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The DogbonesThe Dogbones
12 Bar Club, London
Wednesday August 29 2012




Tonight, The Dogbones play a gig in London. Well, so what, you might think. The Dogbones quite frequently play gigs in London. But this is something different. This time, the band have left the heavy artillery at home. At this one, for the first time, The Dogbones go acoustic.

Make that mostly acoustic. There's still an electric bass in the line-up. But, for the rest of it, there's an acoustic guitar (which, if its race number is any guide, still goes up to eleven), two drums (and two drummers), and a xylophone. Conjure some rock 'n' roll out of that, if you can.

And they do. Well, there was never really any doubt, was there? The Dogbones could probably conjure rock 'n' roll out of two baked bean tins and a length of string. But tonight we get to hear the band's songs stripped of all the roaring racketry, freak-outs and flailing that usually accompanies a Dogbones performance.

Tonight, the songs stand on their own merits. And they stand pretty tall. Who knew that 'All Your Friends Are Going To Kill You' was such a plaintive, lilting thing? Who could guess that, shorn of its customary crash and batter, 'Everybody Thinks You Are Strange' would take on such a wistful gleam? The Dogbones suddenly reinvent themselves as pensive troubadour champions of the, er, underdog. Which has always been the band's stance, of course, but tonight it's particularly noticeable how many Dogbones songs take the part of the outsider, the weirdos on the fringe, those that never quite fitted in.

The band still bring the beat, mind. The customary twin drummer assault might be a little muted tonight, but it's still there. And vocalist Nomi Leonard is still a trash-vogue diva in her thrift shop glam rags and Elvis Presley shades, giving it the spunky swagger at the very edge of the bookshelf which serves as the 12 Bar Club's stage. They might have allowed their sensitive side out to play tonight, but The Dogbones are still The Dogbones.

The Dogbones

'Goodbye Miss Jane' is a downright tearjerker in its understated acoustic arrangement, but 'The World Will Never Understand You' still manages to exude an air of defiance - all the more so, in fact, because the absence of amplified noise emphasises the song's status as an anthem for square pegs in a round hole world.

It says much for the band that they can remove their signature element, the one thing everyone knows them for - their full-on rock-band blast - and reveal an unexpectedly affecting quietude lurking in their songs. And yet The Dogbones still come across as entirely themselves. Outsiders of the world, be glad they're your champions.


The Dogbones: MySpace | Facebook

For more photos from this gig, find The Dogbones by name here.

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