MUDKISS FANZINE

Mudkiss is now an archived site, there will be no more updates. Mudkiss operated from 2008 till 2013.

DOGS/RUM DIAMOND/CATFISH & THE BOTTLEMEN @ FEVER, ATHERTON 27/11/09 REVIEW BY PETER CUNLIFFE.

We are Dogs! Well, they're certainly different. There can't be many bands of the stature of London five-piece Dogs, who pay so much heed to their fans that they ask them where they should play next. Having released two wordy and vitriolic albums since forming in 2002, the band are currently writing and recording their third whilst road-testing the songs up and down the country, and in some unlikely venues. Having played in Margate, Kent the previous night, the band drove the best part of 300 miles to appear at the North West's premier venue, Fever nightclub in Atherton, Greater Manchester.

Dogs' debut album ‘Turn Against This Land’ was released in 2005 to critical acclaim. The snarling, vitriolic indie punk LP was a snapshot into wordsmith Johnny Cooke's observations on what it's like to live and love in England this side of the millennium. According to Clash magazine, 'Turn Against This Land' is an easy mix of fiery punk and anthemic rock that has more hooks than The Ramones on a fishing trip. 2007's follow up, ‘Tall Stories from Under the Table’, saw the group adopt a more mature, versatile sound to the buzz pop of their debut. Johnny, a dedicated lover of literature, effectively uses the canvas of the band's songs to paint vivid pictures of the stories that capture his imagination. Having been dropped by Island after the first album, the band signed to independent Weekender records for the second. A change of drummer, another label change, and a new guitarist, Kevin Iverson from the Springtide Cavalry, later, and we arrive at the present. Most bands would perhaps call it a day with this kind of history. Not this one.

Back to the show.... Two cracking support bands, Rum Diamond and Catfish and the Bottlemen, got things underway with the place filling up nicely. Both were accomplished young bands playing energetic punky rock with great skill and were well received. Dogs took to the stage and immediately got the crowd on their side with old favourites and a clutch of new songs all being received joyously. Funny thing, I've been living with the two albums for a few years now and, with the exception of a sparsely attended gig at Liverpool Academy in June 2007, never met another person who's even heard of the band let alone know the music, and yet, in a club just a few miles from my house is a whole bunch of people jumping around and singing every word. Maybe X Factor isn't as all-pervading as it seemed, and there still are people going out and finding real music. A cheering thought. 'This Stone is a Bullet', 'Soldier On', 'Tarred and Feathered', 'End of an era', 'London Bridge', 'Tuned to a Different Station, all Dogs classics and all greeted with rapture by a moshing throng, weirdly being pushed back by a line of unsmiling bouncers (with one exception, who led the cheers for an encore when the band left the stage after a storming "End of an Era"..)

For me the highlight though, was "Red", a song from the first album, presented here as the last song in a three-song encore. It's a moody, melancholy rocker with another irresistible Dogs hook, and culminated in a searing wall of noise from the two guitarists, closing in feedback as the band left the stage, Kevin, who had been smiling and moving about for the whole gig, clearly relishing his new role, returning a while later to kill the amps.

So, no sign of Dogs folding under the knocks, in fact on this showing they are stronger than ever and as Johnny says, "we're not falling apart we're morphing, we're Mighty morphing fucking power rangers!!"

The cold light of mourning
No covers on the bed
Blown apart by this nothing and it's got me seeing red
My cracked face stoned
And it sealed away a blade
Now nothing will stop me
It's cut a cancer in my brain

[She loves you, like you know she would
She'll echo through the cold just like you know she would]

 Steer through the streets like an ice-breaker lost
I focus on the cold and the colour that it costs
Hypnotised by the sky I try to bring down a driving rain
Have you ever lost all feeling
Have you ever lost all feeling
Well you’ve gotta have something
And it's got me seeing red, red, red

[She loves you, like you know she would
She'll echo through the cold just like you know she would]

The cold light of mourning
No covers on the bed
Blown apart by this nothing and it's got me seeing red

Review/photos by Pete Cunliffe.