We’re approaching three months since the release of Puppy‘s debut album, ‘The Goat’, which has seen the London trio build on the acclaim they’ve earned throughout their career. Tonight sees them wrap up their second ever headlining tour at The Underworld in Camden, one of the most famed basements in London.
The sole support act of the night is Green Lung , who have just gained some traction of their own with their debut album, ‘Woodland Rites’, and, not for the first time, the smoke machine is tested before the band take to the stage.
They prove to be a very strong warm-up, with huge, chunky riffs being provided in abundance, faster than you can say Black Sabbath or Queens Of The Stone Age. There are also more lighter moments, which shows that they can switch things up, providing some respite before the riffs come crashing back in.
Frontman Tom Templar has a commanding stage presence, and keyboardist John Wright demonstrates infectious enthusiasm. The set is very warmly received, with closing song ‘Lady Lucifer’ going down very well in particular. Big things are to be expected from Green Lung if they carry on this way.
And now for the main attraction. The smoke machine is put to use once again, and some artificial pink flames make an appearance too. Puppy  get straight down to business with ‘Entombed’, and the set never lets up from here. ‘The Great Beyond’ also gets an airing, proving that they haven’t forgotten their older classics.
What’s clear is that Puppy‘s stage presence and confidence has grown significantly recently, and tonight’s crowd are eating it up. It’s clear that their cult following has grown too, with a big sing-along taking place during ‘Black Hole’, and many fans taking a chance to crowd surf – it’s safe to say that the rapport between the band and their fans is very strong indeed tonight. Jock Norton‘s monstrous guitar riffs, combined with his relatively sweet-sounding melodies, and bassist Will Michael‘s falsetto is a combination that proves to be truly euphoric in a live setting. It shouldn’t work on paper, yet it proves effortlessly cool.
More songs from ‘The Goat’ are unleashed, including the addictive ‘Poor Me’, ‘Bathe In Blood’ (where Billy Howard Price‘s drumming is a particular highlight), and the melodically rich ‘Nightwalker’. Even for a more restrained song like ‘Arabella’, the fervour is still present, and at this point, they could play the most slowest, longest drawn-out song you can think of, and the energy would still be at fever pitch.
The encore is preceded by tonight’s almost rabid audience chanting the band’s name, and, again, they take to the stage to perform ‘Vengeance’ and ‘Demons’, and the latter song sees Green Lung‘s Scott Black joining the band onstage to double up the guitar solo into a Thin Lizzy-esque rock-out section.
Tonight is truly one to remember for Puppy, and based on this showing, they may be about to become a bigger proposition altogether. Similarly to the album, this tour may have been semi-jokingly coined as ‘The Greatest Of All Tours’ by the band, but anyone in attendance won’t be forgetting this in a hurry.
Music graduate from City University, partial to almost anything with ‘post-‘ in the genre description.