DOGSTAR ROSE AND CO TAKE CENTRE STAGE
After wandering around the new gallery space in this not long established hospitality mecca (if you haven’t already been, it’s an architectural wonderment, like a reverse TARDIS – red brick giant on the outside, cosy chill nest on the inside) I was drawn towards a soothing soft rock sound spilling from the lobby.
In the foyer of this new arts and leisure hub, in front of a many armed sculpture of the Hindu God Ganesh, lead vocalist Dogstar Rose fronted her 3-piece ensemble on vocals and guitar, in a short pink bob and a cat suit with white pointy feline ears to complete the look. It was a suitably surreal scene for the evening’s proceedings.
The vibe was warm and mellow and the music Futurejack played perfectly complimented the setting of laid back art lovers and evening guests kicking back to enjoy the exotic fruits on offer at the hotel bar. Spirits were flowing.
With definite elements
of art punk, riot grrl and that thick cushioned guitar sound epitomised in the best of early 90’s grunge they reminded me of bands like Throwing Muses or a less harsh Bikini Kill, with a smattering of the gyspy punk thrown in for good measure. Dogstar’s solid and sometimes snarling vocals sound like a more polished Patti Smith and she oozes passion and conviction with every word.
‘Wish You Well’ is my favourite. It’s a ballsy love song with growling versus and soft cooed verse whilst ‘Thin Disguise’ is a delicately plucked but discordant lullaby with haunting vocals and ghost-like reverb. ‘Read My Lips’ is a fast paced romp through twisted-country punk basslines and pounding drums. Dogstar Rose shows here especially that she’s no delicate flower, she’s got thorns and bite.
Futurejack have been together since September 2010 and as of yet are unsigned but their tracks are definitely worth a listen. Alternatively you could catch them live in Manchester or Liverpool as they are usually busy gigging on the local circuit.