Blackdog bite back

BB Blackdog
BB Blackdog

COMPRESSING themselves into a tiny playing arena wasn’t easy for BB Blackdog.

Even though this Belper/German combo are only a three piece, when your drummer towers over six foot seven, space comes at a premium.

With two bass players and no guitar I was keen to see if this lot could deliver or were they just barking mad. After all, rock’s all about loud guitars – isn’t it?

Well, obviously not always, as this lot really can entertain as they knocked out a blistering set of tunes, all self-penned and all well received by an appreciative crowd at Matlock Bath’s Fishpond.

Politician, a fast-paced number was followed up with Women and Can You Just, all intelligently introduced by vocalist and lead bassist Dales Rowles. I really am getting sick of front-men (or women) shouting and swearing at me so it was a refreshing change to hear this man using his brain

After a short intermission the lads hit the stage again with the bluesy Music Teacher, What You Need, plus other strong tunes that again kept the old foot tapping.

Thankfully, drummer Axel Boldt didn’t do too much showing off in his drum solo and it wasn’t that long. It was more like a small song in itself. After all, when you’ve seen ten drum solos…

I would have liked rhythm bassist John Ferguson to have removed his large coat though – it looked liked he’d just walked in from the cold Matlock Bath night air and maybe he could have added some backing vocals to give some extra bite to the band.

That said, he played his instrument in a solid, confident fashion which showed he, like the rest of BB Blackdog, is a consumate professional.

With many influences from early British rock, punk, metal, funk and everything in between, BB Blackdog refuse to be placed in any one kennel when it comes to describing their sound and I thought it was extremely brave to do a whole set of originals when many pub bands take the mixed bowl option.

I certainly enjoyed them.