The Dead Daisies @ Oxford Art Factory

Sunday 6th December

The Dead Daisies finished off their Australia/New Zealand tour last night with a powerfully energetic performance at Oxford Art Factory. A heaving crowd welcomed the musical finesse of the six-piece that draws its members from bands as diverse as Guns N’ Roses, Noiseworks and White Snake.

The band packed in what felt like an impromptu set as they swung between tracks off their EP, Face I Love, and sampled classic crowd pleasers like Free’s All Right Now and Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love, even throwing in a cheeky little tribute to Jagermeister between keyboardist Dizzy Reed and frontman Jon Stevens as they serenaded the notoriously bad-arse digestif and wished their fans a ‘Merry Jagermeister’.

Stevens introduced new tracks Make The Best Of It and Mexico, road-testing their approval in a rock democracy – a wise choice at this intimate venue; any expressions of doubt would be hard to hide. Feedback was as simple as seeing that same energy from familiar tracks maintained.

Guitarist Richard Fortus transcended the stage, his connection to the sounds and overall presence in itself a one-man show. Stevens expressed his gratitude to the crowd for supporting live music, a solid reminder to go home and buy more gig tickets. Plus you felt the unity that a band with a fan-base spanning three generations can bring.

In an encore that lasted almost 25 minutes, it’s hard to describe what actually happened – apart from what felt like watching six dudes jamming and highlighting their strengths. It was a collaboration of trust and almost a to-and-fro banter of instruments with Stevens’ powerhouse voice just weaving in where it fitted.

The Dead Daisies assured the crowd that the only theme of death about them is the need to stick to a set list. Rock’n’roll is still very much alive.

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