TVD Live Shots:
The Dead South and
The Hooten Hallers at the O2 Forum Kentish Town, 2/15

Canadian bluegrass punk rebels The Dead South have arrived and their moment is now. Having sold out their biggest UK tour to date, this quartet is primed to take the reins from the terribly overrated Mumford & Sons with a return to the style of the original rowdy acoustic punks, The Avett Brothers. It’s traditional, it’s edgy, the lyrics tell a great story, and you can’t help but stomp your foot and be pulled into the energy that these guys produce on stage.

Based in Regina, Saskatchewan, the band was formed in 2012 and has released two full-length albums and an EP to date. The songs “In Hell I’ll be in Good Company,” “Honey You,” “Boots,” and “Banjo Odessy” are instant classics for the genre and sound even better live than on the records.

Famed London venue the O2 Forum in Kentish Town was jam-packed with 2300 fans, the largest crowd to date for these guys, and it was a rip-roaring ride through the band’s short but celebrated catalog backed by one of the most impressive light shows I’ve seen at the venue. As these guys have just recently appeared on my radar, it became immediately apparent why the buzz and the hype around The Dead South is legit, and it will be interesting to see where the band goes next as they’ve clearly outgrown another London venue.

Opening the night was Columbia, Missouri blues rockers The Hooten Hallers. These guys absolutely blew me away as it was the first time I saw them live too. Being from St. Louis myself, which is just a couple of hours from Columbia, it was great to see a band from so close to my hometown tearing up the stage in London and bringing a much needed midwestern presence to the scene. They’re a cross between George Thorogood and Morphine with a touch of Tom Waits. The trio has a strong, signature sound and the live show is where it’s at for these folks.

The Dead South continue to tour across Europe, and I would guess that they are setting up for another record, but surprisingly I couldn’t find any updates to support that theory. Either way, it’s great to see a band like this continue to build a bigger and bigger buzz that’s likely to explode over the top at any given moment.


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