1865, Southampton

Ferocious Dog is back in Southampton tonight and anyone who has experienced their previous gigs in this town in the past will have probably cleared their diaries to make sure that they are here. With a highly impressive new collection of songs in the form of the album “The Hope” to introduce and a new line-up to unveil, there’s every reason to be here at the 1865 tonight. The place is of course packed with a wide selection of Ferocious Dog virgins, along with those “Hell Hounds” that have been following the band from the very start.

These events are more than just gigs: at each venue the band arrange a collection for local food banks and urges fans to bring along non-perishable items. They are also doing a collection to help the people of Ukraine and the band provides support for the guardians of the sea …The Sea Shepherds. You can’t ask for more from a band that for a change don’t just think of themselves, they give back to a host of worthy causes.

Tonight’s support is Bristol trio IDestroy who arrive on the stage with a fresh injection of energy and plenty of riotous attitude. They kick off with “Petting Zoo”, a song with a powerful message about being sexualised and being touched without consent. The band features lead vocalist/guitarist Bec Jevons, Nicola Elizabeth on bass, and Jenn Haneef on drums/backing vocals. Together they play tracks from their debut album “We Are Girls”, which was described by ‘Louder than War’ magazine as a “modern soundtrack to a young Punk’s life”. Their songs feature youthful frustration and new raw energy that radiates from every track; with songs including “Cheap Monday”, “Talking Shit” and the hard-hitting “Playing with Knives”. The Ferocious Dog audience members all seem to be true music fans and openly embrace all the diverse support bands the band use. IDestroy is shown the appreciation they deserve for an impressive angst-filled set full of highlights.

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The headliners arrive on stage with founder members Ken Bonsall (Lead Vocals/Guitar) & Dan Booth (Fiddle/Vocals), introducing the latest recruits with Sam Wood (Banjo/Guitar/Bouzouki/Accordion), Nick Wragg (Bass), Luke Grainger (Drums) along with the returning Kyle Peters (Guitar). Kicking off just like the latest album with opener “Port Isaac” and then the nautical shanty-style “Haul Away Joe” the band show themselves to be in fine form. There is a huge amount of excitement in the air as this extended musical family is back together and doing what they love best. Ken’s connection with the audience is key to the whole operation as he manages to keep up with various Birthday/Anniversary shoutouts, along with plenty of audience interaction.

With each song there is a story: it might be a historic uprising like in “Pentrich Rising”, modern-day stories of the troubled life after leaving the armed forces like in “Broken Soldier” or “Punk Police” about keyboard warriors dictating the rules of Punk Rock. The musical side of the band remains untroubled by the changes and like those before; Sam Wood steps up to the plate as a multi-instrumentalist impressing with his expert strings work, though he can be forgiven for his Megadeth T-shirt! Nick and Luke show themselves to be a fine rhythm section while Kyle performs like he has never been away.

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Though the set is over 18 songs it feels like it is all over too quickly and we are soon at the encores. During the title track to the latest album “The Hope” the fans form a ‘ring of hope’ to sing this emotionally charged number together in beautiful unison, others paired up and ballroom danced around the circle – this included two Punks with Mohawks who totally made this wonderful moment very special. Ken and Dan looked out proudly from the stage, happy that their music means so much to so many.

Typically the end of the night comes along with the epic “Slow Motion Suicide”, an anthem for the unemployed and a song that it’s easy to get wrapped up in with its phenomenal fiddle solo and hard-hitting lyrics. The crowd again comes together and there is lots of air fiddle playing going on and everyone singing the lyrics along with Red Ken. The band take the bows and leave the stage to massive applause; however Ken stays for one more swansong in the form of a karaoke-style sing and dance to the Toy Dolls “Nellie The Elephant”, the audience of course stay and join in to end one hell of a brilliant night.

Set Lists
Petting Zoo
Cheap Monday
Pure Joy of Life
Sick Friend
Talking Shit
Let’s Play With Knives

Ferocious Dog
Port Issac
Haul Away Joe
Pentrich Rising
Broken Soldier
The Glass (Lee’s Tune)
Pocket of Madness
Too Late
Freeborn John
Quiet Paddy
Punk Police
Slayed the Traveller
Parting Glass
Hell Hounds
Mairis Wedding Part 2

The Hope
Gallows Justice
Slow Motion Suicide
Nellie The Elephant (Ken Karaoke)

Ferocious Dog



Words & Media by David Chinery (Chinners).

Ferocious Dog