The Dogs D'Amour

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The Dogs D'Amour
Origin London, England
Genres Glam punk
Rock & roll
Blues rock
Hard rock
Glam rock
Years active 1983–1991
1992–1994
2000
2002–present
Labels China Records (previous)
Associated acts The Jacobites, The Wildhearts, Shooting Gallery, L.A. Guns
Members Tyla
Steve James
Jo "Dog" Almeida
Bam Bam
Past members Ned Christie
Nick Halls
Karl Watson
Dave Kusworth
Paul Hornby
Mark Drax
Yella
Mark Duncan
Darrell Bath
Tony Manno
Nate Arling
Adam Arling
Rich Jones
Neil Leyton
Tom Spencer
Share Ross
Simon Hanson

The Dogs D'Amour are a rock and roll band formed in 1983 in London, England. Over the years the band has had various line-ups, the only constant being vocalist Tyla.

The band found a measure of success in the United Kingdom during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In terms of chart positions, their highest charting album was their 1989 release, A Graveyard of Empty Bottles, which reached #16 on the UK chart. Their most successful single was "Satellite Kid" which reached #26.

In 1991, the band broke up onstage, before reforming briefly in the early 1990s for the release of their sixth studio album More Unchartered Heights of Disgrace. After this, however, the most famous incarnation of the band ceased to exist. There was another brief reunion in 2000 and an album, but, throughout the 2000s, Tyla has been touring and releasing albums under the band name, which is vastly different from their older material.

In December 2012 the 'classic' line-up of Tyla, Jo 'Dog' Almeida, Steve James and Bam agreed to reform to play a series of benefit concerts for their long-time friend, and former bandmate, Paul Hornby. In January 2013, the band recorded an E.P. in Florida and have announced live dates for the UK and Spain.

Style[edit]

The music of the Dogs D'Amour can be described as a mixture of The Rolling Stones and Faces-style blues rock and Hanoi Rocks-style glam punk. Unlike popular bands of the time, who often had misogynistic themes, the Dogs D'Amour relied more on romantic themes and a poetic lyrical style. Tyla was also a huge fan of Charles Bukowski, and many of his lyrics, delivered with an impelling throaty rasp, were tinged with humorous irony and pathos, reflecting Bukowski's prosaic style.

The Dogs' sound was firmly rooted in American blues music, and Jo Almeida's unique and distinctive slide guitar was reminiscent of blues masters like Lightnin' Hopkins and Charlie Patton. The Dogs began to show a strong country & western side on 1989's Errol Flynn (released as King Of The Thieves in the United States), a few years before alt-country came into vogue.

Tyla is also an accomplished artist and his distinctive artwork graced the covers of all the Dogs D'Amour albums and singles. Tyla's artistic style has evolved with every release, progressing from pure comic strip caricatures to elegant semi-abstract depictions in pastel and watercolour.

Biography[edit]

The origins of the band can be traced to The Bordello Boys,[1] formed in late 1982 by Tyla. An American vocalist who was staying in England at the time, Ned Christie (real name Robert Stoddard), was brought into the project and he gave the band the name The Dogs D'Amour, and co-wrote many early songs with Tyla. Guitarist Nick Halls, bass guitarist Karl Watson and drummer Bam completed the line-up.

The Dogs D'Amour played around fifty live shows during this era and recorded on two separate sessions. On the strength on the second, the band was signed to a record deal with Kumibeat Records from Finland. However, shortly before the band was scheduled to record their first album, Christie left the band in late 1983 because of musical differences with guitarist Tyla.

Another reason for the split was that Christie had recently started another band with Bam called On The Wire and had his own recording commitments scheduled with that band, around the same time that the Dogs D'Amour were due to record their own first album. The entire line-up with the exception of Tyla and Watson left the band during this time.

The State We're In: Tyla rebuilds the band[edit]

Tyla took over on lead vocals (while still playing guitar) to replace Ned Christie and recorded the band's first album, The State We're In, in early 1984. Dave Kusworth and Paul Hornby were brought in on guitar and drums respectively. Hornby had been a founding member of another London band, The Quireboys, earlier in the year.

The following year, the band returned from Finland to England and supported Johnny Thunders who was touring for the Que Sera, Sera album at the time. Original Dogs' drummer Bam came back to replace Hornby, and Jo "Dog" Almeida took over from Kusworth on guitar when he left to form The Jacobites with Nikki Sudden.

The Dogs D'Amour then signed a contract with a Japanese label Watanabe, but did not release any material with them. More changes came during this period when, bass guitarist Karl Watson left and was replaced by Mark Duncan. However, Duncan's stay in the band was only very brief and he gave way for Swiss bass guitarist Mark Drax for a tour in Paris, France.

The classic era: late 1980s, early 1990s[edit]

A more permanent bass guitarist was recruited by 1987. Steve James was part of what would be known as the "classic" Dogs line-up which also included Tyla, Jo "Dog" Almeida and Bam. This line-up signed a record deal with China Records in 1988.[2]

The band released its second album In The Dynamite Jet Saloon in 1988. Essentially, this is the album that introduced the British general public to the band. It contained singles such as "The Kid From Kensington", "I Don't Want You To Go" and "How Come It Never Rains?", all of which reached the UK Singles Chart top 100.

