Lost property? CREW ROCK RADIO

Ferocious Dog – Thursday 11th May 2023


I arrive to an already well assembled crowd and first up tonight is local singer songwriter
Mattshisname. I do admire someone with the confidence and ability to stand armed only with
an acoustic guitar and a handful of songs in front a crowd who are obviously geared up to
leap around to folk punk.
This young guy delivers his set with confidence and some great guitar work and can craft a
tune. He dedicates a song to the loss of a loved one and gets the crowd to join in on another
and they duly oblige. From the reception at the end of his set the crowd are won over and I
expect he will be playing a lot in the future and opening for other acts at the Queens Hall.
Check him out.



The singers opening gambit of ‘Hello we’re Leatherat the perennial underachievers’ couldn’t
be further from the truth. This band have already recorded six albums going back to 2010
and although I knew about them, I have never caught them live until now – glad I did.
Hailing from Oxfordshire they are excellent musicians. Although classed as a Hi-Energy
Folk-Rock band with comparisons to the Levellers, probably due to the fiddle playing, there
are also many other influences. There is traditional folk, traditional songs, metal guitar, and
elements of Jethro Tull, Hawkwind and at times Pink Floyd. This all makes for an interesting set from the opening Covid inspired song about all going out, through songs such as ‘Set My Soul On Fire’, ‘High Friends’, (in low places – classic) and ‘Rocky Road to Dublin’ which moves from a drum driven traditional folk tune to a Pink Floyd like guitar jam and back again almost unnoticed. In contrast songs such as
‘Tomorrows Past’ has a very old-style traditional feel and they can appeal to everyone.
They are an excellent festival band, and this set wouldn’t be complete without a few drinking
songs such as ‘Large One’ and their song about Vodka and Red Bull. They end the set with
‘Stop’ from 2010s Temporary Immortality dedicated to the Tories. Given the Nuneaton
foodbank were there collecting donations, the fierce folk of the song and chorus ‘stop
thinking about yourself’ was an excellent way to end their set.
I will check out their gigs and maybe a trip to Banbury/Oxfordshire will soon be on the cards.


Ferocious Dog

The last time I saw Ferocious Dog was at the R Fest stage at the Rebellion Festival in 2022
on a sunny August afternoon with a couple of pints of real ale. This gig at the Queens Hall is
obviously going to feel a lot more intimate and the Hell Hounds are out in force and raring to
go. As anticipated this gig is a full-on assault from the moment the band hit the stage and the
crowd sing along to every word of every song.
From openers ‘Port Isaac’ and ‘Haul Away Joe’, Ken and this amazing band take us through
their set moving around the stage and changing instruments with ease whilst playing their
complex anthems for the most part at breakneck speed. The interaction between the bands
members themselves and the audience is absorbing and genuine, with Ken making many
personal references to many of the gathered faithful. ‘The Glass’, about Lee Bonsall, is well
documented and is a familiar story to the Hell Hounds and they join in with every word.
‘Too Late’ is dedicated to the ladies and comes with a stern reminder about mosh pit safety
and etiquette. The ska driven ‘Freeborn John’ seems even more relevant tonight given
recent legislation and events and is delivered with passion and aggression. Who would have
thought when this was written things could get any worse.
‘Black Gold’ about our slavery exploits has some amazing fiddle playing and great lyrics as
does ‘Punk Police’ aimed at those who no longer go to gigs and sit on the internet
determining what can and cannot be considered punk. ‘Broken Soldier’ is class as always
and ‘Johny I Hardly Knew Ya’ played in a more traditional way than the Clash version is a
classic tune however it is played.
The band are clearly multi-talented and versatile, throwing in a few classic metal riffs before
one of the songs just because they can. The drumming is so fast you wonder at times how
the band keep up. There is no let-up in the performance for band or audience and ‘Parting
Glass’ followed by tracks such as a souped-up version of ‘Paddy on the Railway’, the
raucous ‘Gallows Justice’ and Slow-Motion Suicide brings the set to a riotous close.
Whilst the crowd look exhausted Ken looks like he could go another few rounds. As ever
Ferocious Dog are entertaining, true, thought provoking and politically charged and the Hell
Hounds are like family to them. There is clearly respect on both sides and the connection
and interaction between the band and their loyal followers in something to behold.
An excellent end to a great night again at the Queens Hall.


Steve Brain.

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