Kerbdog are an alternative metal band from Kilkenny, Ireland who formed in 1991. Following two albums released on Mercury Records, the band split up in 1998. Since 2005 the band has reformed for a series of occasional one-off performances in Ireland and England. In 2012, a live album entitled “Congregation” was recorded and is scheduled for release in October 2014.
- 1 History
- 2 Discography
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Originally named 'Rollercoaster', Kerbdog were formed in 1991 by Cormac Battle (vocals/guitar), Colin Fennelly (bass guitar) and Darragh Butler (drums) while attending Kieran's College secondary level school. The band went on to obtain their Leaving Certificates, but they devoted their energies to music rather than studies. Their early live shows primarily consisted of cover versions of songs by Sonic Youth, Loop, Spaceman 3 and Fudge Tunnel. Rollercoaster spent a year in London, but they failed to win much interest from the UK music press and returned to Kilkenny.
Billy Dalton joined the band in early 1992 as a second guitarist and his fondness for heavy metal acts Metallica and Slayer complemented Battle's fascination with the British and New York underground. The songs that resulted from the disparate influences of the band's primary members were visceral and cerebral. Realising that they had a potential for success with the band, Cormac, Colin, and Darragh dropped out of college and Billy left his job as a truck driver with his family's prosperous milling company.
The group changed their name to Kerbdog in honour of a Californian BMX team that they were "obsessed with".
"We were really into BMX as kids and those guys were our heroes" Darragh Butler - Kilkenny People newspaper, 2010
After supporting Therapy? in Kilkenny's New Park Inn (since demolished) in February 1992, the band suggested that Kerbdog record and send off a demo to the record companies. The foursome recorded their first demo in Dublin that Summer (two songs of which later appeared as b-sides on their debut Vertigo Records single "Earthworks"). A second demo was recorded in December and yielded the version of "Earthworks" that became the aforementioned single:
"We weren't expecting to hear anything from anyone, but we had 22 labels get back to us. It was just insane. We had to split them into two days, so we met 11 sets of record company executives a day in the Pumphouse. We were just kids and there they were pulling up in their limos to meet us" Darragh Butler - Kilkenny People newspaper, 2010
Debut album (1993-1995)
In early 1993, Kerbdog signed with Mercury Records subsidiary Vertigo Records. That summer, Kerbdog recorded their self-titled debut album at Rockfield Studios in Wales, during which time Sepultura were also there recording their 1993 album Chaos A.D. The album was produced by Jack Endino, who helped cement the Seattle grunge sound along with Sub Pop. Whilst recording, Kerbdog were also planning a major tour of the British clubs. A winter support slot on The Almighty's UK tour brought added exposure, promoted by second single, "End Of Green". The group also recorded a session for the BBC Radio One Rock Show, featuring the tracks “Dry Riser”, “End of Green”, “Same with the Hammer” and “Dead Anyway”.
1994 saw another run of gigs, including a support slot with Therapy? The debut album was released that year to acclaim, and two further singles were released, "Dry Riser" and "Dummy Crusher". The latter charted in the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart and was shown in the chart listed on BBC Television's Top of the Pops.
Second album and split (1996-1998)
In early 1996, the Mercury Music Group was bought over by PolyGram Records, and Kerbdog shifted to Fontana Records, Vertigo's sister label at PolyGram. That spring, the band returned to the recording studio to work on their second album. Produced by GGGarth, On The Turn was recorded in Los Angeles.
"We did one record with a band named Kerbdog, and we started off with about 25 cabinets and amps. It took about two days just to go through 'em all, but we got the best sounds that we have ever gotten. We used old Les Pauls, old Strats and Teles, different strings, different pickups." GGGarth
Billy Dalton left Kerbdog a few months after the band returned from Los Angeles. JJ's Song was released as a limited edition EP, preceding the Sally single in September 1996. In late 1996, the band recorded a session for Dave Fanning's show on 2FM RTÉ radio, featuring the tracks "Sally", "Hard To Live", "Mexican Wave" and "Secure". Music magazines such as Kerrang! and Metal Hammer praised both Kerbdog's albums and featured them frequently, Kerrang! 's editor spent a weekend with the band in Kilkenny.
The album was repeatedly delayed before being released in the UK in March 1997. It sold poorly, their record label dropped the band, and their back catalog was deleted in 1997. The band soldiered on without a record label for about a year, but eventually disbanded and played their final gig at the Mean Fiddler, on Wexford Street in Dublin on 7 March 1998.
In 1998 Cormac and Darragh with a new bassist Mick Murphy, went on to form another band, Wilt. They played their first gig at The Funnel in Dublin on 26 March 1998. Rock Sound magazine tipped them as being Ireland's version of Husker Du and Weezer. However, after two albums (Bastinado and My Medicine), Wilt broke up in 2002/2003.
