GIG REVIEW: John Deery & the Heads: 'Nothing Permanent Lasts' album launch

Saturday, 30th September, Nerve Centre

Local four-piece John Deery & the Heads officially launched their third studio album in front of a packed Nerve Centre on Saturday night past, and were joined by a host of local well known musicians to celebrate the release.

The husky tones of Colm S Herron opened the evening in the newly refurbished venue, grabbing the audience by the collar from the off with his powerful rasping voice which was duly complemented by the lively upbeat melodies of his accompanying piano.

The unmistakable sound of Waldorf & Cannon were unleashed next upon the receptive crowd.

It’s been a productive year for the twosome, with the release of their debut album ‘Old Dogs New Tricks’, a quick jaunt over to Moscow to knock out a few tunes, as well as an appearance at Electric Picnic last month.

The local alt folk rock duo have been gaining much traction of late especially with their debut single ‘Rise Up’ which has been plugged to the hilt on various radio outlets, and rightly so. The high impact attitude track is pure perfection. Never has a shout felt so good on the ears.

They pack a lot of volume into such a small arrangement with Philip Wallace AKA Waldorf playing a Farmer footdrum, guitar and harmonica, and Oisin Cannon on bass, while both supply the vocals to the tracks.

The guys polished off their set with a rousing rendition of Sabotage by the Beastie Boys.

The new album from The Heads has been two years in the making, and it’s two years well spent in our opinion. Over the past 24 months, the tracks have been reworked and rearranged to create possibly their best album to date.

The local quartet kicked off their set with the opening three tracks from the new album. The poetic title track ‘Nothing Permanent Lasts’, the soothing and waltzing ‘Burden’ followed by the hypnotic ‘Just Kids’.  

The album oozes maturity in its lyrics. From the thought provoking ‘Knots’, urging you to break free from self doubt and depression, to the foot stomping uplifting ‘Heads or Tails’.

The teasing intro of ‘Heads or Tails’ explodes into a wall of noise and cowbell… never has a cowbell felt so at home.

It’s the type of album that’s even better live. The tracks flowing majestically throughout the set, as comfortable in each others presence as good friends meeting for a pint.

The older tracks were welcome too. ‘The Woods’ and ‘Slip Away’ taken from the second studio album Horizon while ‘Proof’ taken from Smoke and Mirrors joined the party also.

It was an incredible homecoming for the guys. A celebration of a beautifully worked album in one of Derry’s finest venues.

The Heads were joined on stage for the final two tracks of the night by local legends Little Hooks. It was a touching moment as it was Little Hooks who lead singer John Deery had supported all those years ago when first starting out on a solo career. A great night in Belfast’s Menagerie if mind serves me right.

A beautiful harmony of vocals within the mesmerising arrangement of ‘One Silver Line’ and warming ‘Circles’. A special end to an incredible evening.

The new album may be titled ‘Nothing Permanent Lasts’, but it’s safe to say that its official launch night will indeed last in the memory of those who were present.



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