Oli Brown & The Dead Collective With Dan Byrne At The Patriot

We are back at one of our featured venues at MetalTalk and judging by the expectant chatter around the venue this should be one incredible show. Rescheduled from Autumn 2023, the Initium Tour sees the return to headlining shows for Oli Brown & The Dead Collective. Tonight, they are joined by the excellent Dan Byrne.

Oli Brown & the Dead Collective – Dan Byrne

The Patriot Home Of Rock, Crumlin – 26 April 2024

Words And Photography: Paul Hutchings

We covered the return to the live scene of this much loved UK musician, and now Jeweller, here and following a run of shows supporting The Answer alongside a scattering of festival shows, it’s time for the unassuming Brown and his band to step back to the spotlight. 

Oli Brown & The Dead Collective - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Oli Brown & The Dead Collective – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

If you’ve followed Oli Brown’s return to music, you’ll be aware of the three EPs he has released in the past 12 months, which culminated in March’s beautiful Epilogue

Oli and his trusty team of guitarist Sam Wood and drummer Wayne Proctor are almost at the end of this run, with just the Louisiana in Bristol to go. The venue is busy, not sold out, but with a healthy number of people straining their necks to see what unfolds.

The Patriot Home Of Rock, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Oli Brown & The Dead Collective – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Lighting is minimal, creating an atmosphere that tones in perfectly with the alt-rock that the Dead Collective craft and create. It’s dark, eerie shadows dance in the corners as Oli and Sam are lit in ghostly reds, blues, and greens. (Note: Oli apologises to me after the show for the challenging conditions). 

Interaction with the audience is minimal, possibly surprising given how chatty he has been in the past, but this is a new Oli Brown, and the focus is very much on the music.

Oli Brown & The Dead Collective - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Oli Brown & The Dead Collective – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

You could describe them as a power trio, for at times, they kick out the jams in ferocious style. Sam is no slouch on the six-strong, and when he and Oli Brown unleash, the result is scorchingly good. Wayne provides the anchor to the two guitarists, his percussion work and drumming first class. He holds the timings with an unnaturally uncanny ease. 

As the band draws from the three EPs, the focus remains intense, but slowly, they demonstrate that they are also having fun. Great fun. Sam is one of the smiliest musicians in the hard rock scene, with a phenomenal CV (look him up – he’s done some stuff!), and he clearly works superbly with Oli. 

Oli Brown & The Dead Collective - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Oli Brown & The Dead Collective – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

The duo get through the focus of opener Father and ease into the main set. By the time they are midway through, the restraints are well and truly blown off, and the band are enjoying themselves. 

Whilst several songs on the EPs are delicately delivered, here they get the full electric workout. At times, we swerve to the boundaries of rock and Metal, such is the sheer heaviness that they can summon. The fretwork is blistering as Oli Brown and Sam Wood trade licks, bathed in an unnatural blue hue. 

Oli Brown & The Dead Collective - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Oli Brown & The Dead Collective – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Haunted and Heard It All Before keep the momentum going before we reach the final song of the evening. It’s a beautiful version of Home Sweet Home, the standout track on Epilogue. 

Oli is silhouetted by an uplighter, the rest of the stage in darkness, as he begins the emotional track. Sadly, a few louder-than-average people in the crowd mar it slightly with conversations that are clearly more important than the music they have paid to see. It’s short-lived, though, as the song increases in tempo and power, which closes the hour-long set. 

Oli Brown & The Dead Collective - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Oli Brown & The Dead Collective – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Drenched with emotion, this has no doubt been a cathartic exercise for Oli Brown and Co. He’s passed it with flying colours, and the grin he wears alongside Sam and Wayne at the end of the set is reward and proof, if needed, that one of the UK’s most precious talents is once again back. 

Long may it continue.

The Patriot Home Of Rock, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Dan Byrne

It’s no secret that Dan Byrne loves The Patriot. And The Patriot crowd love him. He’s been a regular here over the past few years, most notably in March when he was joined by Valhalla Awaits for the launch of his EP Beginnings. MetalTalk caught him at Chester on that tour, whilst yours truly saw him at The Patriot the night before that show. 

Dan Byrne - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Dan Byrne – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

He’s buoyed by the success of the EP, and the fact that Planet Rock have had Like Animals on its playlist for the past six weeks. Dan acknowledges this, offering thanks to all who have bought the EP or merely taken the time to listen. 

This time around he’s dropped a couple of songs to make space for two new ones, Hate Me and Sentimental, both fit into the set with ease. 

Dan Byrne - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Dan Byrne – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Dan is backed again by the powerhouse trio of bassist Colin Parkinson, guitarist Glenn Quinn and drummer Max Rhead. Quinn is the embodiment of focus, although I’m sure he cracked a semi-grin at one point. Parkinson is a mass of hair and driving bass lines, whilst Rhead is becoming an in-demand musician and lays down the platform for the rest to perform. 

Dan Byrne - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Dan Byrne – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Dan’s vocals carry with them every step of emotion and intensity that we have come to expect. He’s humble, grateful, but ultimately, supremely talented, and at last appears to have exorcised the ghosts of Revival Black. Hemispheres is dropped from the set, possibly to the disappointment of a few, but the new songs work well. 

Dan Byrne - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Dan Byrne – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

He’s more confident with every showing from the commanding Hard To Breathe, which opens the show through to the fired-up finale Death Of Me. 

Full of smiles, Dan Byrne has enough to get the audience singing along in participation. In summary, he looks like he’s having fun, and that’s enough to relax both band and crowd. The result is a superb 40 minutes, which flies by. 

Dan Byrne - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Dan Byrne – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Both bands will be appearing at Steelhouse Festival, a few miles away from The Patriot, in July. On this showing, both will be unmissable. 

MetalTalk will be there to confirm. 

Dan Byrne - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Dan Byrne – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Dan Byrne - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Dan Byrne – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Oli Brown & The Dead Collective - The Patriot, Crumlin - 26 April 2024
Oli Brown & The Dead Collective – The Patriot, Crumlin – 26 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

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