Acts: Metatone/The Lost Dogs
Venue: Dreadnought Rock, Bathgate
Date: 7 August 2021
22 February 2020 was my last pre-lockdown gig and little did any of us know how long we’d have to wait before the return of live music. A string of cancelled, postponed and re-arranged gigs piled up as disappointment followed disappointment and you wondered if you were ever going to see another live show. So finally, after a 532 day wait, I was once again standing in a venue watching live music. It was quite an emotional moment if I’m honest. Meeting friends and going to a gig, one of life’s simple pleasures but it took on an extra significance after so long away.
My last gig was a strange affair when I took a trip to see the excellent Tomorrow Syndicate at a community event at the Porty Wash House in Edinburgh and tonight’s was also a little odd as it was still a socially-distanced event with allocated tables, masks, table service etc. but no one cared about the minor things we were back to see live music, and any inconveniences were a small price to pay.
First band up were Metatone, a three piece who were promoting their recently released 6 track Metatone 45 EP. All 6 tracks got played in EP order tonight in a nine song set. Their sound hovers around the more garage/punk side of grunge but veers off in different directions along the way. Highlights were Vices, with a chorus that has a touch of Weezer about it, the relentless drive of Forty Five, the more laid back Apocalypse and the epic closer Sky Is which even allowed guitarist Andy Colliar to throw some shapes as the song came to a close. Given this was their first live appearance since lockdown the band shook off the cobwebs to deliver a most enjoyable reintroduction to live music.
Tonight’s headline band, The Lost Dogs, are mainly a Seattle sound tribute band but not exclusively. They throw in other bands of that era like Rage Against the Machine, Faith No More and Jane’s Addiction and you can argue amongst yourselves if you categorise San Diego’s Stone Temple Pilots as grunge or not but they did have a few great songs in that period. The band don’t mess about and go straight into the Pilots’ Sex Type Thing and sets the tone for the evening. Many highlights follow with plenty singing along to In Hiding, Dam that River, Interstate Love Song and Faith No More’s Epic and From Out of Nowhere.
As any self-respecting fan of music around that time in Seattle will tell you there was an extraordinary diversity of bands who came through and were tagged with the grunge label and that these bands had an equally extraordinary range of singers. From Eddie Vedder to Chris Cornell to Layne Stayley to Kurt Cobain and many others. The fact that vocalist Colin Rodger can go on a run of singing Alice In Chains’ Would to Pearl Jam’s Rearviewmirror to Smashing Pumpkins’ Cherub Rock and Soundgarden’s Outshined and make it look so easy is testament to his vocal ability.
The whole band could switch gears and style effortlessly and, like Metatone, didn’t seem rusty after all those months of hibernation.
It was really a night everyone needed, singing along to bona fide rock classics while some even attempted to chair dance. An interesting phenomenon of the socially-distanced gig. Some of us were lucky enough to find a corner where we could stand and for want of a better phrase, ‘rock out’. We’d been denied this for so long and we weren’t going to let the moment pass. The crowd loved the set and it was noticeable during the breakdown of Rearviewmirror that people were taking it up a notch and the band responded. Killing in the Name Of had the crowd reliving its youth before the set closed after two hours. The time just flew by, with the ‘grunge’ classics of Alive and Smells Like Teen Spirit still sounding as great today as they did when we first heard them 30 years ago. Although, sadly, a lot of the big players of the Seattle scene are no longer with us, their music has stood the test of time, and then some. The Lost Dogs do their music justice and more power to them. For years I was never much of a fan of tribute bands but I’m now driving the tribute band tour bus and look forward to the next time I can catch The Lost Dogs.
Live music is back. How we’ve missed you.
A special mention to the Dreadnought Rock, Scotland’s longest running rock venue and surprisingly my first visit. Friendly and efficient staff and were always on hand to provide a continuous supply of drinks when required. It won’t be my last visit.
As a footnote to this gig, both bands will be playing a charity event called Grungefest on 9 October 2021 at the Classic Grand in Glasgow. 17 bands, both tribute and original bands, will be playing between 4pm and midnight for the outrageously low price of £30.
All proceeds will go to Diabetes UK. This event has been organised by the Sounds of Seattle Facebook group.
Get Grungefest tickets HERE.
Sounds of Seattle Facebook Group
Keep up with what The Lost Dogs are doing HERE.
Get the Metatone EP from HERE.
Follow Metatone on Facebook HERE.