Review: Dog Fashion Disco @ Camden Barfly, 05.09.14 / 06.09.14 / 07.09.14
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR MUSIC NEWS
Dog Fashion Disco are loved. Unequivocally. There may be bands commanding grossly inflated audience numbers in comparison, and they will almost certainly never be headlining stadiums, but the loyalty they engender from the devoted crowds assembled at Barfly this weekend worshipping every note cannot be underestimated.
This was only the second time DFD have graced the UK with their presence (after a record company sponsored promo trip in 2001), though that is not a choice they made lightly. These shows have only happened thanks to the gift of crowdfunding, with the diehards raising $88,000 to make a new album (Sweet Nothings, released back in July), a music video and a trip to London. And even then, there’s the sense they’re skinting themselves to make this happen for the fans.
Those fans include people from all across Europe, and further still: one fan came all the way from Iran, no less. With such a build up, could what happened on stage live up to the wait?
The short answer is yes. And then some. The six man line up – vocalist Todd Smith, guitarist Jasan Stepp, bassist Brian White, drummer John Ensminger, keyboardist Tim Swanson and saxophonist Matt Rippetoe are note perfect across the three nights and various genres they inhabit, appearing as their own support acts (and side projects) Polkadot Cadaver and El Creepo, as well as DFD itself.
Set lists varied material from over a dozen studio albums each night, with Friday favouring the more experimental, singalong side of their work, Saturday focusing on the heavier numbers and Sunday aiming somewhere inbetween. That the band relearned 60 tracks for this run is no mean feat, and the crowds lapped it up, singing along to every word, bouncing and moshing in complete harmony.
In fact, the whole experience was one of warmth, from the band’s willingness to be out front to meet fans, to total strangers bonding in the audience as if they had known each other for years. Everyone seemed so surprised the band were here, presumably for one time only, and appeared to want to make the most of it: so much so that by Sunday Todd was telling everyone he could he wants to come back every year.
And not a soul would complain if they did. The sooner the better.