at The Fire Station, Sunderland, U.K., February 10, 2024

DEAD MEN WALKING (Live at The Fire Station, Sunderland, U.K., February 10, 2024)
Photo: Mick Burgess

A seated show with acoustic guitars is not what you would normally associate with Punk but then Dead Men Walking are no ordinary band.

Formed as a sort of loose association of musicians with a revolving door where members dip in and out depending on their schedules means that no two tours are the same. Tonight featured an amalgam of true Punk royalty from Stiff Little Fingers (Jake Burns), The Ruts (David Ruffy and John ‘Segs’ Jennings) and Spear Of Destiny/Theatre of Hate (Kirk Brandon). This promised to be one memorable evening.

A memorable evening it most certainly was. Drawing on their combined rich catalogues of iconic songs then drastically stripping them back to their raw components and reimagining them in an acoustic form turned snarling Punk venom into beautifully constructed, almost Folk-like songs with “Nobody’s Hero”, “Radio Radio,” and “Kill The Pain” coming early in the set.

In between the songs there were some stories and with a combined touring history of almost 200 years, there were plenty to tell. Some were sad and spoke of depression or lost friends but others had the crowd in stitches whether from the exploits of throwing a TV out of a ground floor window into a flower bed or out on the booze with Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp, these were seasoned storytellers.

Of course, people were here for the songs and they delivered in spades with “In A Rut,” “Never Take Me Alive” and “Suspect Device” sounding surprisingly robust in the acoustic setting.

The closing trio of “Do You Believe In The Westworld,” an incendiary “Babylon’s Burning” and a biting “Alternative Ulster” had the crowd on their feet and what a way to bring their whole UK tour to a triumphant, climatic end.


  • 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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