Clark Kent’s Rock and Roll Revue #005 Soap Opera 3 of 3 Feat. The Dogbones
August 9th 2013
The Barfly (CLUB JUBILEE)
Camden/Chalk Farm (London)
a) Skip everything you’re reading now and click the link to hear Here They Come For The Money. Of course I’m serious.
All pictures of The Dogbones are reproduced here with the kind permission of Neil Anderson a.k.a Wildblanket.
Sometime ago, I was so against the idea of reviews – oh – the way they’d lull me into laziness. I’m a massive Bowie fan but as soon as I heard about the film for the now closed V&A Exhibition, lethargy gave in to a weird idea, that the movie would be a worthy substitute for the real deal. For pity’s sake, the art installation I didn’t hop on a tube for, the play I couldn’t be bothered to see, all the many bands that I’ve read about in such and such magazine – not listened to. So content was I with the filing away, the shorthand encyclopedic logging of these cultural well-pools. I hope this blog doesn’t give you enough of The Dogbones. I hope you stop reading through the middle of this review, click on the links provided and find yourselves not only liking the FB page, but checking out the listings for their next gig. Yeah, The Dogbones…these guys seduced my soul out of my possession, warmed it up and thrust it back into my body again.
After a build-up via BOTH their drummers (between them Angus Duprey and Vince Johnson have the power to level mountains), Nomi Leonard takes the stage to croak out the ominous tirade of Here They Come For The Money. This blast of sound is Marilyn Manson via the prism of ritualistic New Orleans Blues. Yeah, sludge-like and twisted, the tune is a fantastic slow lava destruction fest with Nomi’s vox somehow able to ride atop. The controlled monstrosity cakes us in its cooling black majesty. And we are such willing victims. Nomi’s voice goes from little lost girl to queen of the vampire sirens…great melodic dynamic here!
Not gonna lie, whenever people turn up in freaky outfits, the first thing I think is that they’ve raised the bar in expectation impossibly high But, with Nomi’s face-paint and baby doll under her arm we’re given a right royal treat of a time. The spectacle is synonymous with the music – not at all detracting. We’re talking great effort and masterful execution here. Wonderful then that at least four members of the crowd have adorned themselves with the same indigo face paint and sport the dog mask on their temples. Should Nomi pull her own down I’m sure these adoring heathens will swiftly and shamelessly copy her. Did they make their own or are they on sale somewhere?
"ALL YOUR FRIENDS ARE GOING TO KILL YOU"
The Dogbones amped up the speed here, literally killing any chance of us boxing them into a neat little genre bracket – All Your Friends Are Going To Kill You is a trashy little number with hooks that pointedly display the great song-writing beneath the decidedly nineties distortion. The beautiful thing is that people of all ages are here bopping along. This band has an appeal that transcends time. Awesome! Then, a security guard breaks up the mosh pit that forms. No matter. After a short-moment the painted ladies jump about/in celebration. The pit erupts so much that the burly man in black reappears to lay down the law. This explosion/containment scenario repeats over and over again until the security guy, well, he just gives up.
Another track that deserves comment (although you really should be listening to their music by now/liking the FB/putting gig dates in your diary by now…why are you still here?) is the fantastic Everybody Thinks You’re Strange. The tribal rhythms from Vince and Angus are what make this song promising (so many rock bands ignore the potency of JUST using sticks on skins). The guitar from Johnny Orion is suitably nihilistic and the vox by Nomi is entrancing as always. Her slight screaming in the verses reminds me of Elastica’s Justine Frischmann. I start smiling realising I’ll be citing bands from my youth. Nomi’s cat calls in particular convey a playfulness that is sadly lacking in the po-faced seriousness of many an artist I’ve witnessed recently. Having fun in your songs doesn’t interrupt any important cultural message you and your band want to send out. Humour is a valid part of the human experience for fuck sake. Nomi jumping onto the back of solid bass-master Michael Vakalis rams the point home: Risk a couple bum notes for onstage messiness. Please, new bands, chance it. Forget about the unobtainable perfect rendition of your music; give your audience a show to remember.
So yeah anyway, I’m smiling up at the stage going all nostalgic: I can’t help but pretend I’m in the gig scenes from a nineteen ninety four movie. Remember The Crow? Where have The Dogbones been all my life? Get them into yours! Right now.
CUT A TAIL GIVE US A KISS
From what I remember of it, Cut A Tail Give Us A Kiss is a rollicking wheelbarrow down the side of a hill in the dark. Night time fun with the mischievous and beguiling Nomi now on guitar whilst Johnny Orion takes over the main vocal duties. His voice has a sweet and quite spectral quality that undercuts the heavy waves of the grunge rock of this fun little number.
Give the man a kiss.
Give them all a kiss.
The Dogbones are too big a concept to allow my usual indulgence of Rock and Roll Gonzo writing. You’ll have to wait till you bump into me at a gig to find out about how my night ended up being an unwitting voyeur of night bus violence and Rock and Roll Tree coincidence. So c’mon then, go join the people eager enough not to have read this far. Don’t bother refreshing your FB page or checking the graveyard that is your Twitter feed. Go. The Dogbones await your company.
ANGUS DUPREY - Drums (fronts 'goid' and 'cunt crusher' and has played for many great bands including 'terminal cheese cake')
VINCE JOHNSON - Drums (played in Daisy Chainsaw)
MICHAEL VAKALIS - BASS
JOHNNY ORION (aka Crispin Gray) - Guitar and Vox (Ex Daisy Chainsaw and Queenadreena)
NOMI LEONARD - Vox and Guitar (ex welsh band 'Wendykurk' Front woman, ex Queenadreena bass player)