Gig Review: Ferocious Dog / Voodoo Radio – Oran Mor, Glasgow (6th October 2023)

Two bands that are fairly new to me, and one great night’s entertainment. As Glasgow prepared for the unleashing torrents of an “amber warning” deluge, I managed to get parked a bit of a walk away from the venue as the free “after 6” parking is now “after 10”. Thanks, Glasgow City Council. Way to try and push people away from pubs, clubs and venues in the evening.

I made it in shortly after Voodoo Radio had started their set. It took a few minutes before I realised that we had featured them before, as part of last year’s Xmas rundown. The band is a 2-piece, featuring daughter Paige on drums and her dad Tony on guitar. Paige’s kit consists of one tom, one snare, a small cymbal and a tambourine shaped like a moon, and she plays standing up. Despite this limited setup, the two of them make some cracking noise and their punk rock tunes are very accessible.

Paige has the humour and presence of The Dollyrots’ Kelly Ogden, while her dad acts as the straight man to her song introductions and ramblings. The two play off each other really well, with the humour flowing as fast as the music itself. The songs are generally short numbers, with simple overpowering rhythms and some simple riffage chucked on top. What we have here is the attitude of bubblegum pop punk with the kind of tubthumping energy I first encountered with the Virginmarys. Voodoo Radio really are something unique, and they’re very entertaining.

Being able to back up their recorded material as well as this, with only two people on stage, is very impressive. Impressive enough that I bought one of their t-shirts which should hopefully help cover the cost of their fuel to the next destination! Which, if I get this post up quickly enough, is through in Edinburgh at La Belle Angele tonight (October 7th). If you’re heading to the gig, then do make sure you get there early enough to thoroughly enjoy being warmed up.

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How many members of Ferocious Dog does it take to change a guitar string? We found out partway through their wonderfully chaotic set, the second time I’ve enjoyed their live show. I first encountered at Bloodstock ’22 after a friend (thank you, Angie!) said she wanted to see them. I’d never heard of them and left the Sophie Tent a convert. I’ve been playing their most recent album, The Hope, on and off ever since.

However, tonight’s mammoth set made it clear that I had a lot more listening to do as their back-catalogue was truly delved into over a hectic 90-minute set. Every single song was a banger and all six of the band members was given a chance to shine, though centre spot is duly taken by frontman Ken Bonsall. Fairly typically of the genre, the band have a political (socialist) stance, and their messages are conveyed well both in many of the songs and by Ken himself. This extends to a pair of charity tables by the merch stalls promoting both a charity founded in memory of Ken’s son (Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund) and a local food bank. The food bank drop is a feature of all their gigs, so if you’re heading to Edinburgh tonight (or any other future date), feel free to bring anything relevant or make a monetary donation. Well done, lads.

The set itself is made up of songs long and short, full-on celtic punk belters, and more folky solos lasting maybe a minute or so, rousing numbers and singalongs. Every single one was catchy as all hell and demanded clapping, foot tapping, or jigging. Or all three. The audience obviously had a whale of a time alongside the band themselves, needing no urging to pogo and circle pit like loons to the infectious music. One particularly adventurous dreadlocked attendee was lifted above the shoulders of their companions and spent an entire song stood even taller than the band on stage. I gather this isn’t uncommon at a Ferocious Dog gig!

Part of me is sad that they’re not huge and playing bigger venues. Then the selfish part of me is thinking that I’m glad they’re not, as the intimate environment of a busy Oran Mor is just perfect for them. Right up close and personal, sharing air and sweat. Credit must also go to the sound tech who absolutely nailed it tonight for both bands. Loud enough to rock, not so stupidly loud that everything turned into white noise. When you’re dealing with six musicians, plus vocals, and a support band, this is pretty damn good.

Long story short, if you like a boogie then you can’t go wrong with a Ferocious Dog concert. Even better than I was expecting after that Bloodstock show last year, I’m very much up for seeing them again! Which may not be that long as it seems they’ll have another album to promote in the near future…

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Ferocious Dog: official | facebook | twitter | spotify | youtube

Voodoo Radio: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | spotify | youtube

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