AS he prepares to take to the stage at Bury Met tonight, James Studholme admits that the levels of excitement and anticipation are on a different level.

The Bury date is the opening show of Police Dog Hogan’s UK tour. The seven-piece collective which crosses folk, Americana and roots music are known for their live shows and after almost two years of inactivity both band and fans alike are raring to go.

“We had this whole tour lined up for this time last year and an album going to come out this time last year and of course circumstances conspired against us,” said James, the band’s charismatic frontman.

“But now we’re finally there. We need this and I think audiences need this. Our live shows are a sort of communion. There’s no real gap between us and our audience and the main thing for us is to get back playing.”


MET BOUND: James Studholme (front) and fellow members of Police Dog Hogan

MET BOUND: James Studholme (front) and fellow members of Police Dog Hogan


Since lockdown Police Dog Hogan - the name comes from a court case the band’s fiddle and mandolin player Eddie Bishop, who happens to be a barrister, was involved in many years ago - have played just one gig in London in December.

“It was a show that had been rescheduled four times,” said James, “I think the original ticket price was seven shillings and sixpence! We were a bit ring rusty but it was so great to be back out there.”

With a series of dates to finally look forward to, the band can also showcase songs from their new album Overground for the first time.

“We are so proud of this record,” said James. “We have just spent a number of days rehearsing and getting the new show in shape. It was wonderful reacquainting ourselves with the stuff and in some cases learning to play it live.”

He said that the new record was more in keeping with the band’s album Westward Ho! than their last release Wild By The Side of the Road.

“The last album was a bit of a miserable record,” said James, whereas this new one has a much more positive feel to it. It’s even got a couple of love songs on it which is not an area we have been terribly gifted in before and there aren’t too many murder ballads.”


Police Dog Hogan

Police Dog Hogan


Police Dog Hogan are an unusual band. As well as having a QC in their midst they can also boast a well-respected journalist - banjo player Tim Dowling is a columnist on the Guardian - and James is the driving force behind Blink, a leading production company involved in commercials, music videos and animations.

Completing the line-up are Emily Norris on trumpet, Shahen Galichian on accordion and piano, and Don Bowen on bass