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Dogs Without Collars
A triumph of delusion over reality
As not seen on Richard and Judy and not heard on Radio 2, but featured on Radio Solent
Photos from 2011

The Dogs WITH Collars Gig

It was a cold December afternoon on the open air stage in the middle of Bournemouth, but the heaters in the ceiling (and a cup of tea) kept us warm on the S&D Leisure Stage, next to the Café. A couple of hours of Doggie-Hits (well, the songs we like to play) with people passing by and stopping when they spotted the collars (kept on for the occasion) and the powerpoint slide which assured them "Yes, we are real Vicars". Considering the fact that it was perishingly cold, we had no sound check it wasn't bad. Featured songs in the set were the festive additions of "Merry Xmas Everybody" and "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" played in two keys - at the same time. And Rose - our favourite fan - thanks for coming to see us!

The Gig Where Geoff Was Early

The traditional cry of "Where's Geoff and Laurie" about half an hour before the gig was replaced by a smiling Geoff, who arrived with Dave to help set up in the fabulous village hall at Leigh (pronounced "lie" not "leigh", but then this is Dorset ...). As for the gig, there were two broken strings and the impressive bass playing of Andy Ellis, standing in for Laurie, who was away somewhere doing something religious. Thanks Lie, Leigh or whatever ...

The Gig With Alex's Exploding Birthday Cake

Last year, Laurie visited Kibera, the massive slum on the edge of Nairobi in Kenya, and when a spare gig date appeared, asked if we could raise money for the work there - £800 was raised by the gig and Guest of the night was Alex, whose birthday it was and who asked that people gave money to Kibera rather than presents for him (tut, the youth of today, what are they like?). We marked Alex's birthday with an exploding birthday cake (see the photo below) and singing Happy Birthday to him - not the most successful of attempts as he was outside in the car park at the time. Trouper of the night was Geoff who overcame a minimal throat with some great vocals. Brought back into the set were "When Love Comes To Town" and "Tiger Feet", which we did amazingly well considering the disaaaster of the sound check. O yes, Clive - we know you have got a cow bell now.

The Gig When "Ain't No Sunshine" Didn't Seem Right

This time, Geoff and Laurie discovered the joys of the A35 on a Friday when "Ain't No Sunshine" was the wrong song to sing - the temperature in the mid 20s and very, very hot gig. Also a bit loud for a couple of the locals (note to self: remind hosts realise that "rock" is also a euphemism for "loud", especially with Tim's guitar set to 11, as it usually is). The additional vocals of "Staying Alive" mashed into "Another Brick in the Wall" added a dimension, and the cowbell got a good airing as well, but most of all, it was one of the most responsive audiences we have ever had - even the ones sitting down joined in with "Hi Ho" and "YMCA" ...

The Gig With the SatNav

Geoff and Laurie discovered the wonders of SatNav, phoning for directions and then doing a U-Turn leading to an 8 mile round trip, only to discover that the U-Turn was taken a few hundred yards from the destination, Ho Hum. As for the gig, "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" made it's debut (with Cow Bell again in evidence, as it was in the Drum Solo), as was a fairly impromptu snippet of "Da Doo Ron Ron" in honour of the imminently departing local Incumbent, whose name ,amazingly is Ron. Great venue in a converted barn, great sound - and possibly one of the tightest gigs we've done. And it made £757 for the appeal - great result all round!

The Gig With The Cow Bell

Apart from this being the gig where the food represented the highest ticket price for Dogs gig and it possibly being the smallest venue we have ever played, the gig saw the arrival of Clive's cow bell, anticipating the arrival of "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" being added to the set list. There was slight concern that the organiser had told people "Think Black Sabbath" which is not really the thought to put into people's heads - and there weren't any bats nearby willing to offer their heads for the occasion anyway. Guest vocalist on "It Must Be Love" and "The Boys Are Back in Town" was local Dog, Rev Peter Greenwood, who demonstrated gusto and a very good voice. Another good evening.

The Gig at 2 Baker Street

So much had changed since we were last at the Saville Hall! This time we had Dave, Laurie and both front speakers. With more lights (except lighting up Tim's words which led to some imaginative lyrical moments) and a great audience from the Playing Field, Football & Cricket clubs, they danced with gusto and loved the new addition of Baker Street, so much so it is now "Baker Street, Baker Street, so good they played it twice".

The Gig When It Didn't Rain

In typical British fashion, all we talked about for two days before the gig was the weather and gazebos - but it didn't rain on this gig outside the Minster. With the episcopal presence (ie a Bishop was in da house), we kept going despite being slightly rusty after a two month lay off, being "jolly" cold - and a buzz resembling a gigantic wasp invaded the speakers during "Dudes". But a great response from everyone and a good evening.

The Gig With The Amazing White Boots

Most gigs are marked out by something - this time it was a pair of white boots which surely required a risk assessment and elevation awareness training. But apart form the odd stumble, the operator coped very well. As for the gig - the stage was a "bit" of a squeeze and led to some close calls involving music going flying. But considering a few weeks layoff between gigs, all things considered, it was a good one ... they danced from song #2 and still cheered for more at the end ... thanks Henry for everything!

The Gig Which We Couldn't Find

Most of us got lost trying to find the venue - but we got there in the end. The audience seemed to be all sat at the back and only a few people wanted to dance, but we got some good comments like "Best night out in a long time", "good choice of songs" and even "good to dance to" - so it can't have been a bad evening! And we had a go at "Don't Bring Me Down" beforehand and that may make it into the set soon. And the beer was good!

The Gig Where Everyone Wore Red

It was either a communist rally which we have stumbled upon or Moreton was having a late Valentines Dinner (probably the latter). Resplendent in red, the room and the great crowd danced on the nice new floor and without the hornets we "fondly" remember from last time.

The Gig With Thelma's Pastys

After a two year break, it was back to our friends in Kinson and a gig to raise money for the maternity unit at Ndop in the Cameroon. With Graham and Laurie perched on their own little stages and Clive (for the second gig in a row) ensconced on his throne in the middle, we began ... or at least we did once the "comprehensive" notices were complete, including the announcement that a First Aider was present (what sort of a gig did they think they had come to?). It was a great gig (one of our better ones) with a re-jigged set list - and the highlight of home made pastys for the band provided by Thelma, our 90 year old groupie.

A Note From Our Sponsor ....
"Don't know how to thank you all enough for such a fantastic evening! It was really brilliant!! Everyone had SUCH a good time. As I looked round, I could see people who are having a rough time at the moment, just forgetting it all for an evening and really enjoying themselves. All that is really almost worth more than the money we raised, but ... it was a fundraising evening! We took £597 after expenses, but as with previous events, we often find more comes in in the following few days. We are really grateful to you!

The Gig Where the Table Nearly Caught Fire

It was off to Chez Geoff for the start of the 2011 Gig Season - the new St Barnabas building is up and running and we filled it with the noise they have come to "love". At St Barnabas it appears they do not use incense but set fire to paper napkins and engage in some curious liturgical dance as they put it out. Anyway, we offered them some new songs including "Is She Really Going Out With Him", "Let Me Entertain You", "Back in the USSR" and Elvis Boland with "Jailhouse Rock/Blue Suede Shoes"... they seemed to like them!