Saturday, February 24, 2024

Review: Will Calnan’s indie band French Dogs

There was an indie rock band called Hockey until a few years ago. Now the sport has an international player in the mix as a guitarist with fledgling four-piece outfit French Dogs.

Will Calnan, the 27-year-old GB Hockey player, is part of the London-based band which has one release to its name, a seven-track, near 25-minute War Child Sessions release.

Flicked From Brick Lane will be their debut single release from that session album on Feb 1, followed by a gig that night at London’s 93 Feet East venue

In an exclusive interview with The Hockey Paper, Calnan outlined how the band was formed, coupled with his primary objectives for 2024 – Olympic hockey gold.

On the music front, French Dogs hope to release two singles and an album at the end of the year. 

“We have loads of songs and our goal is to release our body of work as an album,” said Calnan. 

They are currently without a label but have already attracted some attention since forming and playing a handful of shows. 

“Check out breakthrough band French Dogs,” The Evening Standard wrote in August. “They have a gritty, nostalgic indie-rock vibe to them, with some standout tracks.”

Hotvox, a music management and promotion outfit, said: “With narrative driven vocals, old school guitar and a rhythm section tighter than an MP at the pub, French Dogs will get you in a state you have never felt before.”

The Warchild recordings was an initiative their music company had where French Dogs were one of 100 bands raising money for charity. They didn’t win the competition last year but with the tracks now laid down, Calnan says they have since made improvements on their original songs.

THP verdict: If the Warchild sessions are anything to go by, the new releases following studio production will have added weight to them.

On first listen, The Fall, thanks to the opening bars of Why Should I Wait?, and a tinge of The Drums came straight to mind while there is undoubtedly a Libertines-esque feel and guitar-driven sound from 15 years ago. It’s a fine, fun and fresh listen.

Standout tracks: A Day’s So Long, Matrimony

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