Red or Dead
Red or Dead are:
Rob Murray – Guitar, Mandolin and Vocals.
Emma Sunerton-Burl – Cajon mandolin and Backing Vocals.
Gala Elvira – Vocals.
Dave Sunerton-Burl – Bass, Guitars, Backing Vocals.
The band met protesting outside a UKIP conference mid 2015. They ended up playing an anti-UKIP song Rob had written and made the first item on the BBC 6 O’Clock News that night.
Since then they have had some high profile support slots. Including Hugh Cornwell, Mike Peters, Ferocious Dog and the Christians (Twice).
Musically their heroes and inspirations are The Clash, The Stranglers, X Ray Spex, The Pistols, Iggy and so on.
The new album is a passionate comment on society from a socialist viewpoint.
Rob: “I personally feel that this is the right time to stand up and speak on things we believe in”
Being a lover of songs and lyrics that mean something, having to listen to mainstream radio every day at work, I couldn’t agree more with Robs other point:
“Mainstream music is full of young boys with acoustic guitar singing twee songs about some girl leaving them or some such shite”
Rob goes on:
“Music needs to be raw and angry again and there is definitely a ground swell in live music at a grass roots level.”
Again, having seen the top selling albums and tracks of 2017 , and a follower of the live music scene in Glasgow, I also concur with that sentiment.
What’s next for Red or Dead?
“We hope to build on some great live shows with a few festival appearances and a couple of great supports and we will be playing some live shows to promote the CD from late January.
Unsurprisingly, given the name of the band, the album and how they came together, the album is a socialist commentary on today’s society.
The songs are robust and thought-provoking acoustic folk-punk. With lead vocals shared by Rob and Gala with sweet female backing vocals and harmonies. Take the sentiments and ideals of Billy Bragg, the passion of Joe Strummer and a sound somewhere between the Levellers, Roughneck Riot and The Tansads and you have Red or Dead.
Rob and Gala both have strong voices with the female lead vocals on “No-one is Innocent” kicking in with a fair impression Poly-Styrene. A powerful driving track reminding us that we are all part of the problem. “No-one is innocent, no-one is pure, we all poison the land while we look for the cure”
The call to action for today’s youth that is “Take a Stand” is aurally reminiscent of The Levellers “Another Man’s Cause”
Strummer and Burnel
With the poignant and memorable “Strummer and Burnel”, the band make reference to their late 70’s punk heroes. Hankering back to the days when “the world was going to change, we were going to blow them all away” and lamenting the fact that no-one protests or makes a stand as they did before. While the demise of British industry is lamented in “Steeltown”. With both Tory and Labour governments lambasted for the downfall.
The energetic “A New Day” is a massive two fingered salute to those in charge of the country. A prayer for a new day coming to ring in the change. Ending with the words I’m sure many would like to say…
On the other side of the Atlantic, the Trump administration is a gift that keeps on giving for bands writing politically influenced music. Red or Dead are no different in this respect with a song cataloguing everything that is wrong with the most powerful country/man in the world with “In America”
Overall, the album is an eminently gratifying listen. Importantly it has something to say. It is an outstanding antidote to the vacuous acts that make up the majority of mainstream radio playlists and the “charts” these days. Oh dear, I sound like my Dad.
Anyway, want to find out more and get hold of the album?
Their album is available to purchase from bandcamp.