The year the music died?

Image credit: christhebarker

2016 will probably go down as one of those years where sad news overshadowed the good – certainly that was true for me both in personal terms, which I won’t cover here, but also the seemingly relentless march of famous icons being taken by the grim reaper.  Just as we were coming to terms with Lemmy passing away at the end of 2015, in 2016 we’d be constantly reminded by social media of a glittering parade of cultural icons shuffling from this mortal coil.

David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Jimmy Bain, Terry Wogan, Harper Lee, Frank Kelly, George Martin, Keith Emerson, Frank Sinatra Jr, Paul Daniels, Ronnie Corbett, David Gest, Victoria Wood, Lonnie Mack, Prince, John Berry, Nick Menza, Muhammad Ali, Henry McCullough, Anton Yelchin, Caroline Aherne, Kenny Baker, Dalian Atkinson, Gene Wilder, Pete Burns, Leonard Cohen, Andrew Sachs, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Rick Parfitt, George Michael, Liz Smith, Richard Adams, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

That’s not an exhaustive list, I’m sure, but that’s not really what I wanted this blog post to be about – but you can’t really do a review of the year without mentioning the elephant in the room.  As with seemingly most things these days it caused ruckuses on Facebook with folk taking to social media to express their sadness whilst others get irked at seeming over-emotionalness.  Certainly there’s a lot in that list who whilst I’ve never met have had huge influences over my life, and I felt genuine sadness at them moving on – some seemingly far too early, others having reached a ripe of age.

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Freeborn Al / 30th December 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

All’s well at Birdwell..

img_0212Our original plan for Birdwell was to head up to Sam and Matt’s in Ludo and then taxi in, which would have undoubtedly been ace, but since we have plans today back in the Midlands it just made more sense to drive.  Allowing for the not-particularly-bad Friday night M1 traffic meant we made it up there in good time, so parked up and went for a wander around Birdwell – a place I must admit I never knew existed!

The Travellers Inn clearly designed for eaters – as we popped in for a couple of soft drinks to pass the time one of the waitresses stood by our table like a hawk to whisk our glasses away.  The food did look good mind, even if the welcome was frosty!  Rather than endure another round of that we headed down to the venue, what I guess is an old social /working man’s club – bar at the front, venue at the back.  The venue wasn’t open yet but the bar was.

It gave us a chance to have a sit and a natter with Rob and Russ, and admire Russ’ new tattoo that Ken has been working on before eventually being permitted into the venue room.  What a room too, nestling back there is a big stage, dancefloor and tabled area along with a bar – slightly reminiscent of The Black Market Venue but without the head space (or balcony) – cracking space in there though, and for my non-audiophile ears at least a decent sound system,

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Freeborn Al / 22nd October 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Photos, Videos / 0 Comments

Ten years of Doonimania!

Murphy!

Murphy!

Who would’ve thought a novelty band themed on reuniting the disparate offspring of Val Doonican would have the legs to last ten years?  Well that’s what they’ve done – buoyed by a huge attendance in the Woodland at Bearded Theory, and now a sell-out anniversary show on their home turf – perhaps it’s fair to say they’ve ascended from novelty support act to a destination band.  I think it definitely is.

We’d arranged to take Ludo to park at Sam and Matt’s – Ella got the train to be collected by Sam and once work was finished I drove up to meet them, arriving first thanks to some train delays.  Once the van was parked up I had a lovely cup of tea, being the rock and roll person I am – but soon enough once Ella, Sam, Dave, Caroline and Murphy had arrived the lure of cider was too much – then we drove in to Barnsley for the party!

IMG_4203Once the many many many greetings had taken place we headed in to the venue in time for Pocketful o’Nowt – I don’t even know how to begin doing them justice in words!  Mike, the frontman, greeted the audience flaunting his iPad, loaded up with a music app for him to accompany guitar, bass and drums – often whilst dangling from the light fittings, climbing over the barriers to join the crowd and generally cavorting.

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Freeborn Al / 21st June 2016 / Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Photos, Videos / 0 Comments

Back t’Tarn..

Following is a guest post from Simon, since we are living it up in the Canaries we missed Brad Dear, Funke and the Two Tone Baby and Ferocious Dog in Barnsley. He’s a man of less waffle than me…

Not A Ferocious Blog… Whilst Alan Fisher is checking out exotic parrots and Ella Woods is looking more and more like Sebastian from the Little Mermaid. Here is an abridged version of the usual blog… 300 mile round trip t’Barnsley.. hotel,shower,venue. Meet and say hi to everyone. Brad Dear.. awesome set.. Special Brew=Conga… Funke and the two tone baby( or 5 leylines rolled into 1).. another awesome set… Broken strings, bonobos, dancing monkey.. FD.. aboriginal intro.. jig of death song. Rock Lobster with added lobster claws hand gestures from the crowd. Some more songs, bit of politics and thank you’s. More songs. Birthday shout out. Encore. Potential stroke victim, arguments about astro turf. Say goodbye. Hotel. Sleep. Wake up. Drive home. Ta Da. Piece of Piss. Till next time.. au revoir.

