Departed / A Triumphant Return To The Stage At KK’s Steel Mill

Making a most welcome return to the live arena as Special Guests to Myke Gray’s Skin were Departed, who hit the stage like they had never been away.


KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton – 19 August 2023

Words: Sophie James

Photography: John Inglis

With their own particular brand of straightforward driving rock, they perfectly complemented the headliners and made a growing impression on the audience over the course of their vibrant 40-minute set.

For those unfamiliar with the band or their music, think along the lines of The Treatment, The Hot One Two or At The Sun, and you’re in the right ballpark.

Departed - KK's Steel Mill - 19 August 2023.
Departed – KK’s Steel Mill – 19 August 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

The band positively flew out of the traps on the opener Superstitious. No stage fright here.

All The Way saw vocalist Mark demonstrate so magnificently what an astonishing set of pipes he possessed. The sound mix perfectly projected this chuggy riffed number that you felt through your whole torso.

“People, I am back. There’s no way I am looking back,” both a declaration and a statement of intent.

Don’t Follow Me saw the band attempt to do what they were for, and that was to properly warm the crowd up with a sing and clap along. Anthemic dynamic sleazy riffed rock ‘n’ roll, which culminated in a machine gun finale.

Soul Shaker had somewhat of a funk meets Suvvern feel. With the line “Your Summer’s in bloom,” I could not help but be reminded of the similarly titled quirky Reef classic.

Departed - KK's Steel Mill - 19 August 2023.
Departed – KK’s Steel Mill – 19 August 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

“We need your help on this one. You know the words.”

Up to this point, they were very warmly received. Now, things just exploded as the familiar riff to Queen’s Tie Your Mother Down erupted out of the PA. I don’t think I need to describe anymore how this was received.

“We’ve been away four years – it’s good to be back.”

As if any other proof is needed that the band were thoroughly enjoying themselves, guitarist Ben wore a perpetual smile throughout. As Peter Kay might say, “Now we’ve started!” Natural Disaster was followed by the huge-chorused Dreaming.

By the time we got to Are You Ready, the early arrivals were properly warmed up, and the temperature continued to rise as we dashed down the home straight.

Departed - KK's Steel Mill - 19 August 2023.
Departed – KK’s Steel Mill – 19 August 2023. Photo: John Inglis/MetalTalk

Pretty Little Thing was probably the most infectious song of the set. It’s the type of song that gets the head of even the most passive of onlookers nodding.

Saving arguably the best to last, Matt’s drums kickstarted the extended intro of Steal Your Crown, its terrific swagger bringing this most spirited and impressive set to a close.

With well-crafted, hook-laden songs, an excellent vocalist and a dynamic attack from all the instrumentation, Departed took maximum advantage of a generous 10-song set, delivering a showcase performance that easily maintains their parity with the many contemporaries who have emerged in their absence.

Nice to see Mark Stanway and Mo Birch, Mark’s comrades in Kingdom of Madness, in attendance and showing their support.

These boys are well and truly back, so prepare yourselves for the (re)arrival of the Departed.

Sleeve Notes

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