There was a time, not too long ago, when rock seemed to mean something different from other types of music. Fuelled by anger, emotion and rage, rock channelled the unquantifiable frustrations of being young and packaged them into something which made sense. Daltrey’s defining howl in ‘Won’t get fooled again’ may well be all that’s ever needed to describe the moment we realise the world isn’t always perfect in the way our parents had presented it.
Rock helped us to understand, and communicate, our frustrations in a way that genres did not.
And yet, and it’s likely to be me projecting my character flaws onto others, but doesn’t it feel like the current rock scene is less integral to life than it used to be? It’s great to see Metallica and Guns N’Roses back with us, sober, polished and punctual. But didn’t they seem to mean more when they were angry and messed up? Do we really want a smiling Axl?
Dunes have been the North East’s best-hidden rock secret for some time now. Loud, angry and fine song-writers, they have come to embody rock at it’s very best; shady and punctual. Deeply meaningful with their narratives and soaked in the type of blues/glam/stomp which can’t help but move you, Dunes are the type of band you’d be in if only you had the patience and commitment to learn how to play an instrument.
On blistering form tonight, the guys are loud and fierce. Tracks from their forthcoming new album, slot straight into a set which is already laden with dark, menacing, hip-shaking grooves. Shaking guitar, thundering bass and explosive drumming create a cauldron of noise which, itself, helps you to understand, and communicate, how you feel about life.
If you look in the right places you can still find the type of rock which carries on it’s core principles of rebellion, sex and having fun. On the evidence of Dunes, rock can still mean something different.