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Lazydog Infomesaurus (Sept 2000)

Lazydog n. a musical beat combo from the United Kingdom, playing a lazy chilled out alternative vibe. Originating from the bass, two-guitar, drums, and vocal sound of it’s rockier predecessor, Redwood, the Lazydog embraces technology, using loops, keyboards, and whatever fucked-up noises it can lay it’s paws on. And the life support for the Lazydog, comes in the form of the ‘song’.

Song n. a musical format in which the Lazydog flourishes. Fast becoming a forgotten art form. If one can play it on an acoustic guitar, and sing along, then it is a ‘song’. Lazydog took a clutch of their ‘songs’, worked with Massive Attack producer Neil Davidge, thence creating the Lazydog sound. Without the ‘song’, there would be no frame to drape the garments on, no picture to colour in.

Lazy a. appearing to do nothing, when in fact great things are afoot, woodshedding being the prime example (see live).

Lazyroots n, from whence the dog did come. In brief, the non-drumming part of Lazydog all went to the same secondary school in Birmingham, where they met and formed Redwood. Before school, the Cowan brothers were born and lived in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. After school, the’Woods went to respective universities, and music colleges, before collectively winding up in the darkest depths of sunny Woking. At the this point they found rhythmic solace in the percussive skills of Guildford drummer, Chris Hughes. Soon, they got signed, released singles and albums, did tours and played with A, Groop Dogdrill, Feeder, Everclear, made videos, appeared on TV and radio, and painted the town red. Then the record company imploded, they got un-signed, and from whence the Lazydog was born.

Dog n. the individual member of the ‘Lazydog’. Though the precise roles are hazy, one can examine historically those played in Redwood for more of an understanding (see Chris Hughes plays drums, Angus Cowan plays guitar, Alistair Cowan plays bass and sings, and Rob Blackham plays guitar. This can apply on the rare occasion the Lazydog stretches out and graces the ‘live’ scene with it’s canine dogawalling, with Chris and Rob humming harmonies. And it has been known for Rob to tinkle the synthetic ivories, so as to approach ‘that studio sound’. In the ‘studio’, Alistair and Rob have been seen playing all manner of instrument, adding embroidery to the garments to the songs.

Live a. to see the Lazydog ‘live’ is a very rare occurrence indeed, though this is more due to the practice of woodshedding, whereby the dogs lock themselves away from sensible society in log cabins, in the depths of rural Guildford, and write furiously, stopping only for bread and water breaks. When playing live, Lazydog excels, in a shamanistic display of string strumming and head swaying, reminiscent of its predecessor, Redwood.

Studio n. the place where the Lazydog has been at. When talking about ‘studio’ one often is including the whole writing process, from inception-conception through to final-mastered-producteption. The song starts on a piano, guitar, mouth-harp, and is then transferred to dictaphone cassette, live DAT, or simply pen and paper. It is then taken to the ‘studio’. For Lazydog this part of the process has often involved Backline Studios, in the heart of Guildford, with the invaluable help of ‘dog-lover’ Brian Tuitt, the boss-man of this musical complex (see Blood, sweat, tears, alcohol, coffee, late nights, trial separations, high mobile bills, and much, much more, then ensues. From here, the result is sampled, looped, and spun back into the same song at a different location (see Summer Dream, recorded in Massive Attacks studio’s in Bristol), or re-recorded at a different location (see Vanitarium, Postcard), or re-mixed elsewhere (see Excessive Living, Make Me a God), or just mastered via the Dogs computer studio set up. For the Lazydog album ‘Redwood LP’, it was very much a patchwork process, and the result of a couple of years in ‘the studio’. Hence 16 songs – it would have been 60, but CD’s will only hold 74 minutes of quality audio.

Record Label n. home, funding, support for the musical genius that lies within. More realistically, the ‘record label’, or ‘company’, wish to make as much money possible in the shortest time, with the least amount of expenditure. They seek maximum control, and seem intent on destroying our beautiful British music scene. A Redwood takes years to grow, but it proves to be the strongest, biggest, and most resilient of the world’s trees. Short lived beauty is a quick fix, and can never replace depth and inbuilt strength and ability. Lazydog are currently residing within the home-grown shelter of the Black Cow label. Hence Lazydog chooses what tune to sing, though its to a buskers song. That is, self-funded. Lazydog are currently looking for a sympathetic label, who can get where they are at, and where they are going.

Redwood n. the tree beneath which the Lazydog resides. The relationship is symbiotic, though it is generally accepted that Redwood is the host, nurturing the younger, more headstrong, and often lazier Lazydog. See

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Guildford n. the stomping ground for Lazydog, along with many other fine up and coming bands. A few cool bars and pubs, but the clubs don’t quite have the broad-minded sensibilities of their not too distant London cousins. You won’t get in if you’re wearing the wrong coat, if the doorman is so inclined.

Venue n. where bands perform their ‘live’ sets. Guildford venues pl. include Beavers (intimate acoustic venue, noisy crowd), The Star (weird stage, over 21’s), The Electric Theatre (high roof, meant to be a theatre, has potential), The Civic Hall (1500 capacity, Mansun, The Bluetones, Redwood have played here), Bo Jangles (host at one time to JTQ, and Cordroy in the jazz funk heyday), The West End Centre (Aldershot, probably the best venue around, is on ‘the circuit’ for national bands – booked by local hero Barney Jevins), The Farnham Maltings (3 venues in one, splendid all-dayers, packed with quality bands), Surrey Uni. (good venue to play, but reliant on the students turning up to spectate. Lower bar is good for acoustic stuff), The Tumbledown Dick (Farnborough, the venue for many a band competition) Obviously, Guildford doesn’t do much to compete with London, but surprisingly enough, there is a scene.

Scene, the n. made up of bands from an area, who all listen to each others music, swap ideas, musicians, and social / sexual partners. Sometimes know as a clique, every band attempts to distance themselves from it, until they realise that they cannot separate the music they produce from the environment it is created in. Results to do so result in poor imitations of someone else’s ‘scene’.