The Dead South review: One of the most exciting, talented and entertaining folk-bluegrass bands on the circuit
- Credit: Mark Stimpson
The Dead South, with support from Del Suelo and The Hooten Hallers, served up the perfect Saturday night [February 9] of music to a packed crowd at OPEN in Norwich.
Del Suelo was the first support act of the evening who also joined The Dead South on their last stop in Norwich in April 2018. Due to the long queue's I was only able to catch the last few songs of his set which were as great as they were last time around.
As the crowd continued to fill the venue, The Hooten Hallers took to the stage starting up with a sound that smacked you straight in the face. It was loud, distinctive and completely unlike anything else out there.
The Columbia, Missouri trio combine elements of blues, rock 'n' roll, honky tonk, jazz, soul and punk into a hybrid sound that had the audience cheering in between each song.
On stage presence came naturally to the trio as they took the audience on a ride from unapologetically raucous blues on the lap steel and bass saxophone, to a sweet three part harmony country balled, to a romping dance number.
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The energy levels were kept at max until right towards the end of their set when they performed a cover of Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World.
After their set had finished it was almost had to find words to describe what we had just witnessed. They seemed to go down well with the crowd, but whether that was down to most people being several beers deep by this point I'll never know.
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It's not something I'd usually go out of my way to listen but it was incredibly unique and made for a really good supporting set.
At just past 9.30, The Dead South's opening music began playing and the room lights dipped. One by one they appeared on stage in their renowned white shirts, black trousers and braces (except for the lead singer who wore a black jacket).
The Canadian folk-bluegrass ensemble have acquired quite a loyal following in Norwich, managing to sell out last year's show and pack out the venue once again this time around.
It was pleasantly surprising to once again see so many unlikely fans of the genre appearing from all corners of the city, gathering on a Saturday night to enjoy some top class music.
The sheer volume of people just goes to show the ever growing popularity of folk and country music in the UK - something that is great to see.
They got straight into their set with songs that incorporated guitars, cello, banjo, kick drum and mandolin along with powerful lead vocals and accompanying harmonies. Their energy had the crowd clapping their hands and tapping their feet from the get-go to music that is absolutely irresistible and undeniably infectious.
The evening was made up off tracks off of both of their albums along with a special inclusion of a couple of their brand new songs.
Much like last time, a personal favourite was when they performed In Hell I'll Be Good Company, one of their most well known tracks, where they replicated the music video with their ever popular whistles, signature marching and foot tapping melodies.
As the set drew on the crowd continued to see off drink after drink with many bursting into dance, unable to stand still to such upbeat music.
Every single member of The Dead South held their own up on stage and are absolute masters of their craft, continually blowing me away at the speed and precision with which they play their respective instruments.
At the end of their set they left the stage to screams and cheers from the audience who kept clapping and stamping their feet until the band returned to perform an encore.
Every time The Dead South come to Norwich they deliver a solid performance making everyone's Saturday night one to remember. If you still haven't had a chance to make it down to one of their shows then you're definitely missing out on one of the most exciting, talented and entertaining folk-bluegrass bands on the circuit.