Them Are They, Replica Jesus, Dead! – Radar Love at The Venue

Another instalment of Radar Love at The Venue and tonight’s line-up is Dead!, Replica Jesus and Them Are They. Storge’s Richard McKerron and Ian Cudmore went along and report back here. 

A healthy crowd at The Venue tonight for, it’s good to see so much support from the offset for a night that has brought together three choice bands on a week night.

We open with Them Are They and the concept of ‘less is more’ rings true with these guys. With only two musicians on stage they create an impressive blend of precise rhythm work from the drummer who favours a reduced kit with a single tom (a pattern we’re seeing a lot of these days for math and post rock bands) alongside the grunge guitar sound of Queens of the Stone Age and Kyuss. There’s more numbers involved in the music itself, as it shifts focus and time signature often. It’s a case of either start counting avidly now or just go with the flow whilst you take it all in. It’s difficult to conceive that the project is a year old and they still haven’t named a majority of the songs. Even string breakage and blood on their final song, Pigriff, isn’t stopping them.

Replica Jesus appear next, topless tattooed arrogance worthy of a far bigger following much further away than here, they offer us some early 2000s rock and roll in the vein of Buckcherry and Soil. Largely riff based with guitar, bass and percussion all following the same rhythm, vocalist Mat Davies claims “There’s not many of us left doing music like this!” and he isn’t wrong; most medium scale American punk rock bands haven’t the following to financially justify the flight over the pond. Song two is a frantic search for a cymbal wing nut which calms the band down to a more palatable level tightening things up in a more united front. “Don’t be scared, it’s all just theatre, none of its real!” Mat declares before the rest of the set pounds forwards as he wanders through the crowd and sings at the audience face to face to face.

Headliners Dead! round our evening off. I’ve always found power pop punk bands a difficult thing to take in, having been raised on a diet of darker, more smouldering rock, and I’m never sure whether these bands are just really well rehearsed and talented or whether they’re somebody else’s product machine. The cognitive dissonance of an average sized audience going bonkers to a band that is giving a festival level amount of enthusiasm on stage with absolute note perfect precision and clarity of diction, throat control, movement and whole band synchronicity is frankly unfathomable every time I witness it, and this is no exception.

It’s a chipper juggernaut, smiling and bouncing it’s way through wall after wall, breaking a sweat, but loving it. The visual is absolutely captivating. Skin has some beautiful solid harmonies in its chorus. This is fabulous right up to the bitter end and their high energy encore of The Who‘s My Generation ends on a genuine high. It’s their second trip to Derby and The Venue and I’m confident it won’t be their last. Our loss otherwise.

Find Them Are They:

Find Replica Jesus:

Find Dead!

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