Zac And The New Men might need to change their name given that they aren’t new around here anymore.

It is ever so slightly over two months since they appeared on the big stage next door opening for Collateral.

In honesty, even this second time, there is no less confusion as to where they will eventually end up.

The bare facts are these: the Swansea-based four-piece are supremely talented and they’ve got something, but it’s not crystal clear what that is.

Zac himself looks like a rock star in his fur coat, and when he sings “That’s OK” you’d have him pegged as a Jeff Buckley type, but by the time he gets to the last one “Off To The Moon” it has them sounding like Queens Of The Stone Age, all chunky riffs and dry as dust.

The truth is what they are might be somewhere in the middle of the two, with the huge ambition of “World’s Gone Mad”. That word, “ambition” is the key. And that is why whatever Zac And The New Men do it’ll always be compelling.

“Haunted” has just finished. It soars. There’s a “whoa, whoa” hook that would fill stadiums, and doubtless will captivate festival fields this summer. “Thank you,” says Oli Brown. The show is roughly two-thirds through and that is the first word he has spoken.

For, Oli Brown And The Dead Collective, then. The music does the talking.

Actually, that’s not strictly true. It doesn’t talk. It shouts really loudly about how good they are.

For the last 18 months or so OBATDC have been releasing a string of EPs, each one deep, dark cathartic, and brilliant.

I’d seen one of their very early shows, opening for The Answer. They were brilliant, you couldn’t escape that, but watching them here is to watch one of the best and most innovative bands around right now.

The line up had changed since the debut EP but for the live shows it has always been. Black Star Rider Sam Wood is in on guitar and on drums is Wayne Procter, once of King King. The three together are glorious, absolutely stunning.

“Father” sums it all up. Bathed in red, playing superbly and with a focus on the songs themselves, not an image.

Wood plays his guitar incredibly on “Everything You Want”, and “Sinking Ship” starts with a note so deep that vibrates the entire venue, it’s really quite something.

They are a special outfit. The skill with which they perform “Another Day Lost” – and it’s noticeable that Brown sings “standing in the shadows” here, a suggestion that he’s taken rather literally on this tour, but speaking of his singing, Brown’s voice is improving – even since his days in RavenEye.

“I Won’t Leave” in this context is a kind of sorbet, lighter, less oppressive, and if this is a world away from Brown’s old days as a blues singer, “Heard It All Before” has traces of what he used to be, it’s just that The Dead Collective are what he is right now.

“Your Love” has him covered in darkness, and the way it builds and explodes is a band on the top of its game, and as it all ends with “Home Sweet Home” you can only marvel at how good they are.

Let’s be honest, the crowd isn’t huge (although other dates have been well attended by all accounts) but if ever there was a band that was going to break through based on word of mouth it’s this one. To witness this is one of those things that you have to tell everyone about.

Oli Brown has been doing this for a long time in various guises. With The Dead Collective, he’s never sounded more alive.

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