LIVE REVIEW: Ferocious Dog at Boiler Shop, Newcastle upon Tyne

LIVE REVIEW: Ferocious Dog at Boiler Shop, Newcastle upon Tyne
Credit: Iam Burn

Ferocious Dog hit Newcastle upon Tyne on the eve of Guy Fawkes night on their Never Too Late for Hope tour. The band must have got the memo and arrived duly armed with a vast array of musical fireworks, which they let loose upon a large, enthusiastic Boiler Shop audience.

As soon as the Nottinghamshire six-piece hit the stage, it was clear it was going to be a night of ferocious energy – figuratively and literally. The band opened with the slow building ‘Port Isaac’ before tearing into ‘Haul Away Joe’. The audience sparked into life. Energy flowed. The tone was set for what was to come.

Nick Wragg
Credit: Iam Burn

‘Pentrich Rising’, ‘Victims’ and ‘Broken Soldier’ followed in quick succession. These are the opening five tracks from their well-received 2021 album The Hope. The pace continued unabated. When the band played the opening notes of ‘Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya’, the crowd erupted into a fit of spontaneous leaping, bouncing and arm waving. The place was truly rocking. No stimulants are required here.

We were given a breather when Dan Booth stepped forward to take over vocal duties to sing the beautifully poignant ‘A & B’. Talk about being put through the emotional wringer. Normal service was resumed immediately, with Ken Bonsall jumping back on the mic for ‘Sea Shepherd’.

Ferocious Dog performing live at Boiler Shop, Newcastle upon Tyne
Credit: Iam Burn

Ferocious Dog does not shy away from politics and injustice in their music. ‘Sea Shepherd’ is a fine example of this. Sea Shepherd is an organisation which aims to protect marine wildlife worldwide. The organisation had a stall at the venue, along with a van taking food collections for Newcastle West End Foodbank. The band arrange these collections at all their shows. Well played, lads. Or I should say, well played, me ducks.

It was great to see such a mix of people at this gig. The “Hell Hounds” (as fans of the band are known) are an eclectic mix, all dancing and singing together. Everyone seemed to share two passions: one was the love of the band. And judging by the roar that erupted when Bonsall shouted, “F**k the Tories”, there were not many fans of the Conservative Party in the room. Another shared passion.

Ferocious Dog
Credit: Iam Burn

The show careered along at breakneck speed into the four-song encore. The second song was the stunning, anthemic song ‘The Hope’. A song that slowly builds to a crescendo and tugs at the heartstrings. Performed live, it was an emotional experience as the crowd hung on every word sung and note played. The finale of ‘Slow Motion Suicide’ brought the house down. A strong song to end with – reminiscent of Stiff Little Fingers and Green Day put in a blender, then served with an Oysterband side salad.

Ferocious Dog performing live at Boiler Shop, Newcastle upon Tyne
Credit: Iam Burn

As the lights went up and the music came back on, ‘Nellie the Elephant’ by Toy Dolls began to waft out of the speakers. Bonsall stayed on stage to conduct a sing-a-long/dance-a-long with the audience. It made sure everyone left with a massive smile on their chops.

There are a lot of challenges for people right now. Life is tough. But if bands like Ferocious Dog, with their passion, anger and energy, still roam the earth, it will never be too late for hope.

Ferocious Dog
Credit: Iam Burn

Set List

Port Isaac

Haul Away Joe

Pentrich Rising


Broken Soldier

Black Gold

Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya

Poor Angry and Young


Sea Shepherd

Exiled Life (The Chase)



Slayed The Traveller

Punk Police

Born Under Punches


Crime and Punishment


Parting Glass

The Hope

Gallows Justice

Slow Motion Suicide


Xsnoize Author
Iam Burn 15 Articles
Iam Burn is a photographer based in the North East of England. Fave bands: R.E.M, The Lovely Eggs, Half Man Half Biscuit, Madness, Inspiral Carpets, Billy Bragg, The Pogues, The Proclaimers, The Ukrainians, They Might Be Giants, The Chats, Matt Berry, Lead Belly, Grace Petrie, The Beautiful South, Carter USM… and many more! Favourite album: Impossible to choose but Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables by Dead Kennedys is pretty awesome. Most embarrassing record still in my collection: Hole in my Shoe by Neil.

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