Peter Bibby’s Dog Act
Spinning Top Music
Australia rarely gets its due for producing wickedly good rock’n’roll, as only a small fraction filters through to the rest of the Anglophone world. I suppose, in this respect, it’s not all that different than Canada, where most of our music rarely even gets noticed in the bigger English-speaking nations, like the US or the UK, or the rest of the francophonie, as is the case with most of the music from Québec and Acadie. At any rate, Australia seems to be going through a renaissance of late with killer music, from Camp Cope to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard to Tame Impala. And that’s without mentioning Courtney Barnett.
Perth’s Peter Bibby has been around for awhile, his début album, Butcher/Hairstylist/Beautician in 2014, following that up with 2018’s Grand Champion. He’s a rock’n’roll troubadour in the finest tradition of it, his growl singing and speaking over a raucous background of guitars, bass, drums, and this vicious fiddle. For me, he calls to mind fellow Aussie Nick Cave crossed with Julian Cope and topped off with a bit of Mark Lanegan. His most famous track is the anthem, ‘Work for Arseholes,’ something with which all of us can relate, off Grand Champion.
And now he’s back with a new backing band, Dog Act, comprised of bassist “Strawberry Pete” Gower and drummer “Dirty Dave” Taylor. Bibby provides the guitars and vocals. ‘Oceans’ was recorded by the trio in their hometown of Perth. And, what to say about this?
On his first two albums, Bibby occasionally veered towards the cliff, he even sometimes got a wheel on the edge of the edge, but he always reigns it in, there is a controlled chaos of his music. But with Dog Act, well, fuck that. This is noise. A lot of noise. Beautiful, menacing, vicious noise.
Beginning with squalls of feedback, Bibby, Gower, and Taylor then beat the shit out of the song until it explodes into a menacing, chugging track, and then Bibby takes the mic, and gone is his gentle voice, here he sounds like a madman on the run. This is some seriously excellent stuff, my kind of stuff.
The song itself began as a ‘little sea shanty-esque poem scrawled on a piece of paper about going mad in the middle of the ocean. With the help of the Dog Act it soon morphed into a fairly raucous tune..As far as I recall, it is the only song I have written about losing one’s mind out at sea,” muses Bibby of the track. Well, if that’s what this is, carry on.