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Dog Is Dead @ Sticky Mike's Frog Bar - 3.11.2011
Words by heymancheckmyband.com
Photos by rmaynardphoto.com
Dog Is Dead, the Nottingham five-piece that you may or may not have been introduced to via their appearance in the finale of E4’s favourite ‘sex drugs and teenage angst’ drama Skins. Equally you may well have heard them via the rave reviews they’ve received from BBC radio’s indie connoisseurs Steve Lamacq, Lauren Laverne and Tom Robinson. Now signed to Atlantic Records, the humbled quintet have got some real momentum behind them.
From their first entrance to the realms of feel good indie in which they now reside, the assortment of saxophones, bells and whistles have always distinguished them from the crowds of similarly floppy haired, skinny jean clad musicians.
After providing a huge applause and barrage of praise for their talented local support act New Union, Dog is Dead took the stage to reclaim their floral covered keyboards and take a quick sound check. A bit of an oddity mid gig, granted, but it did give the guys time to chat and joke with the audience. For a band swept off their feet by labels, TV appearances and a whirlwind of online buzz, it was good to see their eyes hadn't filled with mosaics of stars and dollar symbols just yet.
Their set was short and explosive. Perhaps less a decision than a result of their small, but ever expanding, number of tracks they’ve written! Having not yet been consumed by the hubris that their rocket propelled career may have granted them, it had the air of a pub gig, there was the same sense of fun and informality, just with less Jimi Hendrix and Rolling Stones covers and more group harmonies and whooping.
Their performance showed them taking a slightly new direction. Their original staple, the saxophones and glockenspiels of their earlier success were replaced for the majority by a more generic combination of guitars. Their keyboard and keyboardist, however, were still as joyous and chaotic as usual. It is with more than a hint of worry though that their stand out tracks still came from their early material.
The thunderous drums and infectious sax of Glockenspiel song were made even more memorable by the rarity of the saxophone in the majority of their set. By no means was the performance boring, quite the opposite, but it was a pity to be able to sense whether a track was to be memorable by the instrument that Trev, their bassist, chose to play. Nonetheless the quirky dancing, guitar solos and chaos throughout was plenty enough to have people bouncing around happily enough. Would that bouncing have turned to full scale dancing had they stuck to their original instrumentation? That’s something Dog Is Dead will have to consider seriously as they ride the wave of hype and record deals that swept them up only earlier this year.
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Date: Friday 25th November 2011