To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first release, Dodgy took to their tour bus and played both their first and latest album back to back and in their entirety at nine venues across the UK.
The gigs were recorded and the resulting live album is due for release on 23rd November with a classy launch at London’s Jazz Café.
Find Clair’s interview with Dodgy below.
Louder Than War: The Back to Back tour was a great success. What were the best and worst bits?
Mathew Priest: With the Back to Back tour, I don’t think we realised the size of the task until the night of our first gig in Brecon. Two albums, separated by 20 years, played in their entirety back to back. Yeah, I know that’s a walk in the park to the Springsteens of this world, but to us it was quite daunting.
We played 9 dates in all and every single one was different. We knew it was a tough ticket to sell – the two albums we were playing (Dodgy’s debut The Dodgy Album and their most recent, Stand Upright In A Cool Place) were our least commercially successful albums – but then a sound business sense is not what we’re known for.
Prior to the tour, as a band, we felt we had been turning in some amazing performances, so we made sure that we recorded every show with the intention of choosing the best performances for this live album we’re releasing. It turned out that almost every track is from the gig we did in Leeds. It was a very special night though. And yes, it was tempting to call the album, Live at Leeds, but we resisted.
The Live album is about to be released. What is planned for the launch gig?
I’ve always loved the Jazz Cafe as a venue, it’s quite intimate and it’s a perfect location, I saw Gil Scott Heron there, and Richie Havens. When they asked us if we fancied playing there we jumped at the chance, as it coincided perfectly with the release of this live album.
It promises to be a proper night too. I believe the Dodgy Family are making special trips from all corners of the UK. Yeah, it’s always highly memorable when those guys turn up.
What are the biggest differences between Dodgy 2013 and Dodgy 1993?
We’re certainly a hell of a lot wiser, more confident and more relaxed, and we’re much better writers, players and singers. The only thing we don’t have as much of is time, even though we like to take our time a lot more.
So, what plans do you have for 2014?
Well we’ve just been offered a new record deal, which has come at the perfect time as we’re ready to record the new album. We’re really eager to get it down; the new songs are probably the best songs we’ve written – even better than Stand Upright in a Cool Place, if that’s possible.
It’s also the 20th anniversary of our Homegrown album next year so we might well be celebrating that somehow. We’re also heading into Europe for some dates, the first since we got back together so it’s shaping up to be a busy year.
And finally, what are you listening to this week Math?
A right old mixture as usual! I like the new Arctic Monkeys album (though I’m not a fan of them cancelling shows after a night out). Ooh, what else have I been playing a lot? Jagwar Ma, Black Sabbath, Nic Jones and Maria Callas. There we go!
It would be ace if the new Dodgy record sounded like a mixture of those …
All words by Clair Chapman. More writing by Clair on Louder Than War can be found at her author’s archive.