[sic] Magazine

Dead Guitars – Airport Gig – Mönchengladbach

Doubtless we’ve all stood around for hours in an Airport ‘Departures’ before?. There was probably never a gig involved though. Mönchengladbach’s fading airport still operates flights but now doubles up as a venue, can you believe?

And tonight those trans-European wonders Dead Guitars (alongside locals Plexiphones ) treat us to another of their excellent concerts. This time they pick a nice set drawing heavily upon their debut album Airplanes . Yes there is an element of jokiness to this. Airport – Airplanes but it also works well because the band have known these songs the longest and they need less rehearsal. The DG’s live apart and practice time is really something of a premium but you would never know this if you just saw the shows. Now maybe I bang on a bit about Dead Guitars but that’s only because they are good. Why else would I keep championing them? They are a really good live band. And yet another of those acts that I don’t believe receive the exposure that they deserve.


So we get ‘Airplanes’, ‘Name Of The Sea’, ‘Crumple Zone’ and the harrowing ‘Crash’, all staples of any DG’s gig, but there’s also an outing to for the rousing ‘This Was A Year’. Add to this a sprinkling of more recent cuts – ‘Love Goddess And The Love Ghost’ (or ‘Love Goat’ as the hardcore prefer to call it) is there, so too the cathartic ‘Great Divide’.

Then a surprise. With four fifths of tonight’s Dead Guitars line-up having previously played in the band 12 Drummers Drumming (All over MTV in their day) they paid tribute with a version of the classic ‘Shower Of Love’ . If you never heard it before, do so, it’s a great song.

So many photographers though! WTF? You would have thought it a Rolling Stones gig. I don’t think I ever saw so many and for so long. Isn’t the etiquette supposed to be three songs in the ‘pit’, maximum? This lasted the whole gig. Plus, of course, they were right in front of me 99% of the time. I make no excuses for my own impoverished efforts. I’m no lens man. But now I finally understand penis envy. These guys (and ladies too) carry some serious kit – zooms, flash extensions, all manner of add and strap-ons. Most take two hands to hold steady.

I will never compete. Least not, with photography.

Let’s remind ourselves we’re standing in Departures. Real, active Departures. Look over Pete Brough’s shoulder and you can see Check-In Number 2. It’s bizarre. For those of you would like that kind of thing, you know, quirky settings for a concert – you would have loved this. For me, there’s too much concrete and the sound is far too boxy. I prefer my concerts intimate, with plenty of sticky carpet and dusty drapes to soak up the sound. But I can never complain. The Dee Gee’s always deliver. Believe me – I’ve seen them in my own living room. What I’d really like to see is for them to take off.



Review: Stranger

Living room tour