Dog Faced Hermans Forever!!!


The goddess that is Marion

Everybody should listen to Dog Faced Hermans. My friend and fellow scribe Thom Dibdin, to whom I dedicate this post, knows this. We bonded over our shared love of the Edinburgh anarcho-post- punks.


I first saw them on FSD in 1986, a brilliant irreverent teatime programme on the BBC which had live performances.  I was besotted. Shredding guitars, drums that sounded like they were being thrown down spiral staircases and the force of nature that is Marion Coutts, a small, impishly cute woman with seemingly endless reserves of energy, a great sense of style and a way with jazz trumpet and cowbell.


Their lyrics were sheer surrealist poetry: “enzymes do the protein march”, “I made a dress of silver wire in the Laura Ashley years”, “her tears were nearly Catholic”. But also they covered the Italian anti-fascist anthem Bella Ciao and had a strong sense of political savvy and melody.


Live Action is an anti- complacency march, a call for insurgents everywhere, resistance to the Tories and all consuming capitalism. Plus ca bloody change, kids.


Their humanity, energy and urgency was pretty much unparalleled in the 80s/90s, but for the likes of The Fall and Sonic Youth.I love and miss them terribly.


4 thoughts on “Dog Faced Hermans Forever!!!

  1. Thank-you my fellow lover of the Dog!
    I had the absolute pleasure of knowing the band and being one of their hangers on back in the mid eighties, after I had just moved to Edinburgh. I was great pals with Wilf Plum, we both volunteered at the anti-nuclear organisation SCRAM – the Scottish Campaign to Resist the Atomic Menace. (Also, to scram a nuclear reactor is to shut it down in an emergency. And of course it means “GET TAE! Ya wee radge ye!”, but I digress). In one of his former bands, the Ink of Infidels, Wilf even played at my wedding party. The marriage might have been misconceived, but the party was awesome!
    Somehow, my name is on the band’s first singles, and I, like yourself, love the fraught musicality of the band.
    My mind has gone to the DFH over the last few days, first when the cast of Mrs Puntilla and her Man Matti at the Lyceum gave a rousing version of Bella Ciao, and then the viral posts of Italians singing the song from their windows while they in lockdown. It is a powerful song, but the DFH version of Bella Ciao is haunting and gorgeous and uplifting and subversive in its own right.
    Check out their Bella Ciao for yourself:

    Wilf is still gigging away, Covid-19 lockdowns apart. His latest band, Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp, is brilliant.
    Check them out on YouToooob:
    Buy from the dreaded Amazon:

    One day, maybe I’ll see if I can do a guest post on the DFH for you myself…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please do lovely one. That would be great.
      I appreciate your insights.DFH changed not only the way I heard music, but also the way I thought.
      We’re all in this together. Here’s hoping we can swim safely to shore.
      L xx

      Liked by 1 person

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