Bridport down, Plymouth and Exeter to go!

Initially it was quite the intellectual journey

Initially it was quite the intellectual journey

It was slightly earlier start than initially planned as Ken kindly offered me the opportunity to skip driving to the South West for this leg of the tour and hitch a ride on Cerebus, the Ferocious Dog minibus.

I should’ve grabbed a picture or two really – I’ll try to remember tomorrow.  I got myself up to Trowell Services for the pick up and procured a massive box of doughnuts as they arrived, with Ken in the driving seat, along with Waggy, Scott and Ellis – all mostly in good spirits, Scott’s previous evening’s alcohol consumption aside.

Waggy took over driving duties and we were off to Bridport via picking up John off the M5.

Cerebus is awesome – emblazoned with Ferocious Dog graphics on the outside, and inside the middle row of seats are replaced by a table printed with an image of the band making it spacious and comfortable compared to a typical cramped minibus for someone of my height.  It certainly draws a lot of looks on the motorway from passing motorists too.  The windows at the back are blacked out too, mercifully considering later on…

The journey down was fun – we joined the M5 at the junction after the service station we were meeting John and after 16 miles or so of not seeing any services realised so doubled back to collect him.  Oops.  In the meantime Ellis and I had made a solid attempt at the crossword (ahem) and watched Scott transition from still-drunk to getting-hungover.  The new Ferocious Dog tracks were on the stereo and it was interesting to listen to them talking about little bits and pieces they were happy and less happy with.  There was even a sneak peak of prospective new album artwork passed around which looks great.

.... but once cabin fever kicked in somewhere on the M5...

…. but once cabin fever kicked in somewhere on the M5…

Once John was on board our party was complete – Dan and Leanne were travelling down separately by car and Les too was meeting us down in Bridport.  A couple of stops for toilet breaks and cigarette breaks from the increasingly agitated Ellis and Scott and eventually we were honing in on Bridport – only to encounter a series of bizarre road closures, suicidal parking and general kerfuffles – however, we did make it and ingratiate ourselves with the locals with a quiet and dignified drive through the quite well-to-do looking Dorset town.  Ahem.

Whilst much of what happens on the bus must stay on the bus, the overwhelming experience is one of a bunch of fellas who are down to earth and loving what they do – albeit well hidden in the case of a certain hungover drummer.  He did perk up as the day went on though and was in high spirits but the end of the night.  It will be interesting to see what level of inebriation he’s managed to achieve this evening when we reconvene in the morning!

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Freeborn Al / 17th April 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 0 Comments

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

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