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Pit Stories: The Mid-Show Rescue Mission

Photo of English Dogs

Band Photo: English Dogs (?)

We've been tracking down bands and fans all across the world to get their best mosh pit stories from live shows. This week lead guitarist Gizz Butt of English Dogs shares several stories from the band's early career, as well as a tale of a mid-show rescue mission caused by a collapsing floor with The Prodigy.

When the English Dogs toured the USA in 1986 our first show was at the Olympic Auditorium in LA and we were stunned to see 5 WHOLE SEPARATE CIRCLE PITS all individually operating at the same time. Now the venue was a fairly decent size, we’ve played bigger gigs but I have NEVER in 25 years seen that many mosh pits all at once. I played in The Prodigy 1996 – 2000 and I never saw that with them. 5 pits is a pretty remarkable sight.

We played a show at Fenders Ballroom in LA again back in 1986 that was again packed to such a limit with the wildest fans on earth, stage diving and slamming harder than anyone. The heat and energy in the place was outstanding. The stage divers and moshers were encouraging us perform more crazy feats on stage and were trying their utmost to wear us out in record time. English Dogs drummer PINCH was blowing everyone away and you could see the sweat pouring off him in torrents. There was no air in the place and after another breakneck paced number Pinch duly threw up all over his kit. He had to go out for air but after a couple of minutes was back in action and was carried back to the stage having drank 3 or 4 pints of water. He picked up the sticks and the madness continued.

I did witness something pretty extreme when with The Prodigy, and that was at a show in London at the Brixton academy. The Brits were going absolutely NUTS and were jumping so hard and so high the the dance floor collapsed and the first dozen rows of punkers all sank through the floor, disappearing in a cloud of dust! We had to stop while everyone was rescued and barriers were put around the massive hole and we just started again! Hah hah. They didn’t care that they’d just had the fright of their life, they just wanted more!

I’m happy to say that whenever I’ve been in the pit, I’ve always come out with all limbs intact, no broken bones, a bit of a headache and ripped clothing. I’ve lost my cell phone too but I’ve always managed to keep my pants and shoes. Unlike some people!

English Dogs is currently headlining North America with support by The Casualties, Toxic Holocaust, and Havok. Back in 1981 British punk / metal crossover band English Dogs was formed. Though initial releases were more straight-forward punk rock, the band's metal leanings appeared on the "Forward Into Battle" record, released in 1985. According to a press release, "The seminal album was a major influence on bands such as Metallica, and this year the 'Forward Into Battle' line-up of founding-member Andrew 'Pinch' Pinching (also of The Damned), Graham 'Gizz' Butt (Prodigy, The More I See) and Adie Bailey have forged to again bring that record to life for North America."

Gizz comments, "In 1984 to 1986 Me, Pinch and Adie were writing and recording some of the most important and influential songs of our lives and our Forward into Battle album was the peak of our success. The USA fans completely got it. CROSSOVER HAD ARRIVED! And our 1985 USA tour exploded with sell-out shows and sights we’d never seen before, queues half a mile down the street , mosh pits and circle pits all night long. We have finally reunited to achieve a dream that has been going on for over 25 years. To realize the entire FORWARD INTO BATTLE album live in all its glory, to North America."

Founding English Dogs member, Pinch, added: "We were young and hungry for a musical challenge. The hardcore punk scene had become stagnant and new territories needed exploring. Adding Gizz to the band let us off the leash and we were able to wander down any musical alley we chose. We were 20 years old when we recorded F.I.B., playing way beyond our abilities as musicians and the studio technology to capture it. Now, 25 years later, we will finally be able to do this album justice, sonically.Live and in your face, the genre we helped to create is going once more, Forward into Battle."

The English Dogs "Forward Into Battle" tour dates are as follows:

2/14 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
2/15 Cleveland, OH @ Peabody's
2/16 Chicago, IL @ Reggie's Rock Club
2/17 St Paul, MN @ Station 4
2/19 Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
2/21 Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
2/22 Portland, OR @ Branx
2/23 Oakland, CA @ Oakland Metro
2/24 West Hollywood, CA @ Key Club
2/25 Santa Ana, CA @ Galaxy Theater
2/26 San Diego, CA @ Epicentre

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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lol how i love this column :)

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