quality ruled the roost and despite the small venue, if the passion of tonight’s crowd was anything to go by, signs are looking good for a much awaited revival of this kind of classic rock. Of course when you look at the sheer talent on stage you could hardly expect anything less with Jon Stevens golden voice augmented by two of the current Guns N Roses line up in Dizzy Reed and Richard Fortus; master of the four string – Marco Mendoza and a new powerhouse on drums – Brian Tichy (who told me earlier in the day that there may well be a second S.U.N. album next year) and not to forget either Australia’s own David Lowy on second guitar.

The set tonight is perfectly balanced and exhaustingly good, mixing as it does the best tracks from the debut album, a smattering of new tracks and some well-chosen Rock covers… but we’ll get to that.

Over the last couple of years The Rockpit has spoken to and interviewed everyone up there on stage tonight which is both a first for us and great when you get to catch up with them all before the show and see the sheer fun they are having with this band – as that after all is a good part of what Rock and Roll seems to be lacking these days – a sense of sheer enjoyment.


Bursting onto stage with the powerhouse opening pair of ‘Gonna Take Time’ and Howling Wolf’s ‘Evil’ it’s clear the band isn’t taking any prisoners, and the intensity both onstage and off is cranked up immediately with Stevens strutting the stage, Mendoza adding some sweet backing vocals and Fortus all energy and moves which Tichy just never stops, and is beaming all night.


After a great rendition of ‘Washington’ – one of our favourites and the band’s second single there’s a first airing of the Aerosmith-vibed ‘Your Karma’ from the latest EP; before the first well-chosen cover ‘Hush’ the Joe South tune made famous by Deep Purple.

‘Mexico’ keeps up the intensity with its huge rocking intro, before we get a chance to draw breath for the ballad ‘Yesterday’ (there’s even a nice snatch of Buffalo Springfield’s ‘For What It’s Worth’ in there too), which not only manages to get the crowd waving their arms but also sees a few cigarette lighters held aloft, which draws a grin from Mendoza.

After a wonderful take on ‘Miles in Front of Me’ It takes a few moments to realise that this is probably the smallest stage we’ve seen any of these guys on before, and that of course adds to the experience as Stevens introduces the second new song as ‘a brand new song about life’- ‘Make the Best of It’ which he adds may well be out next year. There’s a real Whitesnake swagger to it and a great vocal from Stevens who has always been a vocalist at the very top of his game. And it’s here in The Dead Daisies that you feel he gets his real chance to demonstrate that to the world. ‘I would say you could hear it on the radio but hey it's the radio…’ he adds as the song ends.


‘It was great to play with Paul Rogers last year’ Stevens adds while introducing the next son, alluding to The Dead Daisies stateside stint on the Bad Company tour and of course the guitar intro to Free’s ‘All Right Now’ is instantly recognisable to all in attendance here. Stevens excels, getting as close as it is possible for any human being to the mighty vocals of Rogers. Both the band and the crowd is  having so much fun it has to be one of the shows of the year and we’re barely over half way.


The new single ‘Angel in Your Eyes’ is introduced with a further dig at the state of Aussie radio and elicits the biggest response of the night so far ‘ You Might be a small crowd but you're fucking loud’ Stevens laughs. The new single has a stomp and a swing that is completely irresistible and for those with eyes elsewhere Fortus shows what a lively guitarist he is raising and dropping his guitar, spinning and genuinely enjoying himself. The crowd to sings the chorus with a passion that matches him.


Fortus jumps into next song literally , both feet off the ground and Dizzy Reed hits a cool run on the keys to introduce ‘Face I as Stevens vocally mimics Fortus’ guitar lick and raises a laugh, while he himself picks up an acoustic. And then it’s time for the first single the band released – ‘Lock and Load’ – it’s a sure fire classic and of course it’s cool to see Gunners current guitarist take on the solo originally played by Gunners first guitarist – Slash.


There’s a frenzy of strobes and twirling drumsticks for ‘Helter Skelter’ which has a wonderful power and turns into a drum and guitar frenzy, before the set proper ends and Stevens wishes the still fired-up crowd a ‘Merry Christmas and a happy New Year’. The song ends with his best scream of the night. Before the band careers into a slice of Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’. By the end of the set you are absolutely convinced that this is the band Stevens was born to front. And on stage these six exceptional musicians not only manage to convey that vital essence of rock and roll but do it with a passion that in truth you rarely feel these days.


Of course they return for an encore: and it’s both sad and wonderful as Dizzy Read says a few words about Ian McLagan, keyboardist with both The Small Faces and The Faces who sadly passed away just the day before. The best tribute you could wish for s the stomping rendition of The Faces classic ‘Stay With Me’ which moves the entire room. Unscripted the band ends with a cover of Kiss’ ‘Parasite’ and there’s mild amusement when Stevens comes in early on the first chorus, quite possibly the only foot put wrong on what has been one of the shows of the year.


If you want to know about real Rock and Roll – this is it. If you only get out to see one band this year – let it be The Dead Daisies…


by Jo Rockpit December 2014



HARD ROCK & METAL LIVE REVIEWS FROM AUSTRALIA & THE WORLD 2014 is a proud supporter of local live music and unsigned bands

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