THE DEAD DAISIES with support from THE AMORETTES - The Garage, Glasgow 08.04.18




The sun has shone in Glasgow today for what seems like the first time in aeons and the long queue waiting outside The Garage are in a buoyant mood in advance of returning heroes The Dead Daisies first show on their UK tour.


The demographic for the show isn’t something you would instantly consider until a group queuing outside a popular High Street chemist are heard in fits of laughter at the Viagra poster in the window beside them. Perhaps this is an indication of the age of those who loyally return to see these more mature musicians or perhaps it’s just the result of the dawning of Spring in this corner of the country.


The Garage is synonymous with live music in a city that seems to contain more venues than most in the north but the sight of an American truck cab protruding from the venue frontage is quite poignant tonight given the Daisies are just heading out on the road to deliver their renowned heavy load live show, this time with a brand new album as cargo.


The 750 capacity venue is sold out tonight and as front man Corabi later confirms - it’s the same for the rest of the tour. Stepping out of the cooling evening sun and scaling the stairs to the venue, it’s clear that the majority of punters have arrived early. The chance of a free meet and greet for the first 100 to enter is a cute tactic to ensure the support act play to a larger audience, but also to pay them back for their loyalty in the few years the Daisies have been performing in these smaller venues.


Support act The Amorettes are a home-grown act and this show is reward for their obvious hard work over the last few years in the UK and Europe. They don’t profess to being anything other than a no-nonsense hard rock band who keep it simple and play with passion. The band have earned numerous prestigious support and headline slots since their early beginnings that earned them (among other things) the accolade of Best New Band at the 2012 Scottish New Music Awards.


There’s a tangible buzz in the air for the three piece as the Glasgow crowd have watched their growth and heard their new album ‘Born to Break’. That buzz is matched by a maternal pride that only a Scottish crowd can display when watching over one of their own. That pride is soon rewarded as the backing tape subtly hails their arrival on the slightly cramped stage set up in front of the main act’s kit and backline.


Opening with the title song from the new album is a bold step but the song ‘Born to Break’ was undoubtedly written for the stage. It’s a straight forward hooky riff-stravaganza with a nicely crafted rising guitar solo that builds the punters perfectly and with apparent consummate ease.


There aren’t many smiles on stage with this outfit - such is their commitment and focus to knock the back wall out of the venue with their eight track set. Vocalist and singer Montgomery is on good form asking the crowd “Are you ready to sing?” as they play the single ‘Neighbours’ from the ’White Hot Heat’ album. Fans of antipodean soaps needn’t get excited - this is a song about the kind of people you probably don’t want moving in next door.


The set seems to travel quickly, each song being a thunderous clatter with little chat other than a sincere acknowledgement to the main act for the opportunity to share the stage. ‘Bull by the Horns’ is gloriously Airbourne influenced with a high octane pace and drive that has unlocked some of the older headbangers in the crowd near the front. The bluesy solo is honestly played in a raw and engaging way before Montgomery and bass player Mackay meet centre stage and drop the volume before lifting to a flourish to end the song.


Closing song ‘Everything I Learned - I Learned from Rock n Roll’ is the single from the new album and is pure foot to the floor rock employing lyrics that many will recognise from the legacy of early pioneers in the genre. The song drops in the middle allowing drummer Mackay to drive a clap-along that has the whole room taking part. The track is uplifting, well constructed and could well be the song that defines the band best. The reward for a solid shift is provided by the crowd response with many saying it’s the best they’ve heard the band. The future surely looks positive for this triumphant trio.



Born to Break

Stealing Thunder

Let the Neighbours Call the Cops


White Russian Roulette

Come and Get It

Bull by the Horns

Everything I Learned - I Learned from Rock n Roll


The Amorettes are:
Gill - guitar/vocals

Hannah - drums/backing vocals

Heather - bass/backing vocals


Find out more from The Amorettes at:



With a backline straight out of the Bible of rock, Dean Castronovo’s sparkling kit is flanked by an array of Marshall and Ampeg guitar cabinets. The floor of this boxy venue is now full to capacity as is the intimate balcony that flanks its side and rear walls. The excited tension in the crowd is palpable as this band of past-masters confidently step onto the stage.


