Hopefully most of you got to see Notts TV’s hour long Ferocious Dog special which aired last night at 10pm. Those of you that missed the opportunity through geographical constraints or not having Sky will get the chance to catch up online once their systems update (it doesn’t appear to be quite so quick as more established channels at catching up!), but I thought that it was a superb introduction to what Ferocious Dog are all about from presenter Mark Del.
The programme centred around the climax of the tour – the sell out gig at Rock City, the first ever unsigned act to do so. My only pedantic quibble was the repeated claim of them being the first local unsigned act to do it – they are the first act, full stop, in 35 years of the venue to sell it out without the backing of a label. Whilst it is of course nice they’re local, it’s not relevant to the feat at all.
A mixture of interviews from before the gig – constant references to the fans (well, okay, family) – when Anton from Rock City was interviewed before the gig he made some astute references to the relationship between hell hounds and the band being akin to that he’d seen before with the Levellers and New Model Army, and not from other bands since then. He was also pretty on board with the idea of pushing for more national coverage for the band too – good news!
Ken and Dan talked passionately and emotionally about their influences – from the impact of Ken growing up through the miners strikes in a striking family giving him a harsh lesson in Thatcher’s politics of greed at a young age. Then it was on to the devastation of what happened to Lee upon leaving the army – and the cathartic process of writing and performing Verse for Lee and The Glass – both of which are featured in the live coverage from the gig, but positive calls to action too with talk of Lee’s memorial fund and also work in helping food banks.
Other highlights from the show were Bru-C’s cameo during the extended version of Freeborn John, and it only bit a little bit when they panned across the crowd to just Dean surfing, haha! I’m not sure about the profligate use of slow motion crowd footage but by and large it was awesome coverage really capturing the spirit of the occasion – my favourite bit was the look of utter childlike delight on Ken’s face as Mairi’s Wedding Part II kicked in. I think that was the moment he realised this was fucking huge!
There were other subtle elements that were immensely pleasing too – Ken was wearing his Nana’s Kitchen t-shirt during his pre-gig interview. On stage he wore a t-shirt in tribute to Lee, he dedicated Hell Hounds to Jay as always. Les had his Gaz Brookfield t-shirt on whilst John was bigging up The Lagan with his. I think Ellis might even have dyed his beard especially for the occasion. There were glimpses of so many familiar faces in the crowd.
Immediately after the gig Scott was on amusing form – clearly taken aback, knackered but also up for a massive party. He’s a cocky lad on the surface but he’s actually grounded and humble – “we wouldn’t be anything without the hell hounds”, he says, grinning whilst Les grins on and when asked suggested there’s no reason Ferocious Dog need to constrain themselves to taking that Rock City show more nationally – why not focus on global?
Why not indeed. Well done NottsTV on creating a brilliant introduction to what Ferocious Dog are all about. Keep an eye out in the Ferocious Dog group on Facebook as I’m sure as the show becomes available to watch on catch up the link will be readily shared. The gig footage looked excellent so that bodes well for the live DVD when it gets finished off and sent – can’t wait to sit and re-live the whole gig.
It made me feel so proud to have a small amount of involvement in what feels like a genuinely worthwhile thing, what is it? A movement? A culture. I don’t know – but it enhances my life and genuinely helps people in need as well as providing peerless entertainment. This hour of telly provided laughs, tears and a bursting sense of pride for what my friends’ hard work has started to achieve.
Thanks to Ella, Emma and Adele for thinking to grab pictures of them on screen – I was too busy just sitting and watching to think to do it!