This is where we will feature a different Artist / Band each month

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Postby JohnC on Fri May 01, 2009 9:11 am


Artist / Band Of The Month
May 2009
Lazy Dog

Lazy Dog at Three Counties Showground, Malvern. Thursday 14th August 2008

In 1981 Neil Walker and his cousin Adrian Beale formed their first band, The Flyers. They were both still in their teens and were joined by Adrian’s sister Annette on the drums and bass guitarist Paul Fox. The band played a selection of Rock n’ Roll, Rockabilly, and sixties music by artists such as Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. They would rehearse at the local Pavilion Hotel next to the speedway track in Long Eaton, Notts, and this was the home of the long established country music club, The Silver Wheel, which was run by Ben Brocklehurst and his wife Carol.

One night, Neil and Adrian went to the club to see local band Adey’s Hardware Company, when Ben asked them if they wanted to play a couple of songs during the interval. After running home to fetch their guitars they plugged into the bands gear and played the only four Country numbers they knew.

In the audience that night was another local club organiser known as “Hoss” who told them if they could play three sets of Country Music he would book them at his club. The Silver Wheel Express Country Music Band was born. After several rehearsals they were ready for their first gig for Hoss at the Ponderosa Country Music Club. Ben first booked the band on January 22nd 1985 and continued to book them until his retirement from the music scene. The band will always be grateful to Ben and Carol, as they were the first people who believed in their ability.

The band at the time consisted of Neil Walker, Adrian Beale, Andy Gardiner and Ian Voce and remained in this line up until Ian decided to leave the music business and get a “proper job”. There followed a succession of drummers until Andrew Dakin aka Jake Pinto joined the band in 1987, followed by Lisa Keenan on bass and vocals after the departure of Andy Gardiner. Silver Wheel Express changed their name to Lazy Dog. By now Adrian was featuring several instruments including fiddle and mandolin in live shows, and original songs written by Neil were also being included in the band’s sets.


Neil Walker - Lead Vocals, Rythm Guitar

Lazy Dog found survival on the Country Music circuit difficult since their approach was different to most other bands. Whilst they played traditional Country Music they were also quite rocky being influenced by artists such as David Allen Coe and Hank Williams Jnr. There were many venues which refused to book them. The term often used “too rock for country, too country for rock” certainly seemed to stick with the band. However, during this time the band began to build a kind of alternative following which found Lazy Dog’s different approach refreshing and creative.

In 1990 the BBC became interested in the band and took them into the studios at Pebble Mill where they recorded six tracks and were featured on the John Tainton Show in the West Midlands. This airplay lead to the BBC sound crew recording the band at a venue in Stock-on- Trent known as Bidds. The majority of this recording became the bands first cassette “Live at Bidds”.

Eventually the scene caught up with Lazy Dog and their style of music was accepted as country and their popularity increased along with their bookings. In 1994 Lisa left the band and Simon Timperley took her place. It was at this time that Lazy Dog headlined their first major European Festival and took the Walterswil Festival in Switzerland by storm. Twelve months later Roger Allen came in on lead guitar and made the band a 5 piece for the first time. At this time Simon Timperley was replaced by Chris Nelson on bass, who had previously worked with Roger in a rock band called “No Witness”. Lazy Dog with twin lead guitars worked extremely well, defying the new influx of line dance music and country music acts with backing tracks, favouring the old fashioned method of plugging guitars into amps using real drums and playing real live country music. Another CD, Lazy Dog, was released with five songs written by Neil, Chris and Roger and the remaining nine by Neil. This CD was closely followed by “Almost Live” featuring many songs from their live set.

Chris Nelson - Bass Guitar

Throughout 1996 the band toured relentlessly in the UK and had an appearance on Channel 4’s Big Breakfast with Kenny Rogers. At about this time Chris and Bev Jackson of Americana Promotions, were bringing acts such as The Joe Ely Band, Terry Allen, BR549 and The Dead Reckoners to Britain and the band were honoured to be asked by Chris to support these acts at his venues. Things were going well when Jake and Adrian decided it was time to leave the band and strike out on their own. Paul Thomson became the new drummer and the Keyboard and Harmonica player, known only as Rondo also arrived. Paul had been playing professionally for many years and toured Europe extensively with White Plains and backing some big name American soul stars. He also played a summer season in Les Dawsons band.

