Kerrang Issue 286 April 1990

RED DOGS Marquee, London
THE RETURN of Rambo Redneck. Straddling the land with a list of pinkos and perverts, subversives and sickos. Burning VoiVod albums and Soundgarden lyric sheets, plucking the agitators from shell-holes and taking a bead on anything that isn’t heavy bloody rock ‘n’ bloody roll.

And in their place Rambo Redneck inserts mediocrity. And suburban rock ‘n’ roll bands are all the rage again.
Fresh from supporting the Quireboys this is Red Dogs’ debut Marquee headline and the fan club are out in force. Armed with lnstamatics and party-poppers, their response is infectious and heartening. To their credit and my utter surprise, Red Dogs live up to it all.

Moulded from Bad Co and the Faces, a little bit of what you fancy and a lot of Redneck manuals, Red Dogs play it straight and simple. No gimmicks, no subversion, no unnecessary chaffer. Instead the quintet bow their heads and deliver a set that is stoic and spartan, spirited and satisfying. Kept above water by the individual talents of vocalist Mickey Ripley and guitarist Paul Guerin, the sceptics are impressed and the fan-dub appeased.

Rambo Redneck’s protégés wins two encores and a deal with Razor. Whether their formula of smoky bar-room rifferama is strong enough to shift copies of their ‘Sweet Little Ruby’ EP remains to be seen, but in the interim Red Dogs are kicking up a storm.
Rambo Redneck is watching closely.



I FEEL rather sorry for the Red Dogs. They’re a nice enough bunch of lads and they try hard, but can’t be easy living in the shadow of the Quireboys.

If Spike and Co had never existed then I’m sure this bunch of Geordies would be playing to a sold out Marquee rather than an
audience peppered with a few die-hards – mostly of the female persuasion, plus relatives and those with nothing else better to do on a Friday night.

I’m sure the band are sick to the back teeth with the Quireboys comparisons but, well, with a bunch of songs dripping with Faces, Aerosmith and Bad Company overtones then what do they expect? Vocalist Mickey Ripley even moves like Spike, the only visual distinction being the lack of a bandanna wrapped round his head.

The difference, however, lies in the fact that with the Red Dogs you don’t get any of the honky tonk piano crap. Instead it’s just a solid wall built with two guitars, bass and drums. No nonsense rock n roll steeped in early ‘70s nostalgia.

Unfortunately, ‘Sweet Little Ruby’ aside, most of the Dogs’ songs sound rather dull and mostly the same – and I’m not the only one to have noticed this. Slide guitar comes in and out on cue, the beat pretty much remains constant, and the vocals are continually strewn with road chippings.

After half an hour had passed, it all got way too monotonous with only the catchy chorus of ‘Lizzy’s Gone Bad’ making its mark in my head.

But there was one real gem that popped up, a new song entitled ‘Pays To Be Pretty’- no doubt dedicated to the ‘sweet 16 and never been randy, Mandy’ chicks at the front who can get anything they want with a smile and a pair of big baby blues. With an extremely memorable chorus, I found myself singing it on my journey homeward.

If the Red Dogs can escape ‘that tag’ and also write a more varied selection of songs, then ‘Sold Out’ could appear in close juxtaposition to their headline billing in Charing Cross Road yet.


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