The first band of the night were Against The Grain, added at short notice by the venue. Their songs were of a very modern hard rock variety and although they were enthusiastic and played well, they failed to win the majority of the audience over. I suppose they were quite an odd choice of an opener at a Dogs D’Amour gig!
Next up was Silverjet, a local and very popular band. And why shouldn’t they be so popular? They played for an hour or so of self-declared “sexy rock’n’roll”, including a few songs from their yet-to-be-released third album such as “Valentine”and “Top Side”. The new songs went down well alongside a bunch of crowd favourites (a lot of people there had obviously seen Silverjet live before – they play many gigs at the Corporation): “Crazy”, “Cold Love” and the ‘newly returned’ “Hell Yeah”. The highlight of their set was a cover of Billy Idol’s classic “Rebel Yell”which had the crowd lively and singing along. Any chance of that getting recorded I wonder? All in all, it was probably the best gig I’ve been lucky enough to see them play. Highly recommended, as Silverjet are consistently good and that’s pretty hard to find in a band these days!
And onto The Dogs D’Amour. I have had mixed emotions about this show for weeks, some doubt over the use of the Dogs D’Amour moniker (is it just another Tyla and The Dogs situation?), but mostly excitement – Tyla hasn’t played around here in a couple of years. And then there’s the line-up. What a line-up. Dave Tregunna (of the legendary Lords of the New Church) on bass, Timo Kaltio (of Cheap and Nasty/Cherry Bombz/Transystem V and song writer of Izzy Stradlin) on lead guitars, Danny Fury (of The Lords of the New Church/Vain/Kill City Dragons) on drums, and Gary Pennick on additional guitars. The band kicked off the set with one of Tyla’s latest solo songs, “Supreme Creator”, full of energy and perhaps glad to play to such a sizeable crowd on this first night of the tour, Kaltio happily jumping around and pouting on his side of the stage.
The set was a mixture of Dogs D’Amour classics and favourites with a good helping of Tyla’s solo work thrown in for good measure: plenty from 1988’s “In The Dynamite Jet Saloon” such as “How Come it Never Rains”, “Billy Two Rivers” and“Sometimes”; “Another Love Song” and “Story of Our Lives” were included from Tyla’s solo albums; and the setlist also featured some great singalongs like “Errol Flynn”, “How Do You Fall in Love Again?” and “Satellite Kid”, which all had the crowd belting out with the best of them.
Being the band’s first gig together, there was bound to be ‘hiccups’, and tonight there were plenty. Odd timing, makeshift guitar solos, riffs played in circles, vocals in choruses gone AWOL. Certain band members began to look concerned for someone, another looked just pure annoyed. Tyla left the stage with a mumbled “See you later – and we’ll play better next time” – maybe the most he’d said for an hour – taking his half pint of Jagermeister with him; rock’n’roll through and through, rolling with the punches. I wouldn’t let it put you off too much if you’re planning to see The Dogs D’Amour in the coming week or so, as they will have had more time to practise and hopefully iron out the creases (although at some points it was a wonder they’d even practised at all). Despite the ‘hiccups’ tonight, the band remained professional throughout and soldiered on, taking care to pay extra attention to each other so that they wouldn’t get lost again. You can’t deny them their professionalism, in this case.