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Dogs - Fibbers, York - June 20th (LIVE REVIEW)

Monday, 21 June 2010 Written by Adam Simpson
THE DOGS-Fibbers, York-20th June (LIVE REVIEW)

I met The Dogs before the gig and I felt I was going to witness something special that night at Fibbers, York on the 20th June. Unfortunately this was an anti-climax, when I spoke with the band and especially the lead singer I found a deep, passionate character, full of self belief and emotion with a definite darkness. The group as a unit seemed very focused and full of belief in what they were doing.

I found the performance quite disappointing, probably because I had built this gig up so much, especially after the early meeting. I actually expected the front man, Johnny Cooke to be a deep character, crying out for help with his lyrics, totally lost in the music, instead I found his performance almost half hearted, lacking energy, enthusiasm or passion. There is no doubt he can write, his lyrics are very deep and filled with emotion, quite brilliant actually. Perhaps that was the problem, Johnny backed away from answering a question about what he chose for inspiration, when writing, earlier that evening in an interview, perhaps, the lyrics were too personal and emotional to really get into, or perhaps he was just off form, the group had just travelled from a gig in Birmingham the previous night, which had obviously been a heavy night. There were glimpses of vocal talent, but they were far too few and far between as he seemed to wade through the performance, rather than really getting into it and giving it his all. His voice was quite average save for a few high points when he seemed to really open up his lungs.

ImageSo what about the band? The music was impeccable, fantastic in fact. Kevin Iverson, the groups rhythm guitarist, played awesome, loud melodies, he looked the part too as he really got into the music and gave it his all. His playing alongside lead guitarist, Rikki Mehta, who was equally as impressive, with his huge metallic riffs was a delight to watch. Rikki played with a large array of effect pedals and played one of the most technical guitar displays you are ever likely to witness. Duncan Timms played bass impeccably, he struck the strings on his 4 string Rickenbacker at a fantastic pace, it was another loud, energetic, technical display and kept rhythm with Paul Warren’s fantastic, aggressive drum playing brilliantly.

Musically the group were very, very good, technically assured, confident, and full of energy and just as pleasing visually as they were musically. The songs worked well live, the loud mod meets indie and punk music was brilliant, perhaps a little repetitive in sound, but still brilliant, if only the vocals had matched the music. The set was a good length and the group pleased the small hardcore following who had travelled up north to watch them.

Unfortunately every great rock band needs a great front man and on this occasion the great band got an OK performance from theirs.

Photography courtesy of Tony Tinegate of www.TKPFimages.com

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