Dead Writers – Among Spirits

16th September 2023 · 2020s, 2021, Glam, Music

Last night I went to see these guys, Dead Writers, at a goth-filled Camden pub with the apt name The Black Heart, on my way back from cricket at Lord’s. And I had a very good time.

I hadn’t heard of them til Thursday evening but a chance encounter with Suzie Stapleton at that night’s gig by Mick Harvey and Amanda Acevedo led to a chance meeting with a Bolanesque fellow by the name of Paul Shine.

This is his band.

Paul’s the front man, as he had to be really because he oozes rock-star charisma – eyeliner, nail varnish bird’s nest hair – even when going out to watch a gig in East London.

He even speaks like Bolan, who grew up near my home, and he has an obsession with dead writers and poets like Verlaine and Edgar Allan Poe, who also grew up near me. So perhaps we were destined to meet.

Onstage, even when not topping the bill, he has the persona and confidence of a man headlining a stadium; the last time I saw that was at an early U2 gig half a century ago.

They make a noisy and guitary glam racket that I found very pleasing, especially when they played this song, which was one of their first singles in 2021.

It reminds me of Suede, both in the guitars, the way it builds slowly, and especially the huge dramatic chorus. They have already won the ears and heart of my fellow Suede fan and Louder Than War contributor Naomi and I feel confident John Earls will agree (if he hasn’t already).

Their audience of black-clad young men and women enjoyed them too, and seemed to know many of the songs, which shows they’ve already attracted a loyal following, not least among Nick Cave’s travelling army of acolytes, The Vortex – following an endorsement by Cave himself for the Dead Writers.