From Without (from within)..

Eeee! New Ferocious Dog songs ON MY PHONE!!

Eeee! New Ferocious Dog songs ON MY PHONE!!

After a pretty full-on weekend of Ferocious Dog and a Monday morning fresh after the school holiday it was always going to be a bind to get to work this morning.  Once I’d arrived and grabbed a sneaky breakfast I was settling down to get my to do list beaten into shape when my phone rang. It was Dan which was rather unexpected so I grabbed the phone and excitedly said yes when he offered me the chance to listen to a few rough-cuts from the new album recordings.

A link to Dropbox was duly texted through and after some faffing around I fashioned a way to have a crafty listen to the tracks whilst finishing off a Powerpoint presentation.  Some were already surprisingly familiar from the live performances, some less so – one mentioned in a teaser post by Waggy on Facebook a few days ago. My remit is to review them without giving too much away – particularly the tracks that have yet to be aired on the tour as yet.

I’ve not quite decided how to tackle this so I’m free-typing on my keyboard in the hope that inspiration strikes.  I posted earlier about listening to Ferocious Dog giving you the urge to drive fast – this evening I was home from Solihull in around 42 minutes – normally I’m happy if I’m not too far north of an hour.  The new stuff, even pre-mastering, is clearly pretty heady stuff… I get the chance to hammer it to death over the next few hundred miles I drive to start to learn some of the words.  I’d best start watching out for speed cameras.

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Freeborn Al / 13th April 2015 / Band, Gigs, Music / 0 Comments

Dog dilemmas – driving and listening..

I spend quite a lot of my time driving – I have an eighty mile round trip to and from work most days (sometimes more) and live a bit in the sticks so often drive to gigs or social gatherings.  Generally in the car I listen to music, I use my phone for this (which is also sometimes acts as a sat nav) and whether I choose specific things to listen to or have it on shuffle there’s quite a lot of Ferocious Dog music on there.

So you’re always likely to encounter them on any particular trip with me in the driving seat.

Having just checked there’s 68 Ferocious Dog tracks on there.  Admittedly there’s a lot of duplication – I am sad enough to have both the UK and German versions of the album on my phone, as well as the previously released mini-album, the acoustic album and two EPs, the iTunes Hell Hounds release, a recording of Too Late being played on The Beat on the BBC and a couple of live tracks I had kicking around.  So there are many tracks that appear more than once.

In the run up to a Ferocious Dog gig I will normally just entrust Siri to control my musical selection – so I’ll summon her and say “Play music by Ferocious Dog” – normally she understands me and basically that means she’ll shuffle through any music by that artist in a random order – ideal!  But as I spent the last week to-ing and fro-ing from work it inspired a few dilemmas or pit-falls (ha, pit-falls, I had a few of those on Saturday night in the Hairy Dog!!) that can crop up when driving whilst listening to Ferocious Dog.

Maybe you can think of a few more?  Frustratingly I couldn’t come up with final one to make a top ten!

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Freeborn Al / 13th April 2015 / Band, Music, Thoughts / 0 Comments

The real derby day this weekend was in.. well.. Derby!

Scotty - proving to be a bit of a hotty with the Ferocious lady folk

Scotty – proving to be a bit of a hotty with Ferocious lady folk

Folk might’ve been getting excited about the Manchester derby this weekend, but for Hell Hounds derby day was the day before (although Dan at least I imagine enjoyed United’s 4-2 triumph over City this afternoon – nice belated birthday present!).

Derby is not far off a home town gig, really – and it shows, whilst Bodega sold out in around twenty minutes tickets for the gig at The Hairy Dog in Derby were gone in a little under an hour too I believe.  Plenty of Hell Hounds made arrangements to congregate in places prior to coming together at the venue, for me I was continuing my weekend of being an itinerant hobo and staying with Lisa and Paul (along with Rachel) so I travelled into Derby with them, but not before meeting their newly acquired ferret!

It was straight to the venue via the chippy on the corner for us with Mel, and then once at the Hairy Dog, a rock bar with the venue upstairs, catching up with the countless friends out in force for the gig.  Dave, a friend of Lisa and Ferocious Dog virgin, met us outside the bar, after sinking a few beers Dean elected it was my turn to go up on the surfboard – more on that later, a fairly unconventional and ungraceful performance on that front.

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Freeborn Al / 12th April 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

FD put a smile on Cambridge’s boat race..

IMG_9506Back on the road for the recommencement of the tour.  My original plan for Cambridge was just to drive there and back, it’s not a million miles away from where I live and there’s the promise of Derby the following night, but thanks to the hospitality of Brian and Karen I did end up staying and having a few cheeky ciders in Cambridge which is a nice bonus – particularly with them both off on their travels today.  Thank you very much, both!

On the drive into Cambridge along with Brian’s cousin John, a Ferocious Dog debutant, I wondered whether Ken had been sticking up the assorted Vote Labour boards I saw on the way in.  It doesn’t strike me as a typically Labour area – maybe that’s why those supporters that are there feel the need to advertise! – but I didn’t see any other political parties represented.  Either way, it was no time at all before we’d parked up coincidentally arriving at the same time as Simon and Ella and parking up right behind them.

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Freeborn Al / 11th April 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands / 0 Comments

Getting in the mood..

