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Grunge/Metal band from Kilkenny

About Kerbdog

Bio adapted from

Originally named 'Rollercoaster', Kerbdog were formed in 1991 by Cormac Battle (vocals/guitar), Colin Fennelly (bass guitar) and Darragh Butler (drums) while attending a school run by the Christian Brothers. The band members were underage drinkers and self-described "lousy students", and although they obtained 3rd level degrees, they devoted their energies to music rather than studies. Their early live shows primarily consisted of cover versions of songs by Sonic Youth, Loop, Spaceman 3 and Fudge Tunnel.

Rollercoaster spent a year in London before returning to Kilkenny, but they failed to win much interest from the UK music press in that time.

Billy Dalton (guitar) joined the band in March 1992 and initially Cormac was suspicious of Billy's liking for Metallica and Slayer. Though Cormac liked elements of the sound, he feared the genre's tendency toward dragging its knuckles along the ground. Equally, Billy regarded Cormac's fascination with the British and New York undergrounds as obnoxious and elitist. What they both recognised in each other was a certain uncompromising determination.

The songs that resulted from the disparate influences of the band's primary members were visceral and cerebral; a large sound that left you "thinking as your mind blew". Realising that they had a potential for success with the band, Cormac, Colin, and Darragh dropped out of college and Billy left his job as a truck driver with his family's prosperous milling company.

After only three gigs at the New Park Inn (since demolished) in Kilkenny, their fanbase grew rapidly within Ireland. By mid-1992 word of the band reached the ears of an A&R man from Los Angeles, who, finding himself in Ireland, decided to hear them play. Before the end of the opening number of the band's act, Cleaver, he found himself winded and crushed against the stage beneath swarms of sweaty teenagers. Battered and bruised, he returned to Los Angeles, wondering whether to sign the band or sue them.

In the summer of 1993, Kerbdog recorded their self-titled debut album at Rockfield Studios in Wales, during which time Sepultura were also there recording their 1993 album Chaos A.D.. The album was produced by Jack Endino, who helped cement the Seattle Grunge sound along with Conrad Uno and Sub Pop. Endino has also notably worked with Nirvana, Babes in Toyland, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Tad and Gruntruck. Whilst recording, Kerbdog were also planning a major tour of the British clubs.

1994 saw another run of gigs, including a support slot with fellow Irish rockers Therapy?. The debut album was released that year to great acclaim, and two further singles were released, namely Dry Riser and Dummy Crusher. The latter charted in the UK top 40 and so it was shown in the chart listed in weekly UK music television show, Top of the Pops.

1996 saw the band back in the recording studio, although Billy Dalton had been kicked out of the band the previous year. Kerbdog were signed to Vertigo Records, a part of the Mercury Music Group, but after that became part of PolyGram, Kerbdog shifted to Vertigo's sister label at PolyGram, Fontana. Produced by GGGarth of Rage Against The Machine fame, On The Turn was recorded in Los Angeles and set out to be what many consider their best album.

GGGarth said, on the making of On The Turn, "We did one record with a band named Kerbdog, and we started off with about 25 cabinets and amps. It took about two days just to go through 'em all, but we got the best sounds that we have ever gotten. We used old Les Pauls, old Strats and Teles, different strings, different pickups." ('Music Producers: Conversations with Today's Top Hit Makers')

Unfortunately, the album was delayed and never sold in great enough quantities to satisfy the record label. Kerbdog were dropped, and their back catalog was deleted in late 1996/early 1997.

The band soldiered on without a record label for about a year but disbanded in 1998 after a gig at Dublin's Mean Fiddler in Temple Bar. The venue sold out well before the day, and Cormac joked whilst on stage that had they sold out the Mean Fiddler on more occasions in the past they might have not split. Billy Dalton was in the crowd at the gig, but both he and the band declined to reform for the full classic line-up.

Cormac and Darragh went on to form another band, Wilt; however, after just two albums Wilt also broke up.

Following Wilt's split and after much speculation, Kerbdog reformed in 2005. They played several gigs in Ireland that year, notably sell-out concerts in the Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin, and a triumphant set at the Oxegen music festival in July. They have since stated that due to the great changes in their lives they have no plans to record any new material. The last gig was in Fibbers on the 4th August 2006.

Their fan base remained loyal throughout the bands' short lived span, which is evident by the tremendous reaction to Kerbdog's 'comeback' gigs in Ireland. Cormac Battle lives in Dublin, Ireland and hosts a Sunday night radio show on Ireland's national 2FM. Colin Fennelly lives outside Dublin and works as a civil engineer in a cement factory. Darragh Butler lives and works in Kilkenny, Ireland where he owns a music store Rollercoaster (a nod to the original name Kerbdog played under and also perhaps a reference to the nature of his musical career.)


Billy bob wrote on 2022-02-08 00:00:00:
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