Dead Sons

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Dead Sons
Also known as The Backhanded Compliments (2009-2010)
Origin Sheffield, England
Genres Desert Rock, Rock
Years active 2009–2014, 2015–present
Labels Crystal Ship Records [1]
Associated acts Arctic Monkeys, Milburn, Howls
Past members Thomas Rowley
Ryan Sellars
Matthew Byrne
Luke Baker
Joseph Green

Dead Sons are a five-piece UK Desert Rock act originating from the Sheffield area, featuring two ex-members of Milburn (Thomas Rowley & Joe Green).


  • Thomas Rowley (born 16 June 1986) - vocals, organ, piano, guitars
  • Ryan Sellars (born 19 March 1988) - bass
  • Mathew Byrne (born 30 June 1987) - percussion, marimbas, harmonica, vocals, guitars
  • Luke Baker (born 12 December 1986) - guitars, vocals, organ, piano
  • Joseph Green (born 7 August 1987) - drums, percussion


The band formed in Spring 2010, with Sheffield band 'The Backhanded Compliments' reforming the group under its current name following the addition of two new members. Dead Sons spent several months in a small flat in Sheffield city centre practising and rehearsing[1] before playing their first show to a capacity crowd at Tramlines Festival 2010. Unusually, the band chose Montgomery Theatre [2] (a 420-seater venue opposite Sheffield Town Hall, usually host to dramatic performances) as the venue to launch their debut official White Label release of the well-received 'I Am The Lord', supported by a UK tour. 'I Am The Lord/City Nights' was released in 7" Vinyl in February 2011.[3]

They released their second single, 'Junk Room' on 30 May 2011, and the song was available for free download on their official website until early July.[4] This coincided with their biggest ever show supporting the Arctic Monkeys in a custom tent holding 10,000 people at Don Valley Stadium, in one of only two UK shows on Friday 10 June 2011. The supporting slot attracted some interest from music journalists, with Drowned In Sound dubbing Junk Room "a big fat stomp through psychedelia and desert rock". The band released their next single, 'Berlin' as another free download on their official website on 18 July 2011. Dead Sons performed at Tramlines Festival 2011 at Main outdoor stage on Sunday 24 July, shortly followed by a show with Club NME at Koko on Friday 29 July. Dead Sons toured their latest EP, 'Boom Boom' (released 10 October) in Autumn 2011.

The single from the EP 'Shotgun Woman' gained the band substantial recognition in Turkey, earning them a number 2 slot in the Turkish music charts.[5]

Another major support slot was gained in July 2012 when they supported fellow Sheffield band Reverend & The Makers at that year's Tramlines Festival, performing in front of over 5,000 people.

The single 'Hangman' was released on Bonfire night of 2012 shortly followed by an over capacity crowd for their single release at The Bowery in Sheffield. Dead Sons' debut album The Hollers & The Hymns was released worldwide on Monday 18 February 2013.[6]

Dead Sons started work on a second album, but these plans were later postponed. The band eventually disbanded, but Luke Baker, Joe Green and Ryan Sellars are to continue under the moniker 'Howls'.[7][8] It is likely due to Rowley's commitments to touring with Arctic Monkeys that he will no longer be involved.

In 2015, the band announced they will reform to play at least one reunion show while Arctic Monkeys are on a between-album hiatus.[9] The show was heavily rumoured to be a secret set at Sheffield's Tramlines Festival to mark the five-year anniversary of the band's first show, though they later made it clear that it was simply a rumour and nothing more.[10]



  • The Hollers And The Hymns (2013)


  • Boom Booom (2011)


Single Year Peak position
"I Am The Lord/City Nights" 2011 1
"Junk Room" 1
"Berlin" 1
"Shotgun Woman" 2
"Bangonfullturn" 2012 35
"Room 54" 1
"Hangman" 23
"Gasoline" 2013 4


External links[edit]