Dog Is Dead // LIVE // Riverside, Newcastle // 27.02.12
A name like Dog Is Dead certainly sticks in your head and gets you thinking, but shouldn’t be shunned away or misinterpreted; they’re a group of humble background and intentions, playing the catchy-but-clever indie they do because they love it. They don’t shout about it or try to captivate an audience with an over-the-top live performance, but simply put everything they have into sounding fantastic.
The northeast of England, despite having its own 02 Academy in the centre of Newcastle for more alternative acts, and the Metro Radio Arena close by for bigger artists, is quite often criticized for being neglected by the world of live music performance; many artists will travel as far north as Leeds but not much further. Dog Is Dead have, thankfully, and have themselves a rather extensive UK tour lined up for the release of 'Two Devils', playing at Newcastle’s club and live venue Riverside on 27th February, and are also set to return to the city’s Evolution festival in June.
It admittedly remains a wonder, however, as to how inclined they will be to return to the area after their performance here; the gig was spot-on, with two supporting acts setting the bar for the Nottingham five-piece’s set, a good sound system perfect for the size of the venue, and the band’s set and show being flawless.
However, for whatever reason, turnout could be described as ‘limited’, with a maximum of 40-50 people attending…probably one of the reasons for artists’ reluctance to frequent the area. For Dog Is Dead though, this didn’t matter. They interacted with the crowd, performed like they would at a festival in front of thousands, and demanded a dance-off take place between everyone for the duration of the gig. Many bands would be disheartened or unenthusiastic towards this kind of situation, but by the end of the show, everyone had a smile on their face and was moving along to the gorgeous indie-folk-pop that this band are so good at creating. Songs like 'Young' had everyone singing along to the huge chorus sections, whether they knew it well or not.
One can only hope that come June, Dog Is Dead captivate their much-larger audience and return to the area again in the future, spurred-on by the praise they will certainly receive. After all, these guys are going to be huge.