Megadog Returns (Manchester November 21)
Seminal alternative festival-in-a-club event Megadog is returning after a 15 year break, with a one-off event in November at Manchester’s Academy, which includes performances from System 7, Dreadzone and Eat Static.
Megadog co-founder Michael Dog chatted to Skrufff this week about why they’ve decided to come back and what happened during the intervening years.
Michael Dog: “The last proper Megadog show was in 1999 and then we all went our separate ways. Some of our technical people are now music industry professionals in lighting design, sound and event production. I carried on running Planet Dog as an active label until 2001, but due to the parent company’s bankruptcy and a long legal wrangle that followed, the label ended up re-emerging as a back catalogue outlet only in 2003 and I have run it as that since, keeping the old catalogue available, but not actively looking to put out new releases.
Though I ended up being the keeper of all of the Megadog archive material and have been digitising and uploading old videos, photos etc, I didn’t really expect to be back ‘treading the boards’ so to speak until the offer to do this one-off 30th anniversary show came along.
This event came together by a random sequence of events and we decided to go with it and see what happened. It seems to have got quite a good response so far, with lots of ‘old faces’ looking forward to a reunion get-together after all these years.”
I have DJ’d from time to time since then, played at Glastonbury some years ago and occasionally at club nights in Brighton where I now live, but ceased to pursue an active career in music after the problems I had with the label and the long litigation that ensued after the parent company’s bankruptcy.
I ran a festival venue modelled on the old Club Dog which was known as ‘Dogs in Space’ at a festival in Cumbria (Solfest) between 2006 and 2013.
The venue was set up as a 24 hour psychedelic chillout lounge with carpets, sofas and easy chairs and featured a wide range of up and coming bands, DJs and VJs every year, which kept my hand in with regard to keeping abreast of what was happening in contemporary music and performance. Solfest didn’t run in 2014 and having taken the Dogs in Space concept as far as I could, I chose not to join them for their relaunch this year.
Over the years, it seems that Megadog has to some degree, found a place in dance music folk lore/history. We ran Club Dog for 7 years and then toured for a number of years all over the UK, as well as into Europe and eventually, the US and Japan too and in the process, seemed to inspire many fond memories amongst the thousands of people who came to our shows.
We ran the first official dance tent at Glastonbury and large dance music venues at a number of festivals in the late 90’s. Unsurprisingly, things have moved on with dance music, but it seems that few events have managed to capture the atmosphere of our events with the huge range of live electronic acts that we were able to pull together over what was the peak of creativity in live electronic music in the 1990’s.
Megadog Manchester takes place on Saturday November 21: featuring live performances from System 7, Dreadzone and Eat Static, DJ Michael Dog and MC T Bag.
Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)