On this day..

My first Ferocious Dog gig on this day in 2011!

My first Ferocious Dog gig on this day in 2011!

I loaded up Timehop this morning, as I do most mornings.  Timehop is an app you can install on your phone and it will trawl through your photos, Facebook and Twitter accounts to find out what you’d been up to on a particular day in previous years.  For a maudlin nostalgia-junkie like me it’s a fun way to peruse things and see how things have changed over years gone, or just jog your memory of things you might’ve been up to.

So, on 19th May four years ago today I excitedly finished up my working day then headed up to the Black Market Venue in Warsop to see Mark Chadwick play a solo gig supported by, of course Ferocious Dog.  Because when picking up the ticket from Dan a couple of weeks prior I was given an EP I already knew four tracks – Quiet Paddy, Criminal Justice, Mairi’s Wedding Part II and On the Rocks.  They’d been on somewhat of a heavy playing cycle in the run-up to this gig.

I remember Ken and Dave both looked at me a bit funny as I was singing along to them despite never having seen them before.

Back then the set opened – I think – with Burford Stomp, a cover version of the song the Levellers recorded for Rev Hammer‘s Freeborn John album – it involved a bandana-clad Ellis taking the stage first with an energetic solo that the band joined in with.  I have no real memory of the set list but there were a fair few cover versions – certainly River O’Joe and What You Know featured along with Burford Stomp.  I have been able to dredge a video out of my archives of that first gig for me along with the photo.

Since I dutifully kept the camera on the stage I can’t even tell you the extent of the mosh pit activity – certainly there were plenty of people there I didn’t know who I now come to call great friends, but my early forays into Ferocious Dog were from the sidelines, appreciating the music and the aesthetic of the moshing before inevitably being lured into joining in.

Back in the present day of course I’ve merely glossed over the fact that Ferocious Dog have been confirmed as playing at the Field of Avalon at Glastonbury this year.  A huge break for an unsigned band and a fantastic opportunity to get in front of a new crowd.  Hopefully a few familiar faces are going to help get the crowd going, but let’s face it, the music is going to do that in its own right regardless.  If you are lucky enough to be going them make sure you are in the right place at the right time on 28th June.

To celebrate this the band have decided to release Ruby Bridges on 8th June as a digital single with the aim of trying to get it somewhere in the charts by the time of the festival.  So be sure to keep an eye out for the right time and places to buy it from to try to get this – with Doozer McDooze topping the Folk charts on Amazon and iTunes for I Think Politicians Should Be Put On Minimum Wage in the run-up to the election there’s no reason not to believe it can be achieved.

But not only is this a reminiscent opportunity for me – it’s great to take a step back and think how far the band have come in that time too.  They are musically tighter, the stage presence is one of confidence without arrogance, the crowds are bigger.  As they head off up to Scotland at the end of the week for the next leg of the tour it’s amazing how much progression they have made in four short years of my experiencing them for the first time.

Back then I was smitten.  People seeing them for the first time now have no chance.



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