The group continued performing and released their fourth album, Ruff Cuts, which was recorded live at Barnburgh Working Men’s Club near Doncaster. The Dogs continued to tour and were invited to play in the Shetland Isles and then played alongside Kenny Johnson and Northwind and the Picasso Brothers on a memorable four-day cruise to Bilbao. Throughout the whole cruise there were persistent gales and storms which reached force 11. Despite illness being widespread all three bands made the stage and performed professionally. The band returned to a four piece when Rondo left. Still the band continued to successfully tour and play most major Country Music Festivals. The year 2000 saw the release of their album, Chasing the Dream. This was followed by, Live at the Red Bandana, recorded in summer 2001, at The Seaham Festival run by Syd (of the Red Bandana Club).

Roger Allen - Lead &amp; Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar

At the beginning of 2002 the band were working on two recording projects, a new album of original material and an acoustic album containing different arrangements of their live set. The acoustic album was released in the spring titled, Homestead, and though starting as an acoustic album became a hybrid of acoustic with a touch of Lazy Dog electric pizzazz. The planned album of original material was subsequently shelved due to performance commitments and time to record.

By autumn it became apparent that Roger was searching for other musical fulfilment and it was decided to replace him. Around the same time it also became apparent that Adrian was looking for new musical direction and it was decided that a return to Lazy Dog would prove beneficial to both parties. This gave the band scope for new ideas and development whilst not losing touch with what Lazy Dog set out to be nearly 20 years ago.

Adrian re-joined the band in February 2003, and the album 'Full Circle' was released. Containing a number of self penned songs and some classic covers, the album was a huge success and paved the way for appearances at almost every major festival in the UK over the following three years. By the autumn of 2005 it became apparent that Adrian was struggling to balance his personal commitments with the amount of work required to keep the band working and in January 2006 a replacement for him was sought.

On the first day of looking, a guitarist called John came to our attention. He lived locally to the band, yet they had never met, but when he played it was obvious he was the man for the job. After a hectic few weeks of rehearsing he was unleashed on the country scene at a small festival in the scottish highlands. Over the easter weekend of 2006 the band recorded the album 'Official Bootleg - Live At Pickering' at the Yorkshire Dales Festival. In the July they backed the legendary American artist Jay Chevalier at the Americana Festival followed by a spot of their own later in the day. As they year came to a close, it was obvious that John was not the man for Lay Dog. Although a good guitarist in his own right, he did not take to the country scene and he played for the last time at a special Christmas party held in the bands home town of Long Eaton. The evening had been billed as Lazy dog and friends and saw all three guitarists playing together for the first and last time.

Paul Thompson - Drums

The band asked Roger to re-join and he agreed to ‘help out’ until we found someone else, and is still there today. His return gave the band the powerful guitar driven sound with superb backing vocals that had been missing. Two albums were released at the beginning and end of 2007. The first was a collection of tracks recorded over a number of years at the Great North Festival. The second was a compilation of the bands BBC recordings, ‘Six of the Best’, and ‘Live at Bidds’, remastered and on CD for the first time.
In the spring of 2008 the band recorded their next studio album containing mainly new covers, which became ‘Roll The Dice’. In the July the band once again backed Jay Chevalier at the Americana Festival.
2009 see’s another busy year for the band. Appearances at the Yorkshire Dales Pickering Festival, Butlins, Americana, The Great North Country Festival, Creetown, and Ayr are interspersed with smaller festivals and club shows. Recording has been started on the next album along with a possible tribute album to their now good friend Jay Chevallier .

Lazy Dog at Pickering Festival 12th April 2009</center>

Contact Details:-

Tel. Neil: 07970 243672 or Chris: 07890 658216


Web site.

John C
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Postby countryrock on Fri May 01, 2009 6:49 pm

Thankyou John for highlighting one of my favourite bands
I have booked them for hopefully June 3rd next year,as they don't get many bookings 'down south' if there is any other clubs out there that would make it a mini tour for them ,it would be great ,please let them or me know
Lazy Dog are totally unique,well done boys xx
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