One of the few drawbacks to the Barnsley gig was that Waggy wasn’t there to dispense famous Waggy hugs and share in our laughs – and of course to take photographs – but he was at Nuneaton on Friday and took a raft of awesome photos of both Leatherat and Ferocious Dog which you can find on Facebook – or in a quick video summary below set to Raggle Taggle Gypsy and Freeborn John.
Another day, another chance to discover a new venue for a Ferocious Dog gig! Barnsley Rock and Blues sits near the hospital in Barnsley and comprises a friendly bar with a hidden gem of a venue room at the back – something Andy and I rather spoiled the surprise of by arriving early and inadvertently going in via the back way, but never mind, huh? It was a good chance for Andy to catch the end of the egg-chasing and to watch the end of the Burnley vs Man City match along with Dan and Ken.
Anyone local should pop back tomorrow (well, later today now) to check out the Star Botherers.
Another cracking evening’s entertainment courtesy of Ferocious Dog was meted out to Nuneaton last night. I was on driving duties so a first sober hearing of the new songs, but wow! A first word should go on the venue, the Queen’s Hall in Nuneaton is a great place! It’s above The Crew which is a rock-themed pub (and I’m reliably informed has decent beer) and is surrounded by easy places to park – the folks involved in the venue were all very friendly and even the security gave up on zealousness after one half-hearted attempt at getting Dean down from Simon’s shoulders!
The day following a Ferocious Dog gig is usually a mixture of nursing a hangover, ringing ears, counting bruises and reviewing the steady stream of Facebook notifications that start to flood through as assorted pictures, videos and statuses are posted by similarly content but somewhat broken people. I guess most evening events are quite similar really – that morning after post-mortem helps re-live the excellence of the night before!
It’s become a total musical cliche to talk about ‘that difficult second album’ – when would-be songwriters are faced with something other than drawing upon all their life experiences to date to pour into a debut album. With Ferocious Dog, given the slow-burn development from covers to own material to recording, then this task might seem even more gargantuan. Whilst the recordings are still the preserve of the select few until mixed, pressed and released – the first showing of the new stuff at Bodega last night bodes very well indeed!
Spending most of the gig in the eye of the mosh pit storm it’s nigh on impossible to appreciate the subtleties that undoubtedly exist in the new material. Fecking fast and energetic would be the easiest nutshell summary. It was frenetic, crafted and loud – my ears are still ringing! It makes the arrival of the forthcoming album all the more eagerly anticipated to me to get a chance to get a bit more up close and personal with the new songs.
You’d think after countless gigs you’d get a bit immune to seeing familiar performers repeatedly. Of course, seeing the Levellers in Buxton last night proves that’s not the case – and it’s certainly not the case with Ferocious Dog. Not to mention this will be their first outing with their new line-up in their home city, and playing tracks from the forthcoming album – so it’s not just a normal gig!
In case you missed it the Left Lion interview with Dan is online now, as is another interview he did with Nottingham Live – so if like me you’re pacing around anticipating tomorrow then give those a read to tide you over! They both really help to underline the fairly monumental few months the band have had – I was particularly interested to read Dan’s take on the shift in members.
At any Ferocious Dog gig you’ll have heard the chorus and sung along, and most people know the inspiration for ‘The Glass’, it’s a beautifully moving tribute to a desperately sad series of events and perhaps – in its tragedy – one of the best examples of why to many of us this group is more than ‘just a band’. It’s why Lisa has set up Wistful Festival, why Zoe – terrified of heights – is skydiving in a few weeks – all to raise money for the Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund.
As the weekend comes to a close it’s definitely a time to contemplate the week ahead – and glossing over the not inconsiderable excitement I have at going to see the Levellers film screening and acoustic gig in Buxton on Thursday, there’s the small matter of Ferocious Dog commencing their tour on Saturday night at the sold out Bodega gig.
Those of you based in Nottingham will want to keep an eye out for the latest copy of Left Lion magazine, which has a full page interview with Dan on the recent rise of the band and the year to come. It’s a great read – it’s not available on their website yet but keep an eye out there too if you’re not able to procure a paper copy of it!
I mention Ferocious Dog occasionally, I know. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of theirs though, indeed, it generally has been – but with a refreshed line-up and a recent announcement of a headline slot in the main room at Rock City in November it’s properly a case of the year of the dog, what with a new album coming in the next few months too (and the tour starting in 10 days!) it does feel like the dawn of a very special chapter for them, and I feel privileged to be able to tag along for the ride.