Regional identity and music: Blow Up Dog talk to Feedback about the Glasgow music scene 

By Alex Jones

24 May 2024

Blow Up Dog in concert

Setting your band apart from its competitors is complicated beyond belief. Unfortunately, Feedback is yet to concoct a magic formula for a unique band musical style. But you should take notes from Blow Up Dog, the Glaswegian punk group, who have found their musical image through a high energy stage presence, regional identity and Glasgow’s community feel. 

No strangers to the Glasgow music scene, drummer Jack and guitarist Ryan have been playing together in various bands for eight years. Formerly named Drop the Baby, Blow up Dog is their latest project. “We would just like people to get the same feeling that playing that music gives us,” said the lads.

The group has a confusing composition, currently transitioning from a three piece into four piece band, thanks to a shattered elbow of all things. 

“Tom, the lead singer, he shattered his elbow and for that reason couldn’t play bass for an upcoming gig we had. We brought in our friend Dan who is actually the guitarist of another Glasgow band, The Noise Club.

“After playing a gig with Dan we realised that, from other people’s perspectives as well as our own, it actually boosts the sound up in a different way and Tom got to do what he does best which is his theatrical performance.

“I’d say we are a four piece, from now we are going to be a four piece.” Jack explained. 

“He was away in France, for the rugby or something, and he took a flip and stumble and got a lot of stares.” Tom’s adventures in France have changed the makeup of the band, but it is his antics in Scotland that give the group a huge part of their unique identity. 

Tom, Jack and Ryan

Ryan’s explanation of the band’s sound helps with understanding this. He said: “Having an absolutely insane frontman and having some weird heavy riffs behind it.

“Tom is obviously very Scottish and he doesn’t hide that in his lyrics and in his accent when he’s shouting and singing.” 

The fiery Glaswegian accent is a huge part of Blow Up Dog’s sound, Jack explained. “I think he (Tom articulates his writing in a way that it was supposed to be articulated.” 

It avoids that somewhat inevitable route that people go down when they are trying to sing which is like maybe singing in a different accent maybe so it is a bit more understandable to everyone. He’s just done his own thing and his own thing is that absolutely understandable accent.” 

Tom’s voice is second only to his on stage persona in terms of defining the band’s image. Blow Up Dog put on a real show, which can sometimes get the frontman in scrapes. 

Blow Up Dog, deep in thought

Jack had quite the story from Blow Up Dog’s most recent gig. “Tom had headbutted someone in the front row by accident, both of them were bleeding. Obviously everybody was all fine and it was fine.

“He was just excited and flailing about on stage like he does. There was a wee girl at the front so sucked into the music. They were kind of flailing their heads about and Tom just so happened to connect with her. 

“The lass whose head it was, we met her afterwards and were like ‘shit I’m so sorry that happened.’” Borderline overjoyed with the interaction, the fan insisted “I will not sue” and found the stage presence and intense dancing all part of the fun. 

“They are good friends now”, Ryan added. 

Ryan and Jack’s are huge fans of post punk giants, IDLES but also seek plenty of inspiration from other Glaswegian artists. 

“It’s really busy at the moment. There’s a lot going on in particular in the punky side of things. There’s a local group of guys that started putting on gigs a couple of years ago – the Scottish Music Collective. They’ve now become really successful putting on gigs for all of the grassroots venues with all the top up and coming bands and it has just become a little community in Glasgow.” Jack explained. 

Noise club, Brat coven, Heedz, San Jose and Artie ziff are all highly recommended by the Dog. The lads say Glasgow venues have been very supportive to them and it is a fantastic place to see new music. You can watch Blow Up Dog live at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy Glasgow this Saturday for a modest £8, supporting PVC with Foreign2 and Voitures

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Watch Blow Up Dog’s ‘dogified’ cover of Chaise Lounge by Wet Leg which Ryan explained was “our first cover we ever did together and the first gig we did it at, it went down an absolute treat.

“It was more upbeat and we could be Scottish as fuck on it and put our spin on it.” 

Listen To Blow Up Dog

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