Dog Is Dead supported by Beans On Toast, we’re not quite sure how these two ended up touring together as they couldn’t be more different. Gravel-throated, four-hundred-fags-a-day Beans On Toast followed by fresh-faced Nottingham fivesome Dog Is Dead. We’re not complaining mind, as both are firm favourites after seeing them at numerous festivals over the summer.
Half the crowd here don’t look old enough to drink, and there are a fair few parents here with their kids. Nothing wrong with that, but after Beans On Toast’s ‘M.D.M.Amazing’ all those anti drugs lessons at school seem to have been undone and the parents in the room don’t look too amused. We’re not saying drugs are big and clever, but Beans On Toast certainly does a good job of selling their benefits. Chucking in a tune about Jimmy Savile and a few more festival and drugs tunes of course, the parents may not be keen but he’s sure to have gained a few fans tonight.
Their recent album release may have been overshadowed a little by fellow Notter Jake Bugg, but really, theirs is the Nottingham album you need to be listening to. Starting off with album opener ‘Get Low’ with its snaking bassline, easing people into things before the room goes mad for ‘Talk Through the Night’. Backed up with a gospel choir for the night, early single ‘River Jordan’ which is apparently their “rock song” sees jumping all the way to the back in an attempt to outdo Brighton who have been the most nuts crowd of the tour, until now. ‘Do the Right Thing’ is a good old indie stomp-along. It gets the crowd moving and everybody forgetting that it’s a Wednesday night and we all have work (or school) tomorrow. They don’t let the pace slow though and ‘Two Devils’ highlights their amazing knack at busting out a good harmony. Not ours or the rest of the crowd’s though as 500 odd folk attempt “whooo ooooh ooooh ohhh ohh oooohh”, this song is crying out to be played to a venue much larger than Scala, and we don’t doubt that it will be.
Back on his own for an encore is frontman Robert Milton with a solo rendition of b-side ‘The Well’, it’s not long before all five of them are back though all crowding round the one mic silencing Scala with their luscious harmonies. They seem to have left behind the chirpy brass sound that defined their early demos and dare we say it, found a more mature sound, but mature doesn’t mean you can’t have huge sing-along choruses. Set closer ‘Glockenspiel Song’ is one of the early demos revamped and it sounds big tonight, really big, with its chant of “We are a mess, we are failures, and we love it”. With a sound beyond their years and reminiscent of Bombay Bicycle Club and ‘Wall of Arms’ era Maccabees but a lot more fun, we’re already looking forward to what Dog Is Dead come out with next.
A triumphant last night of the tour of ‘All Our Favourite Stories’, one thing’s for sure, those stories will be a lot less innocent after a month on the road with Beans On Toast.
Words by Paul Melbourne