Dead Heroes Club
Progressive Rock Band? Surely Not!
Almost certainly Irelands only progressive rock band, and on a mission to reinvent and rejuvenate prog-rock
in a contemporary context, DEAD HEROES CLUB present us with an original and modern take on the music of Genesis, Pink Floyd,
Jethro Tull et al.
The band wear their influences firmly on their sleeve and yet manage to achieve an original and inventive
approach to their music. The self-titled debut album contains all original songs that range from the unashamed progressive
rock leanings of A Day In The Life Of The World and the moving acoustic charm of Sunrise On the Trenches and
Third Light to the sheer musical power of Falling From Grace and the 10-minute epic A Secret Never To Be
The band members have come together from various corners of the musical past with
one thing in common, the love of experimental and progressive music. Composing music under the philosophy of let the music
lead the way, DEAD HEROES CLUB have a lot in common with the progressive rock giants of the past, and yet the music feels
modern and fresh. The origins of DEAD HEROES CLUB lie in the words of many long dead conversations between guitarist Gerry
McGerigal, vocalist Liam (Soupy to his friends) Campbell and drummer Mickey Gallagher all of who were playing in various other
bands at the time and feeling frustrated with the lack of musical adventure in the moribund waters of mainstream rock and
pop. Each felt a need to break free from this stagnation and write and perform songs that appealed to the mind and ears as
well as to the feet.
Having agreed to get together for a few jams, the now newly formed trio set about
the search for a bass player. Many names were put forward as possibilities to approach, but of course, the prerequisite for
membership was a need to break out of tired old rock and pop clichés and experiment with songs and music. With this in mind,
only one name kept coming up in conversation, that of Charlie Coyle, a highly proficient and talented bass player, who also
knew his way around the keyboards. Word on the vine was that Charlie was becoming tired of the more conventional rock acts
with which he was playing, and with this in mind drummer Mickey Gallagher made an approach. With Charlie Coyle on board, the
band set up a few preliminary rehearsals and got in various keyboard players, none of which seemed to fit the bill.
The initial rehearsals involved the band knocking out covers of classic prog-rock songs such as Time
by Pink Floyd and Squonk by Genesis. Some of the first covers to be rehearsed still remain in the set even now. The
now new nameless band however, found great difficulty in finding a keyboards player who had the mindset, will or ability to
be part of a contemporary prog-rock outfit. It was during these months searching for a keyboards player that the four-piece
started jamming and constructing songs and bringing compositional ideas into the rehearsals. Much of the work appearing on
the DEAD HEROES CLUB debut album was written here, with both Charlie Coyle and Liam Campbell filling in on keyboards.
Quite quickly the boys realised that they had enough material for an album and decided
to set about recording the songs in Frankie Robinsons studio and later in the Soup Kitchen studio in Derry, whilst still trying to track down the elusive keyboard player. The songs, because of their experimental nature
and prog-rock leanings, right from the off sounded like nothing else around.
Whilst in the process of finishing off the recordings and now determined to release the album,
the band came up with their name DEAD HEROES CLUB which seems to suggest a affection for the heroes of the past and yet a
fresh outlook onto the future. The idea for the cover of the debut album came quite quickly after deciding upon the name of
the band, with each member choosing some of their personal dead heroes from the past. The need to include lyrics into the
packaging of the album was paramount as the words of the songs play a major role in the music of DEAD HEROES CLUB.
Quite out of the blue, whilst the band was busy finalising the album, drummer Mickey
Gallagher announces that he may have found the perfect keyboard player for the band. Gifted keyboardist and pianist Chris
Norby, who teaches piano in a school of music, after having listened to a few of the now recorded songs agrees to join DEAD
HEROES CLUB. The subsequent rehearsals elevate the band to status of bona fide prog-rock with Chris adding that missing piece
of the live performances. With the successful release of their debut album, DEAD HEROES CLUB plan to play a series of gigs
and continue to write for a second release. Their first task of course is to help bring modern prog-rock back on the road
and into focus even if it is unheard of for an Irish band.
All of these tracks and the others on the album
will be offered up live, interspersed with renditions of classic prog-rock songs and served up with a surprise or too. This
indeed promises to be a tour de force not to be missed.