In Devil’s Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham, has a new Heavy and Extreme Metal venue, and Andy Shaw was there for MetalkTalk on the opening night, which was an amazing triumph. Two local bands were on hand to give the evening a bang. The 300-capacity venue promises a fantastic selection of national and local talent with a particular emphasis on heavier and more fierce genres, offering a new, and needed experience on the local music scene.
In these difficult times, it’s great to see a new venue open, especially one that places a clear emphasis on inclusivity and wants to celebrate the diversity seen in the genre.
Asad, Director of the Devil’s Dog, spoke about opening night and his hopes for this fantastic venue, something Heavy and Extreme Metal fans have been screaming out for years in this area. “That’s what we’re reacting to,” he said, “and it’s been a long time coming because we’ve been working very, very hard over three years as we put it together. We’re here, and we are going to be as brutal as possible to make this one of the venues to talk about. The plan for the venue is to have a platform for local bands and national bands, and we’ve got enough space apparently to do touring bands as well. So we’ve got big plans for the site in this area.”
First on tonight were A Titan, A Deity, a Progressive Metalcore band from Birmingham, and they got proceedings off to bang. The Devil’s Dog crowd packed in on this first night and loved every second. Every aspect of their performance showed maturity and skill that will bode them well for the future.
This was a great start, and Asad was keen to talk about the independence of the venue. “We’re not corporate,” he said. “We’re not franchise. We’re just two individuals. We had a vision and a dream, just about enough money from our savings and family loans and just piecing it together, and it started to grow. We started really small, and then it became bigger, bigger, and bigger. At one point, it just felt it was getting too big, but we’re learning as we go along as well, and it’s three years in the making.”
“It’s taken quite a time to get things finally off the ground,” Asad said. “We had a tough time with the council, but all of that is ironed out. In November, we had the permission come through, so it took us a while. Three years is a long time, but at the same time, it gave us enough to work and make it as fortified as we want it to be. Hopefully, you’ll see the results over the next few weeks, months and years.”
Headliners on this opening evening for the Devil’s Dog were Oceans Ate Alaska, who play Metalcore and are another local band that provided the perfect headline set for such an amazing evening. James Harrison, lead vocals, was a brilliant frontman, and his vocal range was stunning. A truly great set on a wonderful opening night at The Devil’s Dog. Long may it continue.
“I’m 46 years old and I grew up with Sabbath,” Asad said of his inspiration for opening the Devil’s Dog. “I’ve been a musician myself, and I’ve played that set over and over again to learn guitar solos. But for me, I think that time has passed. This is the future for amazing up-and-coming bands right now. This is what we want to celebrate. I don’t know, maybe far farfetched, but the next Sabbath, if they have a platform to rise from here, that’s what our hope and ambition is.”
Asad said there has there been a good reaction to a new venue appearing in Birmingham. “It’s been very humbling and terrifying at the same time,” he says, “because we did not anticipate this kind of reaction. The Metal community here in Birmingham have been absolutely fantastic on socials, how they’ve reposted and talked about the whole thing. We’re just glad that we’re here. We’re not going anywhere, and hopefully, we will show what this venue’s about and make it as brutal as possible.”
For more details, visit http://www.devilsdog.co.uk.