Ugly Dog Skiffle Combo was formed in September 2000 in North Norfolk.
After Dawg House was put on hold because of too many personal commitments, Clive (Double Bass/Vocals) and Wayne (Guitar/Vocals) kept getting together on an informal basis, to learn and play all the songs that would never have fitted in to a rock 'n' roll set list, just for pleasure. These ranged from folk and country to punk and heavy metal!
At the time, Wayne was working with Steve Gilmour (Drummer from the Booze Bothers) and when Beach Radio, doing their trial broadcast from North Walsham, asked Dawg House to play live on the station they had to tell them that the band wasn't together anymore but could still play but acoustically as Steve, Clive and Wayne. When The band arrived they were joined by Mark Beckley on guitar also, who had played from time to time in the Dawg House line-up. The band performed the skiffle classic 'Freight Train' and an old hillbilly song 'Matchbox'. During the interview, the band members were asked what they called themselves. With no name planned they went with an idea dreamed up for a laugh of the Ugly Dog Skiffle Combo, Ugly Dog being a competition held in a cold Canadian town called Yellowknife where they judge the locals hounds to see which looks the most offensive! Clive and Wayne were both fairly ugly so it seemed appropriate.
The core of the band, Steve, Clive and Wayne decided this was a great opportunity to play absolutely anything, anywhere with anybody. Ugly Dog's line up was snare drum, double bass and guitar, which can be played totally acoustically which gave them the flexibility to play anywhere. The songs were well know to the extent that anybody who plays will know some of them and be welcome to join in.
There are no restrictions on skiffle as found in other bands, you can play anything from Nursery Rhymes to modern rock songs but as long as you play it with that skiffle beat and traditional instruments it all fits together just as well. Skiffle music is more about playing songs on home-made (ish) instruments rather than what you play. They have found the crowds they attract seem to enjoy the diversity of styles which has allowed the band members to experiment.
As the band can play as a two piece and have performed right up to 12 members on one occasion, they can play in any pub, big or small, club, venue, garden, front room, etc. but seem ideally suited to smaller pubs where the community know each other. It is in places like these that the band come into their own. It's at places like these that the audience enjoy joining in, having a drink or two, and possibly play the washboard! This is also when the band come into their own as their good time attitude and openess makes them accessible to all, young and old. They always carry spare instruments for would-be skifflers to come up and use and are always up for a laugh.
Since they started, Ugly Dog have made many appearances purely on recommendation.
- The North Walsham Carnival
- Sheringham Carnival
- Wymondham Music Festival
- Downham Market 60's Day
- Great Yarmouth Tattoo Convention
- Chapelfield Spirit of Carnival
- Earlham Jubilee Festival
- King Street Festival, Norwich.
- Liverpool Skiffle Conference
(with Vince Eager, The Doghouse Skiffle Group and The Ratcatchers.)
- Eastern Sun Fesival, Norwich
- Mannington Hall with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra.
- Lord Mayor's Procession, Norwich.
- Norwich Beer Festival
- Colchester Beer Festival
- North Norfolk Beer Festival
- Wymondham Beer Festival
- Eye Music Festival
- Endorse It in Dorset Festival
- Folk On The Pier, Cromer
- Many appearances on Radio Norfolk, Beach Radio and on Anglia Television.
- Loads of other performances at parties, weddings, festivals, pubs and clubs throughout East Anglia and beyond.
Our set list now contains over a hundred songs ranging from American Civil War songs, Gospel, Folk, Ragtime, Blues, Hillbilly, Bluegrass to more modern rock 'n' roll, 60's, pop, new wave, punk, and metal. Always with the tongue firmly in the cheek and performed on various traditional instruments such as double bass, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, washboard, acoustic guitar, harmonica, kazoo and a drum kit made up out of pots, pans and a suitcase! Oh yes, then there is Lonnie Donegan, The Vipers, Nancy Whiskey, etc, the real skiffle heroes and Ugly Dog play loads of it.
Ugly Dog are a party band, if it's members weren't playing in a band together they'd be sitting around each others houses digging through the record collection or strumming guitars. It's the antidote to the modern syndrome of bands that play 'at' their audience rather than 'to' them. The closer these guys are to the crowd the more fun everyone has. Everyone is welcome and if they can play a song or two then even better!
Basically it's just all good clean fun and because it can be totally acoustic we are just as comfortable on a trailer for a street fair, on a boat for an afternoon party, in a front room, right through to fully amplified parties in village halls and community centres.
You'll find the band members are a friendly and respectful bunch who really do enjoy what they are doing and aim to entertain as well as being reliable and having a professional attitude.
We are sure you will enjoy an evening with The Ugly Dog Skiffle Combo.