Ferocious Dog, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London, May 17 2024

It's a remarkable approach to song writing and one I hope the band continue to do for another decade or more. 

Words and Pictures: Adrian Hextall \ MindHex Media

Friday night and London isn’t as busy as it used to be. Friday night used to mean everything was rammed, the suits and the general public fighting for space in the packed pubs and clubs around the West-End. Nowadays though, Thursday is the new Friday and Wednesday is starting to see crowds gathering as well. As such, parking just 100 metres from the venue was a piece of cake and set us up nicely for a sold-out night at the 100 Club on Oxford Street, a venue that, whatever the day of the week, can always guarantee capacity crowds. 

May 17th saw the release of Ferocious Dog’s new album ‘Kleptocracy’, the cover of which pretty much sums up how the general public are feeling at the moment. Regardless of your political leanings, there’s absolutely no doubt that the world and specifically the UK isn’t where it should be in this day and age. It’s thanks to bands like Ferocious Dog that the average person on the street has a voice to point out what should really be ‘the bleeding obvious’, yet somehow manages to get swept under the carpet by the mainstream media in favour of their own agendas.

Thankfully Ken Bonsall and the rest of the band have no problem whatsoever offering their insight and viewpoints on everything that matters to them and, to be honest, what should matter to many of us as well. What musically has the opportunity to be as dull as dishwater, yes Billy Bragg I remember the dirge from you when I was younger, as a result of the messaging contained therein, is saved and enhanced tenfold thanks to the finest mix of punk rock and folk music that makes us want to dance, drink and pause for thought long enough to say “you know what you’re right there…” before linking arms with someone and bouncing round the dancefloor as your pint sloshes around and soaks everyone stood too close to you. [More on that from the 100 Club later]

‘Kleptocracy’ contains moments of calm consideration, when the music is dialled down, and the acoustic guitar and Ken’s wonderful voice is allowed to come forward. One such song is ‘A Place We Call Home’. It oozes charm, sophistication and will probably see grown men crying into their pint of Guinness and calling Mammy on the phone as soon as possible. That the band can trigger those sorts of emotions as opposed to just anger at the government is testament to how far they’ve evolved over the years.

This is the first album with Jamie Burney on violin, replacing mainstay Dan Booth who stepped back for family reasons. It’s fair to say the boy has done good and his playing is perfect for the band. Probably helped by the fact that Dan found his own replacement and knew what he wanted. Great stuff! Let’s see how that translates to the live arena…. 

The Cloverhearts

Before Ferocious Dog took to the stage, we were blessed, and I mean that sincerely, The Cloverhearts. The band are one of the newest, and fastest growing bands in the Celtic Punk scene today. Fronted by Australian singer/songwriter, Sam Cooper, in just a matter of years the band has accumulated millions of streams online, whilst performing alongside genre giants such as The Mahones, Booze & Glory, Mr. Irish Bastard, and more importantly, tonight’s headliner.

Coming across as a mix of Sum-41, The Offspring and Ferocious Dog, The Coverhearts set delivers more energy than a wind farm in a hurricane. They might as well rebrand the band ‘BOUNCE’ as that’s what we spent the early part of the evening doing. The Cloverhearts are without a doubt one of the best reasons to check out the support rather than staying in the pub nearby until the headliners come on stage, one of those bands who, at the end of their set, leave you with a smile on your face and a sense of “I could go home happy right now”. 

With tracks like, ‘Drunk Tank’, ‘Junky’, ‘Drinking Songs’, ‘Whiskey, Whiskey, Beer’, and a corking cover of John Denver’s ‘Country Roads’…. a singsong and a pint was never in doubt. More please…  

The band remain on tour with Ferocious Dog across the UK, check them out. 

  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, The Cloverhearts, Live at the 100 Club, London

Ferocious Dog

And so to our headliners. With the 100 Club having no real ‘backstage’ for bands to come on from, Ferocious Dog wander through the crowd, grab their instruments and head up under the lights and in front of their mics. 

Bearing in mind that the album release date was the same as the 100 Club show, to include the lion’s share of songs from ‘Kleptocracy’ was either foolhardy or proved that the faith the band have in the material is justified. Given the response from the crowd to tracks like ‘Sus Laws’ and ‘Kleptocracy’ itself, it looked like a good call. In the end, the first 5 tracks of the set came from the new album and went down a storm with the fans. 

‘Darker Side of Town’ and ‘Blood Soaked Shores’, also from the new album, proved the band have lost none of the their impactful lyrical content, managing to wrap things up in the sort of music that cannot fail to make you dance around the room like a loon. It’s a remarkable approach to song writing and one I hope the band continue to do for another decade or more. 

All of the fan favourites also made and appearance throughout the evening, ‘Punk Police’, A Place We Call Home’ and ‘Anger On The Streets’ being particular highlights, along with the occasional ‘Fuck The Tories’ (T-shirts also available), making the night all but complete. ‘Hell Hounds’ reminded us just what was required of the fans and they certainly responded in kind. Judging by the smiles on the faces of the band (see gallery below) it would suggest that the first night of the tour went remarkably well and that bodes well for the rest of the upcoming dates. 

There was little need for political statements other than the odd dig at the current government, but the band’s lyrics speak for them and even with the tracks that were new to many of the crowd, it didn’t take long for the audience to start singing the choruses back, even if they were hearing material for the first time that day. 

As we emerged after the Ferocious Dog show, happy, drenched and in the best of moods, the lyrical content had somehow embedded itself deep in the brain and as we played back their music in the car on the way home, the meaning, impact, and opportunity to do something about it becomes a fierce driving force inside you. The band are absolutely one of the best at combining studio with live content to allow fans to engage and enjoy in equal measure. Ferocious Dog clearly have a winning formula. Please don’t change fellas… this was fantastic stuff. 

  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London
  • 2024 05 17, Ferocious Dog, Live at the 100 Club, London

The remaining live dates can be found here: 

https://ferocious-dog.co.uk/live-events/

 

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