Deer, stock and (mead) barrel..

IMG_0711Ah, so that was Deerstock.  Now I’m home, the tent is dried and back in the bag (subject to repairs later), I’m showered and the washing machine is on probably the most daunting task of the day is how on earth to go about summing up four days and nights of mayhem in a field in Newton?  Deerstock 2014 was definitely the highlight of my year last year, and this year might well have just gone and topped even that.  So I will apologise in advance for the wordiness, and for the inevitable blanks in my recall… this is going to be a loooooong post.

Off work on Thursday I was mooching around planning on arriving on the site around 4pm – upon messaging Tim around lunchtime he revealed that he and Tina had already set up camp – so rather than pace around the house I hopped straight in the car and made my way to Newton via the supermarket for last minute supplies.  Tina and Tim had done a great job in saving a chunk of space to keep us all together – and I was soon pitched and sorted in time to help Lisa and Pixie get their tent up.

Once cabin fever relieves you get that slight craziness and the concoctions came out perhaps a little earlier than planned.  As we got steadily more pickled by the fire we had the chance to marvel at how quickly Spike can put up his gigantic tent, and see our village slowly constructing itself around us.  A ramshackle and wonderful mixture of camper vans and tents nestled together containing many of my favourite people – sure, there wasn’t any music on, but that wasn’t really needed.

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Freeborn Al / 27th July 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Lee Bonsall, Music, Other Bands, Photos, Videos

A triumphant homecoming..

unnamedI talked about my reservations over Splendour as an event before – a little too sterile, a bit too rule-bound, and it didn’t bode well when arriving at the site as it opened to see loads of people having assorted things confiscated.  In defence of the security guys, they were very courteous and I thought the organisers had done a decent job in communicating what would and wouldn’t be permitted on the site – but well, taking a lads water off him because he’d had a swig on the way to the park?  A bit much!

After the state I got in three years ago I didn’t attempt any smuggling of contraband this year – more’s the pity as I wasn’t so much as patted down on my way through the gate!  It’s probably a good thing though!  Early on to the site my first objective was something to eat, which was duly purloined from the bacon cob van – shortly after this I bumped into Ian and Lucy for a quick chat over our assorted food choices.  They’d hit the bar already, which was my next stop.

Ah, beer tokens.  I loathe them – but grudgingly bought some in order to get that all important first cider of the day.  You can see why they don’t want people bringing their own booze in when they’re charging £4 a pint for their own edited range of beverages.  That said, ales, lager, cider, jägerbombs and Pimm’s were all on offer in exchange for a magic token.  After picking up a drink I wandered down to the Confetti Stage where Georgie and her band were getting set up.

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Freeborn Al / 19th July 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands, Photos

The Splendour of the weekend to come..

Splendour-2015_IndianaWhilst I’ve been still basking a bit in the warm fuzziness of last weekend at Wistful, it will be good to get a bit of full-on Ferocious Dog this weekend at Nottingham’s Splendour Festival.  I’m not generally a huge fan of Splendour, it’s pretty pricey (although I guess if you divide the ticket price by the number of acts you want to see it does work out good value this year).  FD played it last year but an early slot on a small stage so I didn’t indulge, although I did go to it when the Levellers played a couple of years back.

The list of terms and conditions are potentially entertaining too depending on how many Hell Hounds descend for the 5:15 showtime.  We shall see!  Definitely this year I won’t be attempting to smuggle in a litre and a half of rum (successfully) like I did on my previous visit… after consuming that I found myself practically asleep  against the crash barrier for much of the Levellers set.  Mercifully this rendered me unable to ‘appreciate’ the headline act of Dizzee Rascal too so perhaps it wasn’t such a bad plan!

This year though with Roots Manuva, The Specials and James on the bill too there’s more to look forward to than just Ferocious Dog which is always a bonus, and there’s sure to be new acts to discover.  The other drawback to Splendour is the lack of camping option – on account of the potentially vicious deer in the park – although whilst not my current home Nottingham is a place I can find places to stay pretty easily – and I’m sure there’ll be a few folk out and about to make it into a suitably fun party!

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

An a-Maze-ing night of music..

IMG_0377I was going to be sensible and get to sleep upon getting in from tonight’s shenanigans but I’m suitably energised to be a tad insomnia-bound for a while so I might as well empty my brain of over-stimulus.  I know this is a Ferocious Dog themed blog but well, I do occasionally make time for other music in my life and Gaz Brookfield is up there with my favourite performers – so you’ll have to indulge me.  Or close the browser of course!

It’s kinda ironic that it was in the last week or so Frank Turner put tickets on sale for his tour and Nottingham sold out so quickly he quickly arranged a second Rock City date to meet the demand.  I like Frank Turner a lot, and I’d wager anyone else who likes him would love Gaz Brookfield.  So whilst I truly relish the opportunity to see him perform in the intimate setting of The Maze to a healthy-if-not-sell-out crowd I can’t help but feel more and more that he deserves to be in front of a bigger audience.

But we’ll get to Gaz later.  For the princely sum of about six quid (I think, I bought the tickets months ago!) there were four acts on offer this evening.  Three of whom I know very well, and would’ve paid six quid to see any of individually, and one unknown element – Jake Martin – who I’d not yet encountered.  So yes, it’s a Tuesday night, and we’ve all got work in the morning, but we are really incredibly lucky to have such a great small music scene here in Nottingham – kudos to folk like Lee and Jayne who put on nights like tonight.

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Freeborn Al / 24th June 2015 / Gigs, Music, Other Bands, Photos / 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

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

New album nearing completion – what splendour!

000A typically teasing Dan post in the Ferocious Dog Facebook group today revealed that Les has been in the studio today finishing off his guitar pieces for the forthcoming album, with Dan and Ellis due in this week to finish off followed by Ken next week along with an orchestra (!).  This of course implies that John and Scott are one-take wonders.

A suitably exciting way to build up to the live action restarting this Friday at The Square in Harlow.  I’m looking forward to hitting the road to Essex for the next instalment of the tour – just another week of work to get out the way first!

In other news the band have confirmed they’re appearing at Nottingham’s Splendour festival this year – teeing up The Twang and Bananarama on the Confetti Stage meaning that they’ll be finished in time to check out James and The Specials on the Main Stage which – no disrespect to The Twang or Bananarama – works well for me!  It’s not the first time Ferocious Dog have appeared at the festival but this time at a much more conducive time of the day.

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Freeborn Al / 23rd March 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Music, Other Bands / 0 Comments

The aftermath..

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!

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

One more sleep!

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.

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Freeborn Al / 6th March 2015 / Band, Gigs, Interview / 0 Comments

The tour countdown is on..

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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.

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Freeborn Al / 1st March 2015 / Band, Gigs, Hell Hounds, Thoughts / 0 Comments