Live review: …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead @ Oran Mor, Glasgow

There was a time when …AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD felt like the most vital group walking the earth, with Madonna and So Divided twin slabs of pre and post-millennial tension that no student record collection could dare be without.

A friend once described Trail Of Dead as a rock band liked by people who don’t like rock music, and he had a point. For starters the Texans are far too much fun, with the driving forces of Conrad Keely and Jason Reece still unrelenting in their passion.

Glasgow holds a special place for the rotating frontmen, being the first place they ever played outside America. After kicking off with a couple of their new album’s more angsty offerings, It Was There That I Saw You provides the first proper shoutalong song of the night, all drama and drumrolls as Jason does his now customary heroic one-armed stick salute.

While The Century Of Self is a welcome assault on the senses after its shockingly bad predecessor So Divided, from which they play nothing tonight, it’s the earlier material which makes an indelible mark on the audience.

Totally Natural erupts into a wail of feedback that throws you to the floor, picks you back up and pounds you into submission for a second time. Will You Smile Again? and Caterwaul from the underappreciated Worlds Apart album both send Oran Mor into a frenzy, the latter seeing Jason stride into the audience, trailing his microphone over heads as far as it can reach, briefly unsettling the blasé folk at the back.

The encore unleashes the classic Mistakes & Regrets before Richter Scale Madness – introduced by Conrad as “the first song we ever wrote” – brings the riotous Trail Of Dead live experience full circle. They’ve still got it.
4 …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – It Was There That I Saw You
4 …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Counting Off The Days

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