Indie-noise-rockers Trail of Dead have chosen Glasgow’s ears to assault this time round and play to a sold out mixed crowd of old rockers, art school bespectacled types and keen-as-mustard young guns who immediately make their way as close to the stage as possible.
It’s apparent that Trail of Dead have a devout following, with many close to wetting themselves upon discovering that frontman Conrad Keeley had not just brought a merchandise stall on tour, but a booth selling prints of his own original artwork. Keeley, no stranger to adorning an album sleeve or two, has drawn the cover for latest album The Century of Self entirely in blue ballpoint pen; this might sound rather garish, but it actually looks pretty cool. A few lucky fans walk home clutching prints signed by the band – in ballpoint pen of course.
Oran Mor is a suitably dim underground space for an equally dark, alternative band and the crowd anticipates their arrival onstage with reverent near-silence. The set is mostly made up of songs from Century; latest single 'Isis Unveiled' proves a heavy anthemic hit with the crowd, inducing an audience sing-a-long. Songs from other albums do make an appearance – most notably 'Another Morning Stoner' from fan favourite Source Tags & Codes, aptly fuzzed out and blurry round the edges.
While Trail of Dead are tight, and it’s clear they really care about their fans and are trying to put on a show, one can’t help but feel frustrated by their apparent failure to energise the audience – the crowd only lightens up and gets moving for the last few songs, preferring to stand stock still and 'appreciate' their favourite artists for most of the show. Where’s the fun in it?