Review of Dog is Dead supported by Whisky River Band and Kyla La Grange at the Ironworks,Inverness on the 1st of March 2012, by Jim Kennedy. Photos by Thomas Bisset Photography.
A very reasonable £6.50 bought a ticket for tonight’s triple bill. The Whisky faithful took a little time to come out this evening but by the time they were called to arms at just after 8pm there was a healthy crowd of willing listeners. With a casual entrance, the Whiskys blasted through the driving “Dark Cloud” – their sheer power continues to impress.
Kris Douglas’ songs are propelled ever forwards by Chris Ronaldson’s bass and Andy Davidson’s drums. Featuring some well known WRB songs as well as a new song they raced through their set finishing with the sing-along of “No Regrets”. With a quick happy birthday to Christine, they were gone. The imminent (well May) release of their first CD will no doubt herald a wonderful summer festival season. Book my spot at Belladrum!
Kyla La-Grange is a sultry, sweet and sexy by turn London born woman of South African and Zimbabwean heritage. Touted as the next Marianne Faithfull, she certainly looks the part of the glamorous pop star. This 24 year old can also sing exceptionally well, write and play her songs and has surrounded herself with a very talented band who work together and allow Kyla to shine. Dreamy introductions and a slightly shy manner allied to songs just that little bit more complex than is strictly necessary left several members of the audience a little underwhelmed. Having said that, a viewing of the YouTube videos will leave listeners in no doubt that this band have a great album in them.
And so to the enigma that is Dog is Dead. Recently signed to Atlantic Records, gigging incessantly, 15,000 likes on Facebook and yet… there is still a sense that many people don’t quite get these guys. Evidence is the crowd of less than 100, actually less than those present for Whisky River Band.
But those who ventured out experienced a thoroughly well rehearsed and professional outfit who played a short set with not a single note out of place. A more dynamic and rockier feel than their recorded work would suggest, they are actually really hard not to like. They have also invested in some excellent instruments are not afraid to give these a darn good thrashing.
Noted for tight harmonies, these guys would put any boy band to shame offering as tight and as focussed a sound as you will hear anywhere. The bouncy poppy feel of their songs with chiming guitars, keyboards, sax evoked an 80s vibe, though someone should tell them that for more authenticity they should stop smiling and enjoy themselves a lot less.
Not seemingly fazed by the small crowd, they worked hard to get the punters onside, with some infectious toe tapping songs with a well balanced live sound from the engineer. The short set included previous singles “Glockenspiel Song”, “River Jordan” and “Young” as well as the new single “Two Devils” out on the 4th of March.
This evenings crowd were fans, with a number singing along with the words and revelling in the unfeasibly catchy songs. Surely the only criticism could be Trev’s haircut – the flounciest these eyes have witnessed since my distant student days.
Dog is Dead, did not set a foot wrong throughout their set and if it was a sparse audience it was the usually knowledgeable Inverness music lovers loss – there’s still time to pop over to Ullapool (or even Stornoway).
You can catch our interview with the band at invernessGiGs talk to Dog is Dead.
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