Music | Live Review | Sam Jordan & The Dead Buoys @ The Islington Pub

By Harvey Williams - Fairley

Sam Jordan has newly been an artist who I highly admire, his songs strike curiosity in me and his music is truly mesmerising. These are all conclusions I had arrived at whilst listening to the recordings from Jordan’s E.P. ‘When Golden Morning Comes’, a four track selection of Jordan’s wistful delights.

Read more: Sam Jordan & The Dead Bouys – When Golden Morning Comes EP review

More recently, I have managed to see Sam Jordan & the Dead Buoys live, at the Islington Pub on Thursday night just past. The Islington pub, located in London is an incredibly intimate venue, at the most the performance room could possibly hold just shy of 100 people before breaching and health and safety restrictions. The decoration of the room was extremely romantic, the walls are clad in red velvet, and the golden wall mounted candlestick holders that protrude from the velvet are modernised to hold light bulbs. The space reminded me of a scene from David Lynch’s – Twin Peaks, the one where Agent Cooper dreams of seeing Laura Palmer, whilst a dwarf speaks backwards creepily about chewing gum.

Anyway, Jordan arrived on stage greeting the audience cheekily with “So I asked them to decorate the place like Moulin Rouge, and you were supposed to come in costume. But you didn’t”. After the crowd had settled the band went straight into performing the song ‘Corpse’, which features on ‘When Golden Morning Comes’. To hear Jordan & the Dead Buoys via their recordings is one thing, the E.P. is absolutely astounding, however their live performance was completely mind blowing, I’ve still got goosebumps from this performance! I want to describe their sound as something triumphant.

“There is something unconventional about the bands songwriting abilities, they stray away from a typical verse-chorus-verse type scenario, which most music is riddled with”

‘Corpse’ for me is a song that embodies all of my favourite things about Sam Jordan & the Dead Buoys. For starters there is something unconventional about the bands songwriting abilities, they stray away from a typical verse-chorus-verse type scenario, which most music is riddled with. This is a feature of the bands music, which keeps your hooked stealing your absolute full attention. Then there are the components of the band; ‘Corpse’ is a song that gives each member of the band their own personal debut. Obviously the band are all working in harmonious efficiency to produce their collective sound, and without having components such as solos, it’s usually quite hard for each individual instrument to come through. However the way Corpse is written, there are sections of the song that give each instrument a place where they are each individually most prominent. Sam Jordan & the Dead Buoys are a five piece, Jordan plays rhythm guitar on an acoustic, the Dead Buoys are made up of a bassist, a lead electric guitarist, an organ player and a drummer. The song (‘Corpse’) starts with a lead guitar riff, quickly accompanied by the acoustic and the drums, which slowly builds pulling the bass and the keys into the mix. The song the comes to a sudden halt and we are graced with the beautiful vocals of Sam Jordan – another key feature about ‘Corpse’ is this is one of Jordan’s songs where we are really able to hear the dynamic range and ability in his voice. This song has been the reason why Jordan has been compared to the likes of Damien Rice, Jordan literally parades gracefully up and down his vocal range in this song. The group vocals within this song are absolutely amazing, listening to ‘Corpse’ live made the hair on my arms stand up straight. It’s truly powerful!

Overall this gig gets a solid 10/10 from me, the music was played to perfection, the band were amazing to watch, the atmosphere was intimate and the crowd were appreciative of the music. If you have the chance to see this artist, then please do! Sam Jordan & the Dead Buoys are an absolute pleasure to watch!