DOG’S D’AMOUR – Fulham Greyhound

JEEZUS CHRIST. Jeezus fkin’ Christ. I’m back at a ‘Dogs’ gig after all these wasted years! And gone is the shambolic, haphazard, guttersnipe tornado that sucked me to every gig from ‘83 to ‘85. In its place, an exhilarating’ thunderstorm.

Vocalist/guitarist/mentor Tyla has controlled the elements and sensibly realised the commercial potential in vagabond rock ‘n’ roll. The Ol’ bastard’s gettin’ wise…!

They gallop desperado-style into ‘Last Bandit’ and before the dust could settle in their tracks they rode back with a whole desert full of toons as alien to me as a Depeche Mode album. Good songs for sure, but songs I’m gonna hafta get better acquainted with. Sh*t, this really is a ‘new’ band.

The only other original Dog, drummer Bam-Bam, hardly throws pebbles (sorry!) with some aggressive and impressive backstreet pounding. As guitarist Jo Dog and bassist Steve James, curious in da fact they watch their fretboards in these days of lookin’ out for hot wimmin, seemingly defy the power of the drums with a Stonesy ‘rilly cool’ drawlin’ rhythm. These masters of lazy-energy pretty much serve as bookends to the ever unpredictable cavortings of frontman Tyla — an agile, charismatic rock ‘n’ roll scarecrow. An’ damn if the bugger ain’t learnt to sing! Every fine lyric projected with scary professionalism.

Not an instant hit with me, it all took a while to sink in. But then, if you’re gonna stand in a ‘thunderstorm’ you gotta get a little wet before the excitement of when the lightning strikes…!


JUNE 1988



FACT: The Dogs didn’t even get to do an encore.

FACT: There were some pretty mighty jeers when they left the stage.

FACT: Tyla, doggie mainman, asked me after the gig, his voice still shaking, Are they (the punters) always like that at this place?

Looks like, on the strength of the FACTS, the Dogs had a pretty rough time of it, but those FACTS can be misleading.

In the first place, according to the set list that I swiped, the Dogs were planning on an eleven-song set followed by two encores — about 50 minutes, which is short but not too bad. When I tell you that they ended up doing Just a little over twice that time on stage because the punters wouldn’t let them off, you might get a clearer picture of what a night this was.

For the first two songs everything was well in order, Tyla and Jo Dog’s guitar interplay, so essentially like Keef and Ronnie’s, kept the melody lines charging about your head while Bam Barn (drums) and Steve Suicide (bass) pinned it all toGether underneath. Tyla’s voice, Rod Stewart with Axl Rose’s tonsils, perfect for the lyric, was blissful to behold, and then, during ‘The Kid From Kensington, third song in, it happened…

There was what can only be described as a pitch invasion. One minute I could see Tyla, bopping away like a good ‘un, and then it was just kids. Wall to wall they were, and suddenly the Dogs were playing, quite literally, in the round!

All too soon we got to the eleventh song, single-to-be-and-supposed-finale, ‘I Don’t Want You To Go’. It came and went. The band sort of half heartedly considered heading off stage but there was no chance that the kids were ever going to allow that, so the ‘encores’ became part of the set proper.

And then the Dogs, bless em, just kept on going, going . . .and going.

Twice their normal set length they played. Throwing in such gems as ‘Get It On’ and the Only Ones’ ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ amongst oodles more of their own stuff.

“Pleeease,” begged Jo Dog. “This has got to be the last one. Purrleeease! And it was, too. Tyla hurled himself into the audience and, as the final chord died away, the DJ shoved a record on out of sheer pity for the lads. He got the jeers and, without playing an encore, the Dogs made it off stage.

“That was, without doubt, the best bloody reception we’ve had anywhere, ever!” quoth Tyla, afterwards. “What a bloody night’

What a bloody night indeed, the best I’ve had for a long time too and, by the way, Dogs eat Pussycats for breakfast, OK?


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