KILLER DOGS – Hippodrome, London

BEING ONE of the, how shall I put it. ‘less glamorous’ bands around – two of them are overweight and two have the stage presence of a couple of lengths of four-by-two planking — the Killer Dogs are obviously going to have to rely on something else in order to create an interest. Songs, perhaps. Or maybe even a touch of outstanding musicianship with which to draw your ear’s attention.

They certainly didn’t hit the mark with their songs, the quality of which varied from average to very average. Not a memorable chorus in sight, not an ounce of originality in evidence. A case of fragmented ‘rock by numbers’ if there ever was one. They didn’t stun with musicianship either, although apart from the plodding, remarkably uninventive sameness of the drumming, there was at least a feeling that the others were trying – for what that’s worth.

But there have been good bands -really good bands – who didn’t have a single song above what you would call shit, and who couldn’t play to save their lives. It’s amazing what you can get away with if you’ve got the charisma and sufficient self-belief – or bare-faced cheek – to carry it off.

Unfortunately, this latter opinion isn’t open to the Killer Dogs either. With no energy, no drive and a transparent lack of commitment, ‘going through the motions’ would be an accurate description of the forcefulness of this particular performance – and it showed.
Music played badly but with feel and sincerity will always get my vote over cold musical genius. The Killer Dogs fell into neither category.

If evidence is needed to back-up what will doubtless be seen by some (and certainly by the band) as harsh, the wasteland of disinterest that was the immediate front-of-stage area says far more – and with more weight – about the Killer Dogs’ performance than any words that I would care to write.


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