I remember the first time I knew about The Dogs D’Amour. I think it was 1991. Yeah, 22 years ago, I was reallly small. The walls in my hometown were literally papered with the posters announcing their show. I felt in love with the logo and the name, combining English and French was super classy, The Dogs D’Amour. Admit it, it sounds pretty cool, as cool as Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction repeating “Royale With Cheeeeze”. Well, something like that.
I also have in mind some article published on the local newspaper promoting the upcoming show and revisiting the albums the band published “Errol Flynn” “A Graveyard of Empty Bottles” or “In the Dynamite Jet Saloon”. It was as if a bunch of outlaws or pirates had joined to form the group. They had the appearance, the attitude, the name, and the songs. I couldn’t make it for the show. Nobody accepted to attend it with me, and since I was young and not so brave, I decided not to go on my own. Not that I regret it nowadays, but thinking the way I am now, I should have known earlier I’d attend many shows by myself in the future, and perhaps The Dogs’ show could have been my first.
It took me three more years to listen to their albums though, as I didn’t know anyone who liked this band and could introduce me to them, and I was so short of money, when I could get an album I always chose something I was into at that time. Till I found Joe, my former musical Master (I’m glad to know he’s nowadays reading this blog and has admitted digging bands I talk about here, as if sharing knowledge back). He opened the gates to the Dogs’ comic and rock world, full western imagery, heroes and classic characters.
The Dogs D’Amour were part of a particular British rock scene, combining glam with hard rock and recovering classics such as The Faces and punk icons such as Johnny Thunders…scarves, vests, bandanas, accessories such as rings, pocket watches, eye liner and nail polish…they were classy.
When talking about the Dogs it’s impossible not to think of Hanoi Rocks, The Quireboys or The Jacobites, playing in same league so to speak.
Well, a couple of months ago some tour dates with the original line up of the band, Tyla, Jo Dog, Bam and Steve James, were confirmed, including few cities in Spain. The more reunions I’m witnessing the less I trust them, and considering the sad episodes of Tyla’s intense alcoholism, cancelations of shows and other stuff, I wasn’t so sure of being motivated enough as to attend the show. But I did. I had to, after so many years, and also because my soul bro and a great bunch of friends had confirmed they were going. Thus, trying not to think the show was scheduled on Tuesday, the show became an exercise of nostalgia, friends reunion and a plain and wonderful rock evening.
The band sounded solid enough, Tyla’s voice is definitely fucked up, yet he managed to low the songs as to perform correct and, even though the band wasn’t completely uninhibited nor relaxed, you could feel the good vibes, plus this time, the packed audience seemed to be very in the mood of warming up the show and enjoy, at least in the first rows where I was located.
The set list was a blast. Enjoying songs such as Last Bandit, I Don’t Want You To Go, Billy Two Rivers or Victims of Success, was terrific.
The oldest folks who had the possibility of living their live shows back in the day were a bit disappointed, but most of us just focused in the great time we had all together. It was a celebration of rock.
As for the future of the Dogs, to be honest I don’t expect anything constant, and don’t need it either. They had their time and their scene, they’ve changed and grown old, we’ve also changed and are older, and speaking for myself, there’s a universe of unknown great bands waiting for me to get crazy with them as to keep on waiting for Tyla and the band to release new stuff. I had to attend the show, I felt obliged after so many years, but once the target was accomplished, I feel like I gotta move forward. But I will be able to say I saw the band with that cool name I felt so curious about when I was a kid.
** By the way, do you think I’m crazy if I admit Ginger and Tyla have like physical features quite alike? I thought of the red haired genius several times during the show.