This was the first live review that I did for Cool Try.
It’s… well, it could’ve been better.
I think the review might be a little too formal.
Oh well. Learning process and all that.
Some slight edits made to clean up spelling, but otherwise this is as it was.
Most of my review and interview work is now on Culture Eater.
My colleague and I set up a Patreon to further develop Culture Eater as a source of good quality arts coverage from both ourselves and our contributors.
We’re looking at what we can give to supporters as we don’t want to set up a one way relationship, so suggestions are welcome. One of the things we’ve set up is a podcast with each episode coming out fortnightly to every three weeks. Please consider supporting, or at least sharing the Patreon page with others.
Please also check out what our wonderful contributors are contributing.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy.
The first support of the night was Heads of Charm.
Unfortunately I arrived late and saw only the last six minutes of their set, but their use of noise indicated that they’re a band to keep an eye on.
Solkyri followed shortly after.
Their music was somewhat interesting but the performance aspect felt quite rehearsed; something that was a bit of a letdown. Their drummer was amazing though. He played with a great intensity and passion that the other members should have fed off.
The Red Paintings were up next.
They played a tight, energetic set, consisting mostly of songs from The Revolution is Never Coming. Everyone was in top form and whilst they were a member down and had a backing track at times, put on an excellent performance that was, sadly, shorter than it should have been.
Shortly after, and to much fanfare, …And You Will Know us by The Trail of Dead came on and got into their set quickly.
Much of their playing came off as effortless as they moved through each song and despite continual pauses for instrument changes, their performance was quite smooth.
Aside from some minor vocal issues (Conrad Keely’s voice broke on some notes early in the set and became nigh-incomprehensible during parts of “A Perfect Teenhood”), Trail of Dead sounded quite good. Nothing was being drowned out by anything else which meant the songs had breathing space.
As this was part of their twentieth anniversary tour, they mostly played tracks from their back catalogue whilst the new album (IX) had only two songs covered.
It seemed there was bias towards some albums (Worlds Apart, Source Tags & Codes and Madonna had the biggest representation, one track from Lost Songs was played whilst nothing from their other albums was played), so it is difficult to say that there was a fair representation of their history, other than what could be considered some key moments.
However, their set list was ridiculously short (only thirteen songs) so I can only guess that had they been able to play for longer, they probably would have covered a lot more ground.
Whilst the instrument changes didn’t feel as though they were interrupting, the set list could have been better arranged to ensure it was minimised.
With that being said, the set list didn’t feel unbalanced and they songs they did play sat well with each other, almost as though they could have been from the same album.
Ultimately, it wasn’t the best performance but it was satisfying. It didn’t feel as though Trail of Dead were going through the motions; far from it. It felt it could have been better though. However, despite the short set list and playing time, their performance did feel complete. It left me and (I’m sure) the rest of the audience looking forward to seeing them play next time.