Kevin Flowerdew of
Do The Dog
1. Kevin Flowerdew please give us a history of your musical life to date and tell us about how Do The Dog Music came to be?
I first started to get into music when I started secondary school way back in 1979. At the time the 2 tone era bands The Specials, Madness, The Beat, Bad Manners & The Selecter were dominating the charts so our school discos were always blasting out loads of ska tunes along with all the usual pop nonsense. I was instantly hooked on everything about the 2 tone movement, from the fast paced highly catchy music to the striking black & white imagery of all the record sleeves & posters & the cool clothes that all the bands & their army of fans were wearing. As I was only 12 when 2 tone exploded I was too young to go to any of the shows, my gig-going experiences only began when my younger brother Sean started playing in a ska band called The Loafers. The mid & late 1980’s saw a resurgence in the UK ska scene & pretty soon The Loafers were gigging in London with other great new ska bands like The Hotknives, Maroon Town, The Potato 5, The Deltones & Capone & The Bullets. When I discovered all these bands, plus fab European ska bands like The Busters, No Sports, Casino Royale, Skaos & Mr Review & US bands like The Toasters, Fishbone, The Untouchables, Bim Skala Bim & Lets Go Bowling, I was well & truly hooked on the ska scene & started up my own skazine called Rude in 1989. The zine is still going strong today (I changed the name to Do The Dog Skazine in 1996) & to date I have published 105 issues! In 1990 I started my own ska band called The Bakesys & over the next 4 years we toured all over England & Germany, supporting the likes of Bad Manners, Desmond Dekker & The Selecter along the way. To celebrate the 50th issue of Rude Skazine in 1996 I decided to release a CD compilation featuring some of my favourite bands that had been featured in the zine. The compilation was titled “Rude Vibes” & featured tracks from the likes of Skankin Pickle, MU330, The Peacocks, Ruder Than You, Intensified, The Kingpins & of course The Bakesys. The compilation was only supposed to be a one off release, but as it sold really well & I had really enjoyed putting the CD together, doing the artwork, sending out promo copies, etc I decided to set up Do The Dog Music as a label & release lots more ska releases. Since then I have released a total of 46 CD’s on the label.
It varies from band to band really. Some bands I have come across at live gigs (Smoke Like A Fish, Rebelation, Too Many Crooks), some have been recommended to me by other Do The Dog bands (3 Minute Warning, New Town Kings, Captain Black No Stars), some sent me demo CD’s to check out (Honeyshop Screamers, The Skints, Jimmy The Squirrel) & some I discovered myself on Myspace (Dirty Revolution, Drewvis, John Player Specials).
We do tend to organise at least one big Do The Dog Bash in London every year, so there should be another one of those coming along in the not too distant future. The next one could well be a 2 day event with about 8 Do The Dog bands playing each day.
We have a number of Do The Dog related websites where people can find more info on the label, our bands, gigs & releases. These are:
We also now have a Do The Dog Music Facebook page, so people can seek us out on there too!
The next few months should hopefully see us putting out brand new CD releases by Jimmy The Squirrel, Smoke Like A Fish, Rebelation, Robb Blake, Rasta4Eyes, John Player Specials & Dirty Revolution amongst others. We also hope to mark our upcoming 50th CD release with a special compilation release featuring brand new, rare & unreleased tracks from Do The Dog bands.
FOOTNOTE: This interview is published later than expected and was initially meant for the on-line magazine Distorted. However since the aforementioned magazines demise rather than waste the textual matter it has been agreed to publish it here - hope you still enjoyed it - Fungalpunk/OMD