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If you read the Guardian or the Daily Telegraph or if you travel with Rough Guides or watch TV ads then you probably know several of this extraordinary band. Tim Dowling (banjo), for example, writes a very popular, and totally hilarious, weekly column in the Guardian’s Saturday supplement while the other Tim (Jepson – mandolin) is a former Telegraph travel columnist who has several Rough Guides to his credit … and affable and entirely eccentric frontman James Studholme runs one of the country’s leading film production companies and produced that wonderful John Lewis Christmas ad. Together, this group of London media friends got together out of a joint love of American music and as the BBC’s Johnnie Walker says they create ‘a really good, fun time’.
With 8 members in the full line-up and instruments including guitar, accordion, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and trumpet, Police Dog Hogan draw their influences from many different wells. You could call it Americana, country-folk, folk-pop or even urban bluegrass, but it’s difficult to do justice to the sheer range of styles this band is willing to take on and, if necessary, transform.
Their second album, From the Land of Miracles, attracted praise from many quarters. “No one in their right mind would imagine that the band that play on the opening track Better Go Now come from anywhere other than the heartland of America,” said Maverick magazine’s 5-star review. “But some of James Studholme’s intricate guitar playing comes straight out of the traditional English folk book and would make Richard Thompson proud.”
Their live shows are exuberant, accomplished, stirring and funny, mixing country-fried heartbreakers, belting anthems and foot-stomping singlaongs. They’ve been a firm favourite on the festival circuit since forming in 2009, and have been playing to sell-out crowds across the country in the past year. With their third album, Westward Ho!, (produced by Oysterband’s Al Scott) due out on the Union Music Store label in the autumn, Police Dog Hogan look set for big things.
“Police Dog Hogan were good – actually, they were excellent.” The Sunday Times
“One of my bands to watch – great songs, great musicians, and their live shows are really, really good fun.” DJ Johnnie Walker
“Police Dog Hogan – with Bellowhead – were the highlight of the Larmer Tree Festival 2011.” BBC Radio 2
“One of our favourite new bands.” The Telegraph, 2012
“An idiosyncratic bunch that pulls pop, Cajun, country and just about anything else into a hotchpotch of 110% entertainment.” Spiralearth, 2012
“A great set…” Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones at Bush Hall, London
“The Big Top tent at Camp Bestival was all about up-and-coming talents and Police Dog Hogan impressed mightily with their blend of bluegrass, Cajun and urban folk.” Songwriting Magazine, 2012
“We love these guys.” Jo Good, BBC Radio London
“A seven-piece of great style and a sound that is polished to perfection. They clearly know how good they are and look like they’re having a great time. At Maverick 2012 they huffed and puffed and blew the house down, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.” Louise Rogers, Americana UK
“Police Dog Hogan proved to be the highlight of Kendal Calling.” Clara Barton, The Guardian
“Loving the new Police Dog Hogan album…” James Hodder, Radio Resonance
“Footstompin’ Townbilly for people who don’t like old-time country. Their album, From the Land of Miracles, took my breath away as it sounds different – but different in a very good way. Trust me: Police Dog Hogan are well worth seeking out before the youngsters claim the band for themselves.” No Depression, The Roots Music Authority since 1995
“The most literate non-literary band on the circuit.” Port Eliot Festival
“The wonderful Police Dog Hogan are a great band that are doing the festival rounds – at Cornbury 2012 they set about giving the crowd a performance to remember. Make sure you check them out.” Andy Jamieson, Festivals for All
“From The Land Of Miracles is the perfect template for a foot tappin’ good night out, and an enchancting set and a riveting ride, from the rabble-rousing opener, Better Go Now, with its Pogues undertones, to the beautiful a cappella closure of The Banks. It’s easy to see how they have begun to draw acclaim and why they’re a great live draw.” Pete Whalley, Get Ready to Rock
“Okay, so let’s get one thing straight: From the Land of Miracles rocks. It really is quite brilliant.” Sarah Creber, Shire Folk
“Highlights included the London band Police Dog Hogan, whose individual style, with lyrics full of amusing extended metaphor, filled the venue and really got the audience going.” BBC Suffolk
Police Dog Hogan are:
James Studholme - lead vocals, guitar
Eddie Bishop - violin
Tim Dowling - banjo
Tim Jepson - mandolin
Don Bowen - bass
Michael Giri - drums
Shahen Galichian - accordian, harmonica
Emily Norris - trumpet