Live Review: Oli Brown and the Dead Collective – Wolverhampton

Live Review: Oli Brown and the Dead Collective - KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
25th April 2024
Support: Zac and the New Men
Words: Matt Noble
Photos: Scott Clarke

Zac and The New Men open the night of bluesy rock n' roll at KKs with style, impressing through an opening set of rockers that effortlessly mix grace, groove and swagger into one. With a versatile lead vocal and faithful, uncomplicated rock drumming, their use of atmospherics and effects in the backing track add a modern touch.

Whether restrained or full-throttle, though, the guitar tones are gorgeous and warm throughout, very pleasant on the ears. Royal Blood seem to be an influence on the quartet - particularly the fuzzy 'Social Blur' - but delivered with somewhat of a New Wave of Classic Rock feel at times. Engaging the crowd to clap along by the end, the set hints at a bright future for the band.

Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography

A dramatic stage lighting introduces Oli Brown and the Dead Collective. Bluesy, but with the stage production of an electronic rock outfit, it's quite different in aesthetic to a lot that I've really seen before. Bringing the 21st century blues revival firmly into 2024, they use atmosphere and intense light displays to really create something striking.

It's executed with a lot of polish, barely a note or melody misplaced. With little audience interaction, letting the stagemanship and music talk, it's a different way of interpreting the blues, but more modern and cutting edge than what many would dare to.

Musically, it's solid. Oli has a soulful wail, reminiscent of latter era Chris Cornell when he belts especially. The melodies are rich, the sense of musical light and shade is potent, and the riffs are cool - particularly 'Sinking Ship'. 'Home Sweet Home' is a powerful closer for a night of modern rock n' roll that demonstrates just how possible it is for this musical style to evolve.

Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography
Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography
Photo Credit: Scott Clarke Photography

Photo credits: Scott Clarke Photography

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