Amidst the smoking ruin of our sanities lay the force that brought us to our knees: Hey Bulldog.
It all started so innocently: they were part of the set for Astral Elevator 8, Manchester’s best psych night and warmest welcome. The location was The Eagle Inn, backstreet olde-worlde boozer down a Salford back-street. An odd location for a tornado. Just three men on stage, so far, so innocuous. But then the music started and all hell descended.
Hey Bulldog play an aggressive, yet slinky form of guitar attack. Here and there, thoughts of bands from Gang Of Four to Dead Kennedys to BRMC sprung up and from the contemporary scene, Two Skies. This was pure physical energy, music to corrode your bones and make you dance. An irresistible force.
Frontman Rob, Cuban heeled swagger-jet* and deadly riff dealer is our rock star hero. Riffs fly like lashes of a burning whip. Everything sounds cosmic, incendiary, unstoppable and euphoric. The crowd braces itself against the mighty onslaught of sounds, clinging on at the roots trying not to be blown away, like a dandelion in a gale. This, friends, this is everything that rock music could have been.
Drummer Ben, reigning and furious like a speed-freak octopus is a blur of arms, shifting out of the capacity of the human eye. Whether it’s holding a rock steady groove or bursting into expansive, showman style acts of legerdemain he’s a Tasmanian devil on a leash. If the other two walked off stage for a ciggy, you’d be perfectly happy to just stand and watch this dude drum.
The bass, provided by Matt, was a series of calculated gut-punches, reminiscent of Steve Hanley at his peak. Other bass players are buried deep in the sound, with just three guys there is nowhere to hide and Matt steps up to the mantle with a swashbuckling display that proved that bass is what separates us from the animals.
Everyone survived, just.
If Hey Bulldog are coming your way, risk your neck and head into the danger zone…
*They may not have been cuban heels…