Another cracking evening’s entertainment courtesy of Ferocious Dog was meted out to Nuneaton last night. I was on driving duties so a first sober hearing of the new songs, but wow! A first word should go on the venue, the Queen’s Hall in Nuneaton is a great place! It’s above The Crew which is a rock-themed pub (and I’m reliably informed has decent beer) and is surrounded by easy places to park – the folks involved in the venue were all very friendly and even the security gave up on zealousness after one half-hearted attempt at getting Dean down from Simon’s shoulders!
First order of business for me was to pick up Bev from Warsop. Great to have a bit of time to have a catch up with her, we discovered that despite her knowing Ken and Dan for years we shared a first ever Ferocious Dog gig back in 2011. Small world, hey? Then on to Trowell to pick up Lisa and Melanie and a trouble-free (aside from the people in the back seat 😉 ) drive down to Nuneaton itself. With the car having been in the garage I’d forgotten they normally turn the blowers off so the steamy windows might’ve proven a problem if we’d gone much further without realising..
A few drinks in The Crew and a slightly different experience to Nottingham where you feel like you know everyone, but plenty of familiar faces before heading upstairs to the hall. Leatherat kicked off proceedings – they’re a band who I know that I should have seen before but I have either stepped out of a festival at an inopportune time or been too drunk to remember. Either way, it was good to finally get to see them properly and they put on a great performance and I’ll definitely be looking out for them again – energetic, fun and engaging and getting the dancing going early.
As with the first gig, moody didgeridoo music (maybe I should finally learn to circular breathe – I could do it live for ’em then!) kicked in and the moshpit area started to populate. There was much more space and a slightly higher stage than Bodega. The set list from memory was the same – so we were unleashed into new songs which without the fug of alcohol I was paying a little more attention to – in between being smashed around the mosh pit – they are going to sound great on the new album, which if you haven’t pre-ordered yet, why not?
Along with taking in the new songs one of the highlights is the full band version of ‘Slow Motion Suicide’ – which we first heard (aside from live) on the 3 Piece Acoustic album – it’s a strangely beautifully harrowing tale of a person’s descent into alcoholism. But before that arrived there was the small matter of Freeborn John to contend with! The security staff had already been in to the pit once when Dean had capitalised on Simon tying his shoelace to hop on his shoulders – however there was definitely an element of going through the motions as they weren’t very insistent, and I didn’t see them back in there subsequently.
When the distinctive bass-driven line kicks in there was the usual mobilisation of Hell Hounds to create the surfboard, this time Dean going horizontal for me to clamber on to via a quick leg up. On the one hand a smaller moshpit is good, on the other there’s less seasoned people to arrange it (and more surrounding space to fall onto!), but with wobbly legs and perhaps a bit too much looking down it was thrilling to get up and surf for a full band performance for the first time. I don’t think I make a good substitute for Dean but maybe practice makes perfect?
Daren steadfastly kept me steady at the knees and I’m sure Waggy was lining himself up beneath to catch me if I fell off – but thankfully not, and once the fast bit of the song kicked in I was down back to floor level with the wobbliest legs I’ve had in a long time. Who’d think you can get sea legs from surfing on a human crowd?
The remainder of the set whisks by in a blur of and soon aside from a quick hydration stop it was soon time to stop and enjoy the awesome selection of music being played between the sets. Not least a few sneaky previews from the forthcoming Bostin Days album. If you’ve not heard of this then you should check it out – it’s a tribute album of Levellers covers by 27 bands raising money for the Devon Air Ambulance organised by Addie Burns. Get one ordered! There’s also a Bostin Days party planned at the Queen’s Hall in Nuneaton on 17th October where 24 of the acts will be playing (wow!).
It was also lovely to have a proper chat with Ken after the gig and start sowing the seeds for another tattoo project. He seems genuinely delighted with how things are going with the band, and as ever with his humble nature, a little bit surprised. Well you shouldn’t be, mate – your collective hard work and talent is now enabling to reap the rewards you so richly deserve. As we were talking the Ferocious Dog contribution to Bostin Days was playing – I found it lovely, I’m not going to post any spoilers.
A space on the Dog Bus was found for Bev which saved me 60 miles of motorway to get home (not that that would’ve been a problem – today is Bev’s birthday and she definitely needed to be at this gig!), so it was a quickish blast up to Trowell with the surprisingly well-behaved Lisa and Mel then back home and that customary frustration of being too wired to get straight to sleep bearing in mind I’m at Barnsley tonight before a day of volunteering at Em-Con on Sunday. Busy weekend – but wow what a good way to be busy amongst such beautiful people.