As James Studholme says, it’s a story with a death wish, a story which gives you the punchline straight away.
But the story of how Police Dog Hogan came up with their name is still worth telling.
The band play The Con Club, Lewes, on February 23.
“We needed a name,” James recalls, “and when you are a group of slightly-older musicians, choosing a name can be a very passive-aggressive thing. When you are in your 20s and someone comes up with a name, you can just say ‘No, I hate that!’; but when you are older, it is more: Well, I don’t know… maybe… do you like it?”
“But our fiddle player works as a barrister and he was reading a police procedural,” James continues. “There was a riot and it was all in the police jargon, about how the police immediately mobilised and a couple of detectives went there with PD Hogan. He said he was thinking ‘Oh yes, that will be Police Detective Hogan.’
“And then they got there, and it was saying that they left PD Hogan in the van, so he was thinking ‘OK, so maybe Police Detective Hogan is not very useful.’ But then the riot really starts kicking off and they go back to the van to deploy PD Hogan. And they get PD Hogan out and it says that PD Hogan vocalises… and he was thinking ‘Vocalises!’… and then it said that ‘PD Hogan bites the assailant!’
“We were on our way to a recording studio in Cornwall that you can only get to by boat, and it was late. We probably had one pint more than was good for us, and he was telling us this story, how he suddenly realised that PD Hogan was actually Police Dog Hogan, and the story almost killed us. We just thought it was the funniest story ever.”
As for the music, as James says, it is probably best described by its instrumentation: banjo, fiddle, accordion, mandolin, acoustic guitar, bass, drums, all blended as an eight-piece with everyone singing.
The Lewes gig comes as Police Dog Hogan release a new album, Wild By The Side Of The Road.
“There is no better audience than the Lewes audience in all the land,” James says. “Lewes is also home to the greatest little record store in England, Union Music Store – maybe we’ll buy some interesting vinyl and some plectrums at the store while we’re here.”
Tickets from www.wegottickets.com/event/378154.
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