Live Review: Ferocious Dog - The Fleece, Bristol 25/03/2017

Starting late February Ferocious Dog kick off a huge spring tour labelled “The Red Tour” we headed to The Fleece in Bristol for a night of political filled night of good old fashioned punk.

Each date of this tour the Ferocious Dogs have been gathering food for the needy and tonight is no different. The currently small gathering outside the fleece come armed with carrier bag full of tined good ready to donate to the food drive, the doors open and as people walk in the bags are dropped off in to crates and fans are ready to get things started.

With the venue being close to capacity and only two bands on tonight’s line-up, Boot Hill Allstars appear on stage and try to kick things off, however when the first words from a band are “Right we’re gonna power through this without all that banter bollocks” it can translate to a “let’s get this over and done with” approach, some bands can pull this off but sadly “B.H.A.” aren’t one of them. With little enthusiasm shown from the crowd and the two scantly glad women on stage (who for some strange reason are dancing with feather dusters) the warm up act is somewhat unconfutable to watch. The bands mix of Ska, Punk and Rockabilly unfortunately falls flat with on lookers even when the feather duster armed ladies make their way in to the crowd. The biggest reaction comes from the crowd when a cover version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” is played to a fashion as the band finish the planned set list. Realising they’ve stuck to their word and ploughed through the set the band realise they still have 10 minutes left asking if we would like something either “fast or shite” the band stick up on last song with “banter” included by way of band member introduction (last song maybe a little late for this) and also an insert of happy birthday being sung to a friend in the crowd, and as quickly as they entered the sage the Boot Hill Allstars exit.

Boot Hill Allstars - The Fleece - Bristol - 25/03/17

Ferocious Dog enters the stage and it is instantly apparent that this is the reason The Fleece is sold out tonight. The 6 piece Nottinghamshire punks open up with “Gallows Justice” the crowd opens up to mosh pit with fans chanting the lyrics back word for word. The mass range from the veteran devotees to the 8-year-old girl sat on the bar with her farther proving that although the “Dogs” have been around since the late 80’s they can still draw in new listeners. With that in mind most of the political themed tracks are a little dated talking of Thatcher’s 80’s in “Slow Motion Suicide” the bands ethos in other areas is still very current from “black and white interracial harmony” in “Ruby Bridges” and giving proceeds from merch and ticket sales to help ex-soldiers suffering from PTSD. Mid set the band invite one of the fans to the front where a proposal of marriage is made to the fans blushing partner the venue erupts in to cheers and congratulations with the band following suit, then without missing a beat continue on with the uplifting Celtic themed evening. Whether you were around to live through the politics sung about or not there is no taking away the fact that the “Dogs have brought their A game tonight, Ken’s vocals sound just as crisp as they do on any of the records as do the instrumentals. With a huge amount of dates left up till August there is plenty of time for the guys to spread their ethos and hopefully stamp out some more narrow mindlessness that is left in this world.

Ferocious Dog - The Fleece - Bristol - 25/03/17

Words and Photography by Anthony Hunt