Dead Plants: kick-ass shoutin' hillbilly blues busker music from the streets of London

Wandering through east London today, I happened upon a damned good shoutin' R&B duo busking on the street. They're called Dead Plants, and the act I saw consisted of one guy slapping the everlasting hell out of a bass while the other guy beat out hillbilly blues on an acoustic guitar; they stamped out time on the cobblestones and hollered out insane lyrics about Johnny Cash. I was hooked. The baby was hooked. I bought their CD, Streetsongs, and it's spinning right now in the baby's room CD player (the only CD player left in the house!) and we're both rockin' out.

So there you have it.

Dead Plants


  1. someone come up with something funny for the better typo:

    “while the other guy beat of hillbilly”

    I’d do it myself, but it’s early and still too sober.

  2. So, where can I buy their music/CD? That myspace page (like all myspace pages) is an abomination and the listed band website is a broken. Google gives no love here either… So, Cory… Any clue to where the rest of the world can find this music?

  3. Same boat. The music on MySpace was great, but only two songs and there’s very little on the web from these guys.

  4. Someone videoed them on their phone and posted the results to YouTube:

    Despite the abominable video quality, I’d say that their music is pretty good fun.

  5. Well, it is Sunday, and I suppose even geeksters take a day of rest, but I’m still appalled that no one has asked you the essential question of what happened to all your other CD players?! Assuming, that is, that you did have more than one, which only seems reasonable considering our community’s love of gadgets . . . hmmm. Wait! Is that it?! Are you totally MP3d now?!

  6. There’s another great blues/country band with a slap bass that plays in portobello road market (near the antiques not the clothes) every sunday. They’re called the High Town Crows and they’re awesome.

    I bought their album and listened to it on repeat for a week, my particular favourite being Country Star.

  7. Love the sound of this band! Reminds me a whole lot of the Chickasaw Mudpuppies, an awesome band which is dear to my heart.

    Hooray for vibrant street music everywhere!

    I must point out, though, that if you eschew CDs for MP3s, then you, sir, are no audiophile!

    MP3 files often contain about 1/10th of the information available in an uncompressed audio file. If you don’t think you can hear the difference, then ask a knowledgeable audio engineer to explain the compromises made by this scheme. The difference isn’t a minor, esoteric one, only discerable by effete listeners. Once you understand the artifacts/thinness produced by the mp3 compression format, you will value your uncompressed CDs much, much more!

    (I’ve been hoping mp3 would be replaced by better, lossless compression strategies once everyone’s bandwidth increased, but alas this hasn’t been happening.)

  8. Caledonian Skiffle eh?

    Are these lads not refugees from the HUMPFF FAMILY?

    Still the best party I’ve ever been to, was the eviction party of the Humpff.

  9. I really had to work hard to buy their CD.

    Does their lack of any apparent marketing strategy make them more authentic?

  10. Great stuff!

    My band, Earnest Hem’n’haw plays stuff that I would call a pretty close relative of this style. We call our style “stomp and holler-folkabilly!”

  11. The bass player is playing tonight…

    The Early Swerve will be playing outside The Ye Old White Horse, just off kings way behind the peacock theatre tomorrow
    (2 St Clements Lane, WC2A 2HA). We’ve been asked to play two 45 minute sets, the first one starting at 5.30pm.

    So if your in town or if you’ve just finished work, come and have a pint with us. Its gonna be another sunny day.

  12. Funnily enough, I just had a coffee with the Dead Plants/Hightown Crows harmonica player here in Cork, came home, checked BoingBoing and there were the lads…
    Yup, they’ve got to be in my top five favourite bands to see live.

    And as a public service, here’s a link to the Hightown Crows’ site:

  13. The Dead Plant’s been at this a long time. They ain’t faking…London, Paris, New York, Mexico city, Havana,you name it, they,ve rocked it.

    They’ve got 2 cd’s

    Street Songs: really rocking acoustic songs they’ve busked all over the world, recorded in ireland with a host of guest musicians…wild rootsy rock n roll.

    Song’s Fae a Barn: recorded in a chicken shack and a barn on a farm… pitchforks for mikestands( I’m serious!…); cowpunk mayhem!

    A new webite is on the way, both cd’s (and other cool stuff) will be available. See the myspace for details. Also, more tracks will shortly be posted on the myspace.


  14. Also it is rumoured that members of the Dead Plants are in fact also in the Hightown Crows.. Both bands have been seen in the same place,but never at the same time!

    Sadly, Hinton Admiral of the Hightown Crows had his guitar stolen from Portabello Road market last Saturday. It is a tiny red baby junkshop guitar, which is festooned with Sequins and stars. It also has an ancient wierd looking junk shop pickup. if anyone sees such a guitar, please contact the crows.


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