Buenas tardes!

  

Freeborn Al / 12th March 2016 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands / 0 Comments

2015 – The year of the Dog..

12347814_10153863571453060_2422930688827816042_nOkay, so Ferocious Dog have been around a little longer – but this last year has felt rather like a landmark.  And not just because back in February it’s when Ferocious Blog was born, ha!  The lead up to a new year is traditionally a time for reflecting back on the year just gone and looking forward to the next one, so I figured it’d be nice to trawl back through the months and pull out a highlight or two for each month of 2015, it will be tough to pick just one or two so feel free to chip in your own in the comments – despite my best efforts I didn’t quite make it to every Ferocious Dog gig in the year!

January 2015 – a light month, Ferocious Blog was yet to be created (although it had been an idea kicking around in my head for at least a couple of years).  Checking my calendar and personal blog doesn’t reveal much at all in the way of Ferocious Dog activity – we’d have been still basking in the warm glow of Dogfest back in December – I latterly discovered that a 3 Piece Acoustic performance took place in honour of Ella’s 21st birthday in this month, but alas I didn’t know Snotty at this juncture!

IMG_9188_gFebruary 2015the blog is born after an acoustic appearance by Ken and Dan at the Brown Cow in Mansfield.  Seldom has one of Sam’s nights had such a huge crowd packed in.  The demand for the event was the perfect excuse to arrive early and chat nonsense with friends for the afternoon.  An afternoon of drinking had taken its toll on Dean who for the first time decreed I needed to get up and surf in his place – a great way to start what became a year of extreme ‘dogging’.  These smaller intimate gigs are as enjoyable for me as the bigger and bolder shows that are to follow.  We were first introduced to Scott at this appearance too.

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Freeborn Al / 30th December 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos, Thoughts

True, Fast and (mostly) balanced..

IMG_2219Nights like last night are the kind of occasions that you simply won’t forget – to coin a phrase from one of the acts in question, I can’t stand the thought of lying on my death bed with regrets, but I’m pretty sure this evening’s fun and games will be one that I relive when that time comes.  Okay, a bit morbid, sorry.  For a mere £8 something Andrea had bagged not just Funke and the Two Tone Baby and Gaz Brookfield, but Maelor Hughes and Ken Bonsall in a Ferocious Dog one-piece guise too.

Any one of those acts in my admittedly slightly biased opinion are worth that fee – throw in a bonus song from Brian Stone, the awesome Rock and Blues venue in Barnsley and friends too numerous to count in attendance and I don’t think I’m exaggerating at all to say it’s one of my favourite gigs of this year.  Ella and I headed up to Barnsley from Loughborough and had treated ourselves to an inexpensive Premier Inn room a ten minute stagger down the road, and were soon battling through the wind to get there.

Upon getting into the venue and wrist banded up it was already pretty full of familiar faces, we had plenty of time for mingling and getting a few drinks down us before the doors to the venue proper were opened.  Maelor was up first with a slightly poorly throat – it didn’t take away from a top opening set though, Morning Sun was the second song in, by the time he’d moved into Better Day the crowd were already shouting the ‘Oi Oi’ bits without him asking them to, he treated us to Won’t Fight Your War before offering us the bonus of a guest appearance.

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Freeborn Al / 12th December 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos, Videos / 1 Comment

Monkeying around in Tarn..

Dollar is Clinically Insane

Dollar is Clinically Insane

Okay, so Ferocious Dog were playing in Fleetwood last night and I cheated on them in Barnsley to watch 3 Daft Monkeys – but t’was most definitely worth it.  It was off to the Polish Club in Tarn I went, a previous scene of Ferocious Dog goodness from earlier in the year, for a splendid evening of fun organised by the awesome Andrea who runs Let the Music Speak for Itself.  As I’ve discovered in the last year, promoting and organising gigs is hard work with little reward trying to lever people from their sofas – so I’m personally very thankful there are such passionate folk about to supplement my social life.

For Friday night in rush-hour the M1 was reasonably kind, we detoured via Thorne to pick up Becky and Pete and arrived pretty much bang on schedule at the venue.  There was time to have a natter with assorted folk like Darren, Collette, Rachel, Lisa, Janet and Dom (with an awesome Levellers shirt on) before getting hand-stamped up and heading into the venue proper ready for the show.  Which commenced with the slightly terrifying spectacle of Dollar is Clinically Insane strutting around the stage banging a gong.

He described his act as spoken word – it was a combination of stand-up and poetry despite his protestations to the contrary.  Self-depreciating and funny – probably funniest for us was watching 14 year old Dom, right at the front, listening to the – um – very adult themed pieces.  An inability to get laid, being stuck in a porn vortex, celebrity stalking and – my personal highlight – regret at not being ‘the shag-monster of Yorkshire.’  It was certainly something a bit different to my normal choice of entertainment – and gave us some laughs with a follow-up underpinning of seriousness.

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Freeborn Al / 5th September 2015 / Gigs, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

Freeborn Al / 16th March 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos, Videos / 0 Comments

Talk of the Tarn..

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.

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Freeborn Al / 15th March 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments