Another fine Dogfest!

As if Dogfest isn’t a prospect mouthwatering enough for your musical delectation, Bart runs a pre-Dogfest night to get you limbered up for what is to follow – so I decided to bash the two reviews together as a further time-saving measure (given I’ve got three gigs coming up this weekend, d’oh!).  We got ourselves up to The Black Market Venue in good time and for a mere fiver were granted entry to the back room where both stages were being utilised to put on an amazing line-up.

First up on the side stage were 3 Wise Men, acoustic mellow tunes with all three of ’em providing vocals at one point or another and well synchronised guitars.  In The Cold Cold Night was early in the set which was followed up with That’s Life.  I was really enjoying the set – especially a cover of Massive Attack’s Man Next Door which was simultaneously unexpected and delightful in equal measure – well worth getting in early doors for (not, of course, that the event started on time – arf!).

The Outlines were up next on the main stage – looking ever more confident in their own skins, launching into Waiting and filling the room with energetic grungy rock, a stark contrast to the gentle set before but just as enjoyable.  Static, She Don’t Know, Calm Down – all quickly establishing themselves as classics.  Next up was probably my favourite of theirs (for now) in Buried a Lie.  Tight backing vocals and Kyle’s distinctive voice over an unfeasibly heavy sound for three of ’em..

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Freeborn Al / 13th December 2017 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos, Videos

Peace in the valleys.. not!

IMG_2678I hadn’t really got that excited about this gig, other things going on in our family meant it rather snuck up on me.  But once we’d got in the car and underway at lunchtime on Saturday I must admit I was gearing up for a good mosh, it’s been a long time since Rock City after all.  Even the increasingly awful weather and occasional aqua-planing down the roads didn’t dampen my enthusiasm.  Ella chose to use the trip to start to testing out her Go-Pro (video below), an experiment that was curtailed by a technical glitch, but shows some real promise for a fun way of documenting gigs and festivals.

Despite the rubbish weather it was a clear run through to Cardiff and a pretty easy job to get parked up and checked into our hotel.  Opting to have a bit of chill time we’d noticed the rain had stopped a bit, which was cause for optimism.  Alas, by the time we were ready to emerge it was once again pissing it down – after a bit of a wander we found (after a couple of attempts) Hopbunker.  It had been recommended to us on Facebook by fellow Hell Hounds Martin and Diane, who work there and are very proud of their bar.

IMG_2655And with good reason – just opposite the castle and down some stairs you’ll find a grotto of real ales, craft ales and ciders – but without the wanky pretentions that seem to attach to such bars in my experience.  A fun relaxed atmosphere, and just £3 a pint from a fine selection of pumps – I tried a pint of Ella (had to be done didn’t it?) a Ginger beer and an IPA whose name escapes be before switching to Reveller cider – which was lovely.  Dave and Sally arrived with us, and countless folks of a Ferocious Dog persuasion followed.  Once the Rugby was over the bar was awash with Ferocious Dog related music.  Highly recommended pub if you find yourself in Cardiff, and the urinals in the gents were a work of genius – and alas, the only thing I took a photo of in there!

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Freeborn Al / 7th February 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos, Videos / 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

Whoa-oh.. the dogs of Brixton..

IMG_0310Gracetonbury in Brixton was going to be another of those pauses in my Ferocious Dog diary that turned out not to be a pause.  A sell-out event, I was lucky enough to spot some returns go on sale in a moment of weakness and snapped them up.  With Simon and Ella kind enough to offer me crash-space for the evening it made the decision all the more easy (not that I take much persuading, as you may have noticed!).

First order of business was to get myself down to their place, from where we picked up Ella from work.  Her boss was somewhat confused to see her literally pounce upon an unsuspecting customer wandering into the place (me), and soon enough we hit the road – the plan being to park the car up in a secure spot in Camden that Simon had access to, tube it down the Victoria line to Brixton and get a taxi back to Camden later.

After parking up and meeting a horse that was close to where we parked (no really!) it was a quick schlep to Kings Cross and off we went.  I had planned on playing my favourite tube game of looking at people and smiling – this backfired when a lovely friendly lady sat opposite me, but that was better if anything, friendly people on the tube!  Even better still, she asked if Simon was my dad – ha ha!  Sorry Simon.

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Freeborn Al / 14th June 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments