Ply-mouth to mouth.. resuscitation required..
The morning after the night before wasn’t too bad in Bridport – a relatively early rise, a return to the venue to meet Ken and Waggy to load up the van then a return to my hotel for and awesome breakfast before reconvening to prepare for our onward journey. Scott and John were ready but it was a little more challenging to get Ellis upright.
The locals passing by as the van was loaded were all really friendly – a few had been to the gig, others drawn by Ken’s unusual appearance in the area. It gave rise to some conspiracy theories on the bus that it was all a front for some kind of Hot Fuzz style hidden sinister society underpinning the place, everything just seemed so lovely and welcoming – I’m not sure that’s really true, but it made for some amusing bus banter.
The run from Bridport to Plymouth is relatively straight forward so was done and dusted reasonably quickly. With John added to team crossword we did a bit better on this trip. As we didn’t have a cigarette stop it’s true that Ellis did start to get a little bit agitated – the signal for this I’ve discovered is when he starts to quote from Robocop! It does make for an entertaining end of journey though, although judging by the look on John’s face maybe it’s novelty factor from my point of view!
A brief diversion on some terrifyingly narrow and hilly roads to case out some of the guy’s digs for the evening was completed and we found the Hub and unloaded. They had a few grumpy rules and regulations but the one minor transgression we instigated wasn’t really enforced too strongly so all ended up well as thing usually do. Dan and Leanne arrived with immaculate timing – i.e., after the unloading had finished!
Scott, John and Ellis had decided they didn’t want to crash a few miles out of town so booked into the Travelodge round the corner where I was staying. We headed there next to check in – they got themselves sorted whilst I found out I’d inadvertently booked to stay the week before getting mixed up with my dates doing bulk hotel bookings for gigs and work last week. Oops. Luckily there was a room left so I booked that and dumped my stuff.
We headed off for lunch at ‘Spoons pub Union Rooms before the guys needed to and get set up and sound checked leaving me to mooch for a while, eventually meeting fellow Hell Hounds back at the Union Rooms which was considerably busier than earlier in the day! Drinks, catch ups, introductions and it was soon time to head on to the nearby venue. The Hub is small and basic – an ideal spot for a bit of dogging.
There were three support acts – I was too late to catch the first acoustic act, but I did get to see Cousin Buzz, who were passionate and fun and got the crowd going, followed by Black Friday who were excellent – again energetic and frenetic with a punk/celtic/folk vibe that was pretty ideal fodder for a warm up to Ferocious Dog taking the stage, I’d be happy to watch both acts again in the future – and it was good to have a good ol’ dance with some of ’em during the main act!
It was soon enough time for the main event – the DJ fooled a few of us into getting excited early by dropping This Garden by Levellers which of course has a didge intro that could be easily mistaken for Ferocious Dog’s entrance music. But soon enough the lights were dimmed and the boys took to the stage with the intro music blaring.
In Plymouth there were more folk accustomed to Ferocious Dog gigs than Bridport so there was a lively mosh from the off and plenty of shirtlessness. The band and sound quality was decent and similarly it was a ‘less talk more playing’ performance – aside from an interlude to play Happy Birthday to Jane and Tanya who both got up on the stage (so that’s another house rule broken – yes!) to be serenaded by Ken.
Again we didn’t really have enough components to make a surfboard but this time Mick was up for getting up on my shoulders, so we executed that at the second attempt – which even then, and certainly now with an aching neck – helps bring to stark relief my pathetic upper body strength! We managed it though, despite some half-hearted objections from security which I think Waggy acted as diplomatic consultant for.
By this point my mate Mark was right in the midst of the mosh at his first Ferocious Dog gig which was awesome – it was definitely a lively affair but not so intense that Adele didn’t feel able to get in amongst it which was good too. As seems to have become the norm the band played straight through the setlist without pausing for an encore and it seems to go by in a blur – you’re left in a sweaty mess with mixed feelings of “give me more!” combined with “phew, I’m so knackered I don’t think I could take any more!”.
Time to get some water down me from the bar before retrieving assorted possessions with Leanne whilst the band started to surface and receive well deserved banter from the people who’d hung back for chats and photos. Eventually we headed off initially for further drinks but residual tiredness, over-drinking prior to the gig and increasingly insistent hunger saw me bail via Subway to get some shut-eye. No chance of a late night blog I’m afraid!
Now it’s just a case of awaiting to summons to either help load or get going for the last leg of this part of the tour. So I’d best get myself in the shower and ready. Next stop, Exeter!