Mairi’s Wedding Part III airs…

If you didn’t get chance to hear Ken and Dan on The Beat on Saturday evening (including an exclusive airing of Mairi’s Wedding Part III) then you can listen to it again below (or on iPlayer – but that’ll expire eventually) – enjoy. It’s a magical track (and Slow Motion Suicide ain’t bad either!).

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Dean Jackson of BBC’s Beat programme plays Slow Motion Suicide (the radio edit, currently available from your favourite source of digital music!), has a chat with Ken and Dan about how things are going with the band, including the forthcoming tour, the album (and title – inspired by Karl Marx) and some of the inspiration behind some of the songs – followed up by an exclusive airing of Mairi’s Wedding Part III.  Frankly, it’s a relief to actually be able to talk about what the song sounds like!

A first for Ferocious Dog it’s a song that never ‘kicks in’ – is it a ballad? It’s a thing of beauty – that’s for sure, and strangely sad.  Not a happy tale but hauntingly beautiful with the sombre music and rich orchestral backing.  Dan also dropped further teaser type comments around some of the ‘surprising’ special guests expected to be accompanying them at Rock City in November.   So don’t delay and get your tickets if you haven’t already for what’s surely going to be the biggest Hell Hound party going!

Freeborn Al / 30th August 2015 / Band, Music / 0 Comments

And he’s turned to the bottle..

unnamedI might’ve been a bit quiet but the band haven’t – they released a radio edit of Slow Motion Suicide as a single this week (which you can buy from iTunes, Amazon or Google Play) – a timely release given the subject matter of the impact of the decimation of the mining industry, just as Hatfield Colliery was issued with a winding-up order earlier this month.  It’s been a mainstay of live performances recently and is one of my favourites – and a nice teaser leading up to the album.

On the album, the production is all but done and the mastering is near completion so the drop date for the CDs we’ve all been waiting patiently for is looming large.  Having been lucky enough to have heard the tracks in their various stages of rough-cuttery up to pre-mastering I’m extremely confident that the unexpected delays in perfecting the content will prove well worth the wait to get the final CDs in your hands and CD/record players.  It really won’t be long now.

At Farmer Phil’s around a campfire I had an interesting conversation with someone who wasn’t sold on the new songs from a few live viewings.  Having probably heard them live more than most folk as well as the recordings (and, I freely admit, being more than a tad biased) I’m hooked.  But then I was from the gig at Bodega.  One comment was of the lack of variation in style – which I’d dispute – just think about the raucous cacophony of Gallows Justice opening a gig, to the more tuneful Ruby Bridges, the reggae infusion into Marikana Massacre..

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Freeborn Al / 27th August 2015 / Band, Music, Thoughts / 0 Comments

Geddon moi laaaaand…

IMG_0867Wow. Farmer Phil’s you were a bloody spectacularly good festival – I have no idea how many words, edits, or sittings this is going to take (edit – did it in one, sorry in advance for the typos), but felt the need to make a start on trying to document five days and nights of great fun, company, music and just general soul nourishment.  Dean has been telling me to go to Farmer Phil’s for about three years now, I’m glad I finally listened to him.  The festival proper starts on the Friday, but camping passes enable you to get on site from Monday, which many did – I opted to travel on Wednesday.

First order of business for me was to nip and pick up Tina before we headed over to Shropshire in the sunshine – I’ve subsequently found the setting to quell my sat nav’s desire to take me down the bloody M6 toll road at every opportunity it gets – but last week I was lucky that Tina knew the best way to go without having to pay to drive on a road.  Once on the site we drove into the ‘noisy’ field and found a suitable sized area next to Naomi, Joe and family and set about plotting tent and car positioning to try to save space for others arriving later.

It was pretty warm so by the time we’d put up mine and Snotty’s tent, one for Simon, and Tina and Tim’s teepee we’d tired ourselves out pretty well.  There was time to leisurely settle by the campfire to spend time with the Deerstock collective next door – one of the best things about the weekend was getting the chance to get to know Naomi and Joe’s awesome kids Jake, Kezzi and Rohan a bit better, whilst Ant provided a pretty non-ceasing stream of comedy as only he knows how as the ciders started flowing perhaps a little too freely.

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Freeborn Al / 18th August 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos

A midsummer afternoon’s reality..

Fran Minney kicked off the day's music

Fran Minney kicked off the day’s music

Travelling up to Thorne near Doncaster for an event designed to engage the local folk with the arts might seem a strange thing to do, but as Pete and Becky (organisers of Something to Smile About and also responsible for the malign influence that is the MeadEvil Bar) had set it up and we had a free weekend it seemed like an excellent way to pass the time.  A Midsummer’s Music was a pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth gathering in Thorne Memorial Park which would help fund both the park itself and the community woods.

It would also help to treat the people of Thorne to some excellent musical entertainment.  And the people in our party of Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire – but still!  I drove up with Snotty, quickly spotting the MeadEvil marquee in the park as we drove past and to the carpark we thought was the one we were meant to be aiming for – more on that later – and wandered back to the park to find Tina, Rhii, Kev and Rachel already there.  Tim had called to say he could make it too with Lisa after getting out of work early.

The sun was shining, as I was driving back no mead for me – but the cafe on the park was there to provide soft drinks and food, as the finishing touches were being made to the sound system.  All in all, an idyllic setting for Thorne Charity Events to stage this mini-festival of entertainment.  Five musical acts were lined up for the band stand in all, with a healthy pause in between for plenty of chatting, laughing and general messing around (including repeatedly running off with Tim’s trainers).

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Freeborn Al / 11th August 2015 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Bostin’ Days album review..

albumcover4I was dead excited when Bostin’ Days was announced.  A compilation of covers of Levellers songs – who are the root node of pretty much all my musical loves –  performed by loads of my favourite performers many of whom have become friends.  Then I got scared.  Like many fans I guess Levs songs are precious to me – what if I didn’t like them? What if I didn’t like them and the artist in question was somebody I knew? What if it was all just a terrible idea?

Luckily Addie isn’t as big a worrier as me – and his drive and passion along with the folk who’ve been helping him has seen the project come through to fruition finally, and it’s an absolute triumph.  I’ve not been able to stop listening to it – a four hour plus round trip on a Sunday would normally be a bind, but last weekend it meant I got to listen to it through twice – and suddenly hold-ups on the way to work are a bit more tolerable because it might mean that I get to squeeze in another couple of tracks before reaching the office.

Of course, we should start with the mission of the project – and that was to raise money for the Devon Air Ambulance.  This came about in the wake of an accident at Beautiful Days last year where the service was mobilised to airlift a couple of injured folk to hospital.  The idea of the album was conceived to raise money for the charity, and there’s also an accompanying live event which you’d be a fool to want to miss, in Nuneaton in October.

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Freeborn Al / 7th August 2015 / Band, Music, Other Bands, Photos