15 October, 2014
HOT METRO FINDS: Slaughter and the Dogs Comes to Reggie’s Rock Club
ROCKTOBERFEST 2014:Slaughter and the Dogs Brings Its UK Sound To Reggie’s Rock Club
CHICAGO, IL – I grab a cab on Michigan avenue and head south to some place called Reggie’s Rock Club. I heard good things about it but I never been there. It’s around 10 pm and I have no clue where this place is. The cab driver assures me he’s been there before as he drives to the South Side of Chicago. I don’t know how south we are but I am concerned. A lot of bad stuff happens down there but it’s a Sunday night so I give myself a pretty good shot that I’ll turn out okay. We get to the place and I trust the guy so I pay him and hop out of the cab and I find out he took me to the wrong freaking place. I walked into a Hip Hop club but the girls who run the joint are nice and tell me that it is actually one block over.
The neighborhood is a little rough looking but I try not to let it bother me. I see a bunch of rough looking punks in the doorway and I know I am in good company. I am not looking too scrappy tonight but if you line us all up you can tell I belong with them. I reach in my pocket to pull out my ticket and hand it to the head door guy and he is waiting for it. But before I can complete the action of handing over my ticket the front door blows open and I see this hippie guy throwing his arms and legs around being pushed out by a bouncer. The unruly guest is shoved and is airborne and lands on the sidewalk and I hear, “GOODNIGHT !!”. That’s the Chicago I remember. I try not to let it bother me but in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “I gotta walk in there?”.
I hand off my ticket and I am back in the rock and roll fast lane once again. I’ve gotta say that it’s a rush. Tonight we are going to be witnessing one of the first UK punk bands from 1976 hit the stage. This is Manchester’s own, Slaughter and the Dogs. I collected a lot of their early work on vinyl and have been listening to them for years. They don’t really tour very often if at all. If they do tour I have never really heard about it so I am glad I made the trek all the way from Detroit just to see them play.
The name Slaughter and the Dogs barely raises more than a few eyebrows to most people. They existed in a very tiny but influential window of pop music. Slaughter was part of the original UK punk movement and came from the scene that brought us Joy Division, John C Clarke, The Buzzcocks, Magazine and The Fall. During those wild and crazy days they even opened for the Sex Pistols.
I discovered them on a little known vinyl pressing called, “Live at the Roxy WC2” that I picked up at Wazoo Records in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That was a curious album that captured the hot acts at that time including Slaughter and the Dogs, Eater, Buzzcocks, Wire, and others. It was so obscure that I didn’t even think anyone else had ever heard of it. Lead singer Wayne Barrett made a reference to it during the performance.