28 May 2024

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Dead Favours - Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Loons, Lyttelton - 21/04/2023

25 Apr 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus

This gig marked my first visit to The Loons, a venue in Lyttelton, Christchurch with an almost nostalgic NZ school/church/rural town hall type vibe, in an excellent way. It looks to have quite a decent capacity, and it's a shame that more of that capacity wasn't occupied with punters tonight, to witness the onslaught of quality rock & roll that was served up.

First on the bill was Dolphin Friendly, a "sonically diverse coastal psych-rock force to be reckoned with", a four-piece from Christchurch. Their first song kicked things off in high gear, reminding me of II-era Led Zep and Dark Side-era Pink Floyd, which is never a bad thing from my perspective. They soon lived up to the "sonically diverse" description, however, as the song changed tack yet again, heading more into dub territory, and then just for the sheer merry hell of it, why not throw on a few bars of Black Sabbath's War Pigs whilst you're about it? Dolphin Friendly certainly took the crowd on a musical journey, all the while oozing a larrikin charm that ably demonstrated why they're being touted as a band to watch. Whilst the whole band were superb, special mention has to be made of their bass player, a joyous, high-energy dynamo of groove and skill, with tone for days. Nice work.

Volts were up next. I'd been really looking forward to seeing these guys, having thoroughly enjoyed their single When You Go, and they were every bit as slick and polished as I'd anticipated. Volts remind me in a most excellent way of Garbage, but with a more modern and relevant slant. Vocalist Lorna Coll was magnificently in the zone, a chanteuse of power and presence, delivering a flawless performance of Volts' stadium-ready bangers. The entire band is vibrant and sexy, and were clearly having an absolute blast. No wonder the crowd loved them.

Dead Favours are a band so filled with mojo, so powerful, such a collection of utter rock monsters that they blew up an amplifier merely by walking past it, prior to their set. Consequently, we had a slightly longer wait whilst a replacement amp, quivering in its valves with fear, was sorted. Worth every bit of the wait, the mighty Dead Favours cursed a brief introduction and then hit us between the eyes with amp-destroying intensity. Their adoring crowd was treated to tracks from the back catalogue, along with new ones like Roundabout from the EP Riffing & Yelling Part 2, although I don't know how much 'yelling' there was.

There absolutely was an abundance of top-shelf riffage, but Jared Wrennall (guitar, vocals) delivered a stellar vocal performance, from warm throaty lower-register through to crystal clear falsetto. If there's any 'yelling' going on with these guys, I'm picking it must be during one of those frustrating times when their raw rock energy has caused another guitar amp to give up in despair, just by being accidentally placed too close to the epicenter. Their songs reminded me of some sort of heady blend of the best of QOTSA and of Muse, knock-down kick-out-the-jams belters, with vocals caught perfectly between sultry and sneering. It was a hell of a good night, I'm really glad I got to check out all three of these superb bands. 

Dead Favours continue to tour throughout April and May as long as they can avoid breaking anything else along the way. Chuck a few bucks at a ticket and go see them. 

Photo Credit: Bevan Triebels / Triebels Photography
Dead Favours Gallery
Dolphin Friendly Gallery
Volts Gallery


About Dead Favours

Combining a mix of huge fuzzy and sometimes quirky riffs, groove-laden drums, beautiful falsetto vocals mixed with arena commanding screams and a level of songwriting that some say has been missing from rock for some time, Dead Favours have been quick to grab the attention of the New Zealand music scene and are going from strength to strength in a very short time.

Since their formation in early 2016, the band have released a string of singles, the most notable to date being Dig (produced by Shihad’s Tom Larkin), a riff-centric banger that quickly grabbed the attention of both audiences and radio programmers alike, spending an impressive 27 weeks in the charts. The success of this debut single lead to a nationwide tour alongside the already popular Skinny Hobos, Decades and Bakers Eddy which saw the band increase momentum and pick up an army of new fans all around the country.

The band quickly followed with the singles High Flying and Better The Weather (produced again by Tom Larkin) which has seen the band go on to be invited to perform at festivals such as Jim Beam Homegrown, Demon Energy Rock The Park and share the stage with international acts Royal Blood and Rise Against which was received with rave reviews;

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Dead Favours


Riffing & Yelling Part 2
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Riffing & Yelling Part 1
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Year: 2019
Type: Album
The Dead EP
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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