We are Dogs! Well, they're certainly different. There can't be many bands of the stature of
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
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
Review/photos by Pete Cunliffe.