Reformation (2005-2008, 2011-present)
Following Wilt's split, Kerbdog reformed in 2005. They played several gigs in Ireland that year, most notably two sell-out concerts in February at the Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin, followed by a set at the Oxegen music festival in July. Kerbdog have continued to play occasional one-off shows, such as at the Camden Barfly in London in August 2008 as part of the Kerrang 'Week of Rock'. Kerbdog also played at the Pumpalooza in Kilkenny, in August 2008 in aid of the Susie Long Hospice Foundation. Dalton rejoined them on stage for seven songs during the Pumpalooza gig, marking the first time since 1996 that the four piece had played together.
Kerbdog played the Temple House Festival in Sligo on the 11th June 2011, also playing a gig at the Set Theater in Kilkenny on New Year's Eve 2011, at which 'Wilt' reformed for a few songs on the same night/stage. On April 7, 2012 they returned to the UK to play a one-off gig in Bristol, with Souls (Butler and Dalton's new band) on the same bill, to mark the 15th anniversary of the release of On The Turn.
In late 2012, Kerbdog recorded their Dublin, London and Bristol shows for use on a future live album. Recorded and mixed by Dave Draper, “Congregation” will be released in October 2014 as a CD/DVD package. The first date announced to compliment this was an appearance at the Sonisphere festival at Knebworth on 6 July 2014.
On 16 June 2014 it was announced that guitarist Billy Dalton had re-joined Kerbdog after an 18 year absence. The group also announced that they would enter a recording studio in Evesham, the day prior to Sonisphere, to record a track entitled “Soaking Wet” which was demo’d originally in 1997. This marks the first time the band has recorded studio material since the 1990’s. The track will be included on the new live album. A colour 7” vinyl featuring “Pointless (live)” and “Soaking Wet” will be made available. A Pledge campaign was unveiled on 23 June 2014 to help fund and promote the new releases.
- Battle lives in Dublin, Ireland and hosts a Friday night radio show on Ireland's national 2FM.
- Fennelly lives outside Dublin and works as a civil engineer in a cement factory.
- Dalton lives in Kilkenny and works at his family`s milling company. From 2011 to 2013, he played bass with “SOULS” alongside Butler.
- Butler lives and works in Kilkenny, Ireland where he co-owns a music store Rollercoaster Records, a nod to the original name Kerbdog played under. Between 2011 and 2013, he was involved in a Kilkenny based band called "SOULS" which included Billy Dalton, Clive Barnes and James Donoghue.
- "Earthworks" - (1993)
- "End of Green" - (1993)
- "Dry Riser" - (1994) No. 60
- "Dummy Crusher" - (1994) No. 37
- "J.J.'s Song" - (1996) No. 139
- "Sally" - (1996) No. 69
- "Mexican Wave" - (1997) No. 49
- “Pointless (live)” / “Soaking Wet” – (2014)
Chart positions are for the UK. If none shown, the single or album did not chart.
Other soundtrack and contributions
- Featured on the Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood soundtrack - Track; Kerbdog - "This is Not a Love Song"
- Featured on House of Pain's single "Over There (I Don't Care)" - Track; House Of Pain with Kerbdog - "Runnin Up On Ya"
- Featured on the Highlander III: The Sorcerer soundtrack - Track; Kerbdog - "Dummy Crusher"
Covered songs featured on their singles
- "Debaser - Pixies
- "Don't Stand in Line" - Pailhead
- "In a Rut" - The Ruts
- "Kennedy" - The Wedding Present
- "Kerosene" - Big Black
- "Mildred Pierce" - Sonic Youth
- "Mr Clean" - The Jam
- "New Day Rising" - Hüsker Dü
- "Something In My Head" - Jerusalem Taxis
- "Suspect Device" - Stiff Little Fingers
- "This Is Not A Love Song" - Public Image Ltd
- "Too Much Too Young" - The Specials
- "Jack Endino interview on the recording of the first Kerbdog album". Archived from the original on 2005-03-15.
- "Comprehensive Kerbdog Discography".
- 'Music Producers: Conversations with Today's Top Hit Makers'
- "Info from Darragh on Kerbdog.com in the thread "Re: Billy's contribution to On the Turn"".
- "Comprehensive Wilt Discography".
- "Kerbdog website post regarding tribute album".
- "Kerbdog tribute album artwork".
- "Info from Darragh on Kerbdog.com in the thread "Kerbdog Live News Coming Soon.."".
- "Info from Darragh on Kerbdog.com in the thread "Kerbdog and Souls, this new years eve at the Set Theater Kilkenny"".
- ""Congregation" Pledge campaign".
- "Cormac Battle 2FM Profile".
- "Official SOULS Facebook page".
- "Kerbdog.com". Kerbdog.com.
- "Kerbdog.com". Kerbdog.com.
- "UK Top 200 Chart History".