Today’s been a good day – a nicely truncated working week finished, and anticipation of a road trip starting tomorrow heading to the South West for a triple-header of Ferocious Dog gigs in Bridport, Plymouth and finally Exeter. Given how broken I was after just two consecutive gigs last weekend this will certainly prove an interesting experiment!
What better way to get into the mood than by enjoying some video compilations of Waggy’s awesome photos from the Cambridge and Derby gigs? I certainly can’t think of one! I’ve just had an exciting offer to travel down to the West Country on the Dog bus too… wow! This could prove memorable!
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.
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 Latebeing 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!
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.
Back 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.
After 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!
One of the few drawbacks to the Barnsley gig was that Waggy wasn’t there to dispense famous Waggy hugs and share in our laughs – and of course to take photographs – but he was at Nuneaton on Friday and took a raft of awesome photos of both Leatherat and Ferocious Dog which you can find on Facebook – or in a quick video summary below set to Raggle Taggle Gypsy and Freeborn John.
Another cracking evening’s entertainment courtesy of Ferocious Dog was meted out to Nuneaton last night. I was on driving duties so a first sober hearing of the new songs, but wow! A first word should go on the venue, the Queen’s Hall in Nuneaton is a great place! It’s above The Crew which is a rock-themed pub (and I’m reliably informed has decent beer) and is surrounded by easy places to park – the folks involved in the venue were all very friendly and even the security gave up on zealousness after one half-hearted attempt at getting Dean down from Simon’s shoulders!
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!