At The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., February 3, 2018

DEAD BOYS (Live at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., February 3, 2018)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It may have taken a mere 40 years or so for them to come back to Newcastle but U.S Punk legends the Dead Boys finally made the return visit following their previous show opening for The Damned at the City Hall in 1977.

Their ferocious debut Young, Loud and Snotty perfectly captured the very essence of their rebellious attitude and sneering disregard for the establishment. Alas that early promise was neutered by record label interference and those rough and rugged edges so prevalent on their first record had been cruelly smoothed and glossed over for a more commercial sound for the follow up. Band and fans were not amused leading to the inevitable split.

As the legend fermented helped in no small part by covers by the likes of Guns n’ Roses and Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks, interest once again grew leading to the inevitable reunion of sorts to mark the 40th anniversary of their landmark album.

With guitarist Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz, from the original band, bringing in Jason Kottwitz and the wonderfully monikered Ricky Rat on guitar and bass respectively the line-up was almost complete. The rather large elephant in the room of how to replace the irreplaceable frontman Stiv Bators, who tragically died in a car accident in 1990 was solved by the addition of Jake Hout from tribute band the Undead Boys. Hout proved to be an inspired choice and every bit the frontman you’d hope for as he strutted and snarled his way through the set full of rebellious attitude. Stiv Bators would indeed have approved.

40 years may indeed have passed but no one seems to have told the Dead Boys as they romped through virtually the whole of their illustrious debut with only Calling On You and the rarely played Flame Thrower Love breaking the run in the middle of the set.

Sonic Reducer and an explosive Ain’t Nothing To Do sounded every bit the Punk Rock classics that they are while the sleaze infested, Guns n’ Roses approved, Ain’t It Fun and Son of Sam brought the set to a close.

After 50 minutes it was all over. Wham, bam, slam. No messing just in your face raw unbridled power. It was rough and ragged, at times chaotic but Rock ‘n’ Roll has never been about perfection but frenetic, sweat drenched energy and passion and the Dead Boys had this by the bucket load. They may no longer be quite so young but they were most definitely still loud and snotty.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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