I don’t seem to have much luck with the girls these days
I think they find it hard to get accustomed to my ways (Drunk Like Me)
Woah, woah, woah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, waoh, yeah
Woah, woah, woah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay (Errol Flynn)
So what you up for tonight, dear friends? fancy some whiskey-sodden romantic regrets, a side order of bonhomie and a lick of loquaciousness all served up on a bed of rollicking hard rock and roll? good, because I do. Welcome to Dogs D’Amour Errol Flynn*, welcome to 1989, welcome to the LP that I’m about 35% certain was playing when I lost my virginity**, welcome to the best LP Charles Bukowski never made.
You know the drill by now, the Dogs were a scuzzy, sleazy British rock and roll outfit who sang wonderfully bedraggled songs of love, liquor and longing. They took their rock from Hanoi, their and from the Faces and their roll from 70’s Stones, plundering them all for their look, along with a certain befuddled tramp’s dignity. Lead singer Tyla, was a genius lyricist, living the life he wrote and writing the life he lived, hard. They get lumped in with the Hollywood bands sometimes, but theirs wasn’t the music of slick strippers and fishnet-clad heartbreakers, it was about love and romance and how badly you can fuck both up when you’ve been drinking jet fuel for 9 days straight. Example? Hell, check the song titles on Errol Flynn ‘Drunk Like Me’, ‘Goddess From The Gutter’, ‘Dogs Hair’, ‘Ballad of Jack’, ‘Princess Valium’ …
But don’t take my word for it^, dive right in. Crank up the title track^* and swagger along to the sound of all the young bucks at the beginning of the night, when you’re slamming the tequila (not vice versa), adventures are to be had and everything is loud, clear and possible:
You wanna be like Errol Flynn
Captain Blood was a whore
You wanna be like Gary Cooper
High on a horse
You wanna be like Lon Chaney
Howlin’ at the moon
It doesn’t last of course, us doomed romantics know that already. Just hit up, the quite beautiful, ‘Satellite Kid’ to hear the sound of a man wailing it straighter than he can still walk; hey darling, just because this drunk you met an hour ago, with the three-day stubble, soiled black velvet jacket and a sourmash smell slurs the marriage proposal, doesn’t mean he doesn’t mean it. The playing on this one is spot on by the way, Jo Dog was an excellent guitarist, hitting all the right country notes to great effect.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you might ask what’s so special about a wino howling his love songs to his ‘Goddess From the Gutter’, or the ‘Girl Behind The Glass’ – surely there’s a million scenes like this playing out late every Friday night? that’s as maybe partner, but when it’s a cold Wednesday morning and the commuters are stepping over you to get their hustle on downtown, it shows a certain committment to say the least.
Errol Flynn is an album I really love, from the ever-awesome artwork and lettering by Tyla on in, it creates a little world for you to go and visit, like all the best LPs do. It isn’t a flawless album by any stretch, some of the production by Mark Dearnley sounds a bit dated, especially on the second side and a couple of the songs miss their mark (I’m looking at you ‘The Prettiest Girl in the World’), but for me this one is all about the overall effect. It’s all I can do not to drink along with this one, luckily my willpower is adamantine*^ and I have to hold a job down, no matter how much the strutting T-rex-isms of ‘Dogs Hair’ warrant it.
So raise a glass to the Dogs – Tyla, Bam, Jo and Steve James. Raise a glass to the D’Amour and raise one final glass to the Satellite Kid. Cheers Errol Flynn!
Sometimes I feel like I am dying inside
Love is like smoke, it disappears through the night
Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in your charmsv
I’m the satellite kid when I’m in your arms …
844 Down (in one).
PS: My photography skills having deserted me this evening, I apologise for the shite photos of the LP cover – I haven’t done it justice.
PPS: Treat yourself:
*retitled King of Thieves in the USA and, oh, what do you call that big, often snowy, maple syrupy place above it? don’t tell me, it’ll come back to me.
**hey, I was otherwise engaged at the time and my girlfriend loved Dogs D’Amour.
^although I am totes omniscient and stuff.
^*an acoustic version of which was one of the very best things on their previous LP A Graveyard of Empty Bottles.
*^’adamantine’ doesn’t mean dressing up as a dandy highwayman by the way.