It’s only one more sleep ’til the tour recommences in Cambridge – and as if to heighten the excitement Ken shared a video that’s surfaced from the Nuneaton gig.  I forgot to mention the exciting prospect of a film crew recording the gig.  The best bit is that it says ‘sample’ in the title – implying to my ever optimistic mind that there might be more to follow!  Either way, I can’t think of much better preparation for this weekend’s mosh-fest than reliving a past one!

Keep an eye on howling mad productions‘ YouTube channel and see if any more videos surface!  For now, here’s ‘Poor, Angry and Young‘ (which Roger amusingly pointed out on Facebook has a similar intro to ‘Rock Lobster‘ by the B52s – which once you realise can’t be unheard!  Sorry about that.

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Freeborn Al / 9th April 2015 / Band, Gigs, Music, Videos / 0 Comments

Epiphany..

forest_picIt’s probably not really an epiphany at all.

An epiphany is a sudden realising of a truth, a revelation.  What I’m about to describe is probably a slow acceptance of the bleeding obvious, but well, with the next tour date looming on the horizon it prompted the thought process – so now you have to put up with it, ha ha!

In another part of my life I’m a pretty avid football fan – I support Nottingham Forest for my sins – and have a season ticket.  A few times in the last few years Ferocious Dog has come into conflict with this other life passion of mine.  This passion is one I don’t regret – it’s if nothing else a chance to spend time with my brother and a number of my closest friends – many of whom I met through this shared interest.

Of course, it also allows me to fund millionnaire footballers which sits less easily in the justification stakes!

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Freeborn Al / 7th April 2015 / Band, Gigs, Music, Other Bands, Thoughts / 0 Comments

Freeborn John your vision lingers on..

john lilburneI don’t know if it’s just me that often researches subject matter of songs – the last Levellers album has resulted in me gathering books about the Raft of the Medusa and the Étaples mutiny to learn more about the inspiration for songs on the album, indeed, 3 Daft MonkeysDays of the Dance too added to my library to learn more about the dancing plague of Strasbourg.

With Freeborn John, my favourite Ferocious Dog song, I didn’t need to read up retrospectively because I’m already a bit of a geek for the subject of it – John Lilburne.  If you want an in depth book to read on the subject then I’d recommend ‘Free-Born John – The Biography of John Lilburne’ by Pauline Gregg, and also checking out The John Lilburne Research Institute.

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Freeborn Al / 1st April 2015 / Band, Music, Other Bands, Thoughts / 0 Comments

What’s in a name?

ferocious-dog-dan-booth-300x300Dan let slip on Facebook yesterday that the second album will be completed in recording terms at the end of this week – and that the name of it will be ‘From Without’.  He might’ve mentioned that before to be fair, but he encouraged folk to have a hunt on Google to try to find the reference it might be inspired by.  So I’ve been doing just that to pass the time – whether I’ve landed on the inspiration for the name or not remains to be seen!

Also, if you haven’t already then get it pre-ordered by Saturday as it will then come signed by the whole band.

In the context of without meaning ‘on the outside’ it’s listed as archaic – so whilst you might be without something, to be – for example – opening a door from without seems a charmingly antiquated way of phrasing compared to opening a door from within.  Could it be as simple as that?  A traditional way of describing themselves as being from the outside?  It sort of fits, no record label, self-releasing, shunning many of the trappings of the modern music industry.

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Freeborn Al / 30th March 2015 / Band, Music, Thoughts / 0 Comments

Do you believe in the power of rock and roll?

IMG_9433A slight diversion from the main subject matter of this blog, but a worthy one I think – firstly for the cause tonight was raising funds for.  The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up to create respect and address abuse and intolerance against alternative subcultures – in memory of Sophie who was murdered in 2007 after a disgusting attack on her and her partner Rob.  A hugely worthy cause so hopefully everyone there bought themselves a wristband.

Secondly it was being hosted at Foremans, a deliciously non-conformist carbuncle gleefully retaining its punk rock roots whilst being increasingly surrounded by bland corporate chains like Revolution or Slug and Lettuce in the centre of Nottingham, overshadowed by the bleak Cornerhouse eyesore.  With a capacity of 55 people you’re guaranteed an intimate gig venue with some awesome people.  Thirdly the act was Goldblade – a lure in itself, but one I was intrigued to see in an acoustic setting.

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Freeborn Al / 29th March 2015 / Gigs, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Har-low can you go?

IMG_9368After a bit of an enforced break from ‘dogging’ it was back into action yesterday, hitting the road for I think my furthest flung Ferocious Dog gig in Harlow, Essex.  With the threat of the M25 around rush hour I allowed plenty of time for the drive and predictably hit no traffic at all, arriving at the venue and parking up with an hour and a half to spare before opening.  Oops!  Dan and Leanne arrived moments later, the rest of the band were already in situ.

Luckily The Square has a bar area that was open so it was there I headed and earwigged the sound-checking as more folk began to arrive.  After getting armbanded up and heading upstairs the gig venue was pretty compact – wide with a shallow dance floor with a worryingly nearby staircase you could end up getting launched down – luckily the mosh pit wasn’t too expansive so that never proved to be too much of a risk!

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Freeborn Al / 28th March 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands / 0 Comments