If you’re a Facebook user you might just have noticed a small announcement earlier in the week. Ferocious Dog are only going on an autumn/winter tour with The Levellers. The. Bloody. Levellers. This is a full circle moment for me – I only found the band thanks to my love of The Levellers, and the thought of seeing them touring together has long felt like a pipe dream – now it’s reality. You can buy tickets for it right here.
Thinking back to that first time I saw Ferocious Dog around five years ago – supporting Mark Chadwick – their set was cracking, it had me hooked, it was about 50% Levellers songs. That journey to transitioning from being a half-cover-band to one solidly founded on their own material has been an absolute privilege to witness. Of course there have been other landmark events from other notable bands – an aftershow slot for New Model Army, a support slot for the Wonder Stuff – both at Rock City, but a whole tour? It’s the stuff of dreams.
On a personal note that is – my first musical love, and you supposedly never lose your first love, coupled with the band I’ve come to follow mercilessly around the place. It’s just not to be missed really, is it? Whilst going from selling out Rock City to playing second fiddle (huh, see what I did there?) to a bigger band might seem in some ways a step backward, it’s an amazing opportunity to get in front of a highly compatible audience that might not have kept abreast of how the band have developed.
Who can forgot ‘Shit Cover Band’ gate – a throwaway comment made by someone who’d last seen Ferocious Dog some years prior, and whilst even then that’s a harsh judgement (I suppose the shit part is subjective and everyone’s entitled to an opinion!), there are bound to be countless other folk in the Beautiful Days or Levellers realm who may be dimly aware of the band but haven’t had the chance to see them perform recently – this is that chance, and a chance for the band to win over new support from them.
A huge opportunity – one that has been earned through a game plan, through years of graft in songwriting, rehearsing, practicing, playing tiny gigs and building up a loyal following. You lot! I know from talking to the band how excited they are about it, sitting on the news before the release embargo was like winning the lottery but not being able to buy anything with the proceeds – last year was a big year for the band, but I would argue that this year is shaping up to be the new year of the dog.
Of course, that’s not ’til November – in more current time Ken, Dan and Ellis have been hard at work recording the new acoustic album, with a few guest appearances thrown in to boot. It’s not too late to pre-order a copy for a mere fiver, an absolute bargain.
In the meantime I need to think of a way of sweet-talking my boss into finding a way to participate fully in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fully immerse myself in the forthcoming tour. I can feel a request for an unpaid month of leave on the cards… if you thought that Ferocious Dog had finished writing history, then you were very wrong – I’d argue that this tour with The Levellers is the biggest thing they’ve achieved to date.
Even if I get fed up of watching Ferocious Dog (ha, yeah right!) then there’s always the bonus of finishing up with The Levellers playing through Levelling the Land to make up for it every night. That’s the kind of groundhog day that I can get on board with!