Who let the dogs out?

Ratdog

So it all started with a rumour on Jambands.com "Ratdog to tour Europe". If it were true it would be the first time a member of the Dead had appeared in the UK since the 1990 tour, twelve years earlier. The stakes were upped a bit when I received an e-mail from someone in the States asking about venue's for jambands to play in Europe. A quick check revealed this man represented an agency in the US who handled Ratdog's overseas bookings. I sent an e-mail back with some suggestions for UK dates and then posted the message on eurodead and eurotraders.

Got one!

After a while unofficial confirmations started coming in, there were gigs announced in Kirkaldy and Newcastle but.....disaster the dates were at the same time as Glastonbury. I waited with baited breath for the London show to be announced and when it was - phew! It was on Wednesday 3rd July - 2 days after we got back from Glastonbury. The gig was listed on the ticket agency website but the tickets weren't on sale yet. I tried when I got home from work and they had gone on sale so I bought what must have been one of the first tickets. They were cheaper in London too, 16 instead of the massive 30 in Scotland.
When we got back from the festival I checked to see what Ratdog had been playing and how well they were being recieved. The setlists looked great, they were playing loads of Dead tunes and had performed The Other One, first half in Newcastle and the second half the following night in Kirkaldy. The worst (or was that best) bit was the photo to the right of my mate Chris Jones (CJ) standing with his arm around Bob Wier. The photo had been taken in Kirkaldy when the band turned up at the hotel that all of the eurodead guys were having a drink. They apparently chatted for a while and one guy even had Bob speak to his friend on his mobile phone!!! The night before the London show they played in Bilston near Wolverhampton and during the first set they played the first verse of Dark Star - could they play the second half in London? There was also a rumour that Bob might turn up over the road after the gig and jam with the Cosmic Charlies at the 12 Bar Club. I couldn't remember being so excited about going to a gig for absolutely ages as I set off to head up to the London Astoria. Lucky Bastard

All photos Chris Jones

Except top Ratdog photo - Jeff Morgan