The current line up of David Lowy (guitar), Doug Aldrich (guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass) Deen Castronovo (drums) and John Corabi (vocals) have a pedigree that many agree gives them the status of supergroup. If confidence, ability and sheer showmanship are the measure of such plaudits - then anyone at this gig will surely agree with that accolade.


Opening with ‘Rise Up’, there are no first-song gremlins or first show jitters evident as the band smoothly work the stage and pull shapes for the jostling photographers in the pit. There is a confident swagger about Corabi who has range that is only matched by the frankly outstanding backing vocals of Mendoza. The new album ‘Burn it Down’ was only released days before the show and this track from the album is as good an indication as any that Lowy has continued to build a formidable outfit.


Working through older songs that are still fresh and full of energy, the sheer quality of the musicians in the band shine through. The last time I saw Aldrich in Glasgow was with Dio and he has maintained that perfect feel and tone that sings to the crowd. The unfastening of his leather vest later in the gig is both admired and glanced at in envy depending on your views on the golden haired impresario but it is clear he enjoys the opportunity to play material he has penned.


There is a light hearted feel to the gig with nods, glances and smiles exchanged. Castronovo is in his element and plays with an excitement that would have the uninitiated believe he is new to this game. Given he has played with such greats as ‘Bad English’ and the legendary ‘Journey’, it is commendable that he enjoys this smaller venue. His backing vocals add another dimension too, where the band employ multi-layered harmonies to lift the melodic material and help it shine.


The fact that we are in Glasgow is brought back into sharp focus as Corabi proudly heralds ‘Dead and Gone’ as a great driving song that will be great with “the top down”. Some of the more cynical crowd members smile to each other in acknowledgement that a convertible in this part of the world is perhaps an ill-thought purchase.


There are beautiful changes in pace and power through the set with the latin influences of ‘Mexico’ and the altogether sleazier feel of ‘Burn it Down’ keeping the set alive and flowing. Corabi’s use of maracas works well and the good old ‘80s drum solo has the room engaged while the rest of the band grab a drink before returning to the stage.


A highlight of the night comes in a different form where each band member is introduced and like wrestlers - perform a short signature track. These range from AC/DC to Kiss and this tactic works well to lift the audience at the tricky three quarters stage in proceedings. Corabi clearly knows what makes a room work as he thanks his friends (not fans) who have come out to the show, saying that fans is old school. This respect for the ‘friends’ present is nicely said and receives the respect back in spades.


As the evening reaches the expected encore, ‘Midnight Moses’ is played with a nod to its roots in Scottish musical history. This rendition manages to hook otherwise quiet crowd members onto their seats on the balcony in reverence at the song and its place in the memories of those who probably heard it played by SAHB back in the day.


With an eye on the clock and knowing the venue curfew is fast approaching, there was no time to play ‘Judgement Day’ and the night closes with the encore of ‘Fortunate Son’. This is played with a loose, bluesy feel that has the crowd singing along and dancing with what little space was free in the packed room. With the final crescendo of the song played, thanks are given and smiles are evident on every face as the band pose for a photo with the crowd jostling behind.


This has been a lesson in well played, confident melodic rock n roll that moved through a formidable catalogue given the relative youth of the band (in lifespan if not members). The crowd have done well too as they bombard the merch stall and mingle - looking for the meet and greet opportunity the band freely provide without the need for selfish VIP packages. As I descend the stairs into the cold night, I’m pleased to have heard the newer material played alongside the old but wonder - how does a man of Aldrich’s age have such awesome hair and a six pack. When life gives you melons….you make melonade!


The Dead Daisies continue their UK tour in coming days and you can check them out at



Rise Up


Make Some Noise

Song and a Prayer

Dead and Gone

What Goes Around

Last Time I Saw the Sun

All the Same

Burn it Down

Set me Free

With You and I

Long Way To Go



Midnight Moses

Fortunate Son



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