Unlike the four-year gap between their first and second albums, the Dogs became more prolific, releasing their acoustic mini-LP A Graveyard of Empty Bottles in 1989. This album proved to be the highest charting recording of their career, reaching #16 on the UK Albums Chart. During this year, the band toured with Mick Ronson and Ian Hunter.

Also in 1989, the Dogs released their fourth album, Errol Flynn, the U.S. version of which was titled King of the Thieves for legal reasons. Again, this album charted well in the Dogs' home country, reaching #22. It included what is their most successful single, and perhaps best-known song, "Satellite Kid". In the spring of 1989, they toured the U.S. with Mother Love Bone opening for them.

Another album appeared in 1990 named Straight??!!, but around this time the Dogs had started to fall apart. Tyla had recently split with his wife and the band imploded onstage at a concert in Los Angeles. Tyla slashed his own body with a broken glass bottle and brought an end to the band. He needed 30 stitches for the wound.

With the group disbanded and in shambles in LA, Bam flew back to UK and joined The Wildhearts with Ginger,CJ and Danny and Tyla wrote a poetry book. A year later, the Dogs D'Amour reunited with a new line-up. Jo Almeida, however, decided not to return to the band as guitarist and so Darrell Bath was brought in to replace him. In 1993, the band recorded a new album, ...More Unchartered Heights of Disgrace. It charted well and received favourable reviews. One of the singles from the album was a cover of the Small Faces song "All or Nothing".

By 1994, the Dogs D'Amour had broken up again. The final act of this line-up was the recording of Tyla's solo album The Life And Times Of A Ballad Monger. Although this album was released in the name of Tyla, it includes all of the Dogs D'Amour members from the 1993 line-up.

Activity in the 2000s[edit]

In 2000, The Dogs D'Amour reunited for a short time with a line-up of Tyla, Jo "Dog" Almeida, Bam, and Share Ross (Bam's wife and a former member of Vixen). They released an album Happy Ever After that year, along with a special fan club only release Seconds. They did a tour of Europe and UK opening for Alice Cooper. Bam and Share then left the band and carried on touring and releasing music in their own act entitled Bubble.

Since the short lived reunion, frontman Tyla has moved to Barcelona, Spain, and has focused on his solo career, releasing a number of albums in the 2000s under his own name. He also released two albums under the name The Dogs D'Amour, When Bastards Go To Hell and Let Sleeping Dogs..., in 2004 and 2005 respectively. These, however, are essentially solo albums under a different title, as for the most part they just feature Tyla playing most of the instruments with none of the past Dogs D'Amour members.

Tyla has toured the United States and the United Kingdom under the name Tyla and the Dogs D'Amour in recent times. The United Kingdom tour saw The Yo-Yos (featuring a former member of The Wildhearts) as his backing band.

In April 2011 Tyla releases the re recording of '..in the dynamite jet saloon MMX' As well as being released on cd it is available on double disc gatefold vinyl.

In November 2012 The Dogs D'Amour show in the classic, original line-up was announced in London's Borderline club on 22nd February to help raising funds for their long-time friend, and also former drummer of the band, Paul Hornby. After a quick sell out they added another show in Borderline scheduled on 23rd February along with some other dates in UK and Spain.

In January 2013, the band recorded a few tracks in Florida (at Bam's recording studio). In February the classic Dogs lineup made mentioned live dates.

Members[edit]

Current[edit]

  • Tyla - vocals, guitar
  • Bam - drums, vocals
  • Jo Dog - guitar, vocals
  • Steve James - bass, saxophone, acoustic guitars, harmonica and vocals

Former[edit]

  • Ned Christie - lead vocals
  • Adam Arling - bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Nathan Arling - drums
  • Tony Manno - guitar, backing vocals
  • Nick Halls - guitar
  • Karl Watson - bass guitar
  • Dave Kusworth - guitar, backing vocals
  • Paul Hornby - drums
  • Mark Drax - live bass guitar
  • Mark Duncan - live bass guitar
  • Dave Tregunna - studio bass guitar (recordings 1985 - 1986 only)
  • Darrell Bath - guitar, backing vocals
  • Share Ross - bass, keyboards,vocals
  • Simon Hanson- drums
  • Gary Pennick - guitar
  • Justin Rabbetts (Strange Nature)- live drums for 1995/6 UK, France and Portugal tours
  • Danny McCormack - live bass and backing vocals
  • Tom Spencer - live guitar, live bass
  • Rich Jones - live guitar and backing vocals
  • Neil Leyton - live guitar and backing vocals

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Compilations[edit]

  • (Un)authorized Bootleg Album (1988)
  • Dogs Hits & Bootleg Album (1991)
  • Skeletons: The Best Of... (1997)
  • Heart Shaped Skulls (best of '88-'93) (2004)

EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

This list of singles only contains ones which entered the charts. For information on all singles released please see specific album's articles.

Title Date of Release UK Chart Position
The Kid from Kensington 1988 88
I Don't Want You to Go 78
How Come It Never Rains 1989 44
Satellite Kid 26
Trail of Tears 47
Victims of Success 1990 36
Empty World 61
Back on the Juice 97
All or Nothing
(Small Faces cover)
1993 53

References[edit]

External links[edit]