UK Subs singer Charlie Harper and Vibrators singer/guitarist Knox began collaborating under the Urban Dogs banner in 1982, along with Subs bassist Alvin Gibbs and drummer Matthew ‘Turkey’ Best. Regulars on the London live circuit, the band released their self-named debut album on Fallout the following year, followed by No Pedigree on Flicknife in 1985. For material, the Dogs gleefully plundered both the UK Subs and Vibrators back catalogues, along with covers as diverse as The Stooges’ I Wanna Be Your Dog, Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett & The Crypt- Kickers’ Monster Mash and T.Rex’s Children of the Revolution. Original songs such as the storming single New Barbarians proved that the Dogs weren’t just a punk cabaret act.
The latter is among the songs reworked for Bonefield, an acoustic album released by the guys behind UK Subs fan site Time & Matter. Harper and Knox deliver interesting, inventive and soulful renditions of Subs classics Warhead and Tomorrow’s Girls, alongside The Vibrators’ Dragnet, plus covers including Hobo’s Lullaby, a song made popular by both Woody and Arlo Guthrie and performed by Charlie in his pre-Subs band The Steel Hummers. Two years in the making and recorded on a shoestring budget: it’s been worth the wait.