A day after St. Paddy’s Day, Irish alt rockers Kerbdog are nearing the end of their 4 date UK tour after a hometown show in Kilkenny. Following a sold out 5 date tour of Ireland last year, every single UK date has also sold out. That’s some achievement, and shows the longevity of this ban of four. Leeds was the first show to sell out, so you can imagine the crowd here tonight. Far from dog tired.
For a band that only released two albums and the most recent single ‘Electricity’ in 2015, these tours are to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of ‘On The Turn’, easily the band’s most popular work. Personally I love the heaviness of the self titled debut, but grew up listening to this corker of an album. The original MTV generation may remember singles ‘Sally’ and ‘Dry Riser’ and ‘Mexican Wave’ among the 90’s videos. I’ve brought my friend along tonight who discovered the band through the artwork on their ‘Dummy Crusher’ single, the Notre Dame Irish Fighter. Buying it just for this, we soon discovered this was some band. Lumped in with Therapy? Due to their location, it makes you wonder what's in the Irish water when such melodic riffs come from the same small island.
Hey You Guys are no stranger to supporting Kerbdog. Their carefree and fun approach is a perfect warm up act for the main band, and the crowd are more than willing to engage with them. The Worchester 4 piece features producer Dave Draper, who worked with Kerbdog before and has provided guitar duties for previous shows.
Singer Pete Adams does his best to connect with the whole crowd, hanging onto the low ceiling in this basement venue and diving into the mosh pit at one point. The songs are quite infectious, with tracks like ‘Supermarkets’, ‘Three Ronnies’ and ‘Record Deal’ getting this crowd moving.
Now they are all warmed up, the let's say older crowd (myself included) are less likely to pull something when the mosh pit starts up again. Nothing like a 90’s mosh to clear the cobwebs, and your pint if you’ve taken one in! This celebration of one of the most underrated albums of the 90s is well overdue.
Colin Fennelly’s bass sounds gruff as owt, in the best way. Billy Dalton’s guitar riffs and solos really strike a chord and Darragh Butler’s pounding of the drums really brings it all together. I spend time trying to watch and figure out how Cormac Battle does play his guitar flipped over while providing those recognisable vocals. Yes, he does mix up a lot of the lyrics, but looking around no one gives a shit.
It is amazing when a band you grew up with come back and you realise you share the same nostalgia with a whole venue of people. The band played through the best of ‘On The Turn’ starting with the awesome ‘Pledge’, throwing in some debut album tracks too, the best being ‘End of Green’ to close the body of the set. That’s the best sandwich I could have asked for, my two favourite songs.
Of course the encore sees the most popular tracks, with ‘Dummy Crusher’ leading into ‘Sally’ and ‘J.J.’s Song’ and the crowd mosh some more. Billy even jumps into the crowd for a wee crowd surf playing guitar. It’s a nice early finish too in preparation for the club night after. There are many happy faces leaving this venue tonight. Bring on the 30th anniversary.
On the Turn
End of Green
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