So, the first thing I noticed when I walked into the venue was the amount of leather jackets and big hair! When it was time for the 3-piece Scottish band to enter the stage, Manchester Academy 2 was already filling up nicely. When the lights dimmed, and it was time for The Amorettes to grace the stage, a loud drum beat backing track began which made at least half the audience jump. As soon as drummer Hannah McKay made her way onto the stage there was a huge cheer from the crowd which only grew when the other 2 band members joined and took their positions.
Gill Montgomery on vocals and guitar was very keen to get the crowd warmed up starting off with a “put your hands up!”. As soon as “Born to Break”, the title track of their latest album began, the band were in full swing, headbanging and full of energy. During the majority of songs on their set, Montgomery flawlessly played guitar solos, giving her powerful voice a break and showing her talent on the strings. When “Let the Neighbours call the Cops” began another huge cheer erupted from the crowd and very loud chanting during the chorus was welcomed by the band.
The whole set was fast paced and non-stop with barely any time between songs. The back-up vocals from Heather McKay on bass and her sister on drums gave extra depth to the lyrics throughout the set. After “White Russian Roulette” they took a short pause to thank the crowd for being there and supporting live music before continuing with just as much energy as they started. During “Bull by the Horns” Montgomery and McKay formed the classic rock pose during the solo, which seemed to motivate the crowd to raise their hands into the air and move more.
During “Everything I Learned from Rock N’ Roll” Hannah McKay really showed off her drumming skills with amazing energy. Before the song began Montgomery told the crowd they may have heard this song on Planet Rock or seen the video on Scuzz and the crowd were singing along to pretty much the whole of it. Finishing the set with “Hot and Heavy” gained great crowd participation as they were prompted before the song began when to repeat the lyrics. This definitely ended the performance on a high.
After a quick set change which revealed a very jazzy drum kit, the crowd went wild once again as the room went dark and hands were already in the air when The Dead Daisies began the first song of the set, “Resurrected”. They weren’t too far into the song before the members started playing up to the audience with lead singer John Corabi dancing with his mic stand.
With the amount of guitar changes between every song, Doug Aldrich definitely showed how versatile his talent is with his skilled playing and use of effects pedals such as a talk box. During “Rise up” Deen Castronovo on drums was also supporting with back-up vocals which gave Corabi a chance to say to the audience “let me see your hands up! Don’t give me that bulls*it”. After a few songs they took a moment to ask the audience how they were doing and to state that it was great for them to be back in the UK as they always thought UK tours were brilliant. This garnered a huge cheer from the crowd which grew even louder when Corabi stated that the whole tour is sold out.
Before “Mexico”, they made a few points about the bad weather at the moment and how sun, sand and tequila would make things much better. This got them laughter and cheers from the crowd as it seemed they all knew what song was coming next. The next few tracks were non-stop but the energy levels throughout the whole set were amazing. At one point I thought the crowd were more tired then the band on stage! After a drum solo from Castronovo, Corabi announced that they were going to play a cover of The Rolling Stones song “Bitch”.
Having a quick break between songs, the band made jokes about how many Christmas cards they’ll have to write as everyone in the audience was their friend, thanking everyone again for turning up. They then introduced every band member with a little message about their characters, and after each they played a little of what I’m guessing is either their favourite song, or one which showed off their skills. Marco Mendoza’s introduction of “The man with the visions, the thunder from down under” led into them playing “Highway to Hell” and it followed this pattern until all members had their turn, featuring songs from Kiss, Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple.
For the final song of the main set, “Midnight Moses”, Corabi joined Castronovo behind the drum kit for part of the song. The volume in the room during the chorus was amazing and as soon as it was over people were already chanting “We want more!”. When The Dead Daisies returned to the stage for the encore they started with the slowest song of the night, “Judgement Day”, before playing “Helter Skelter” to finish the set for the night.
Overall the energy throughout the entire night was outstanding and each member of both bands more than showed off their skills during the show.
Photos by Jack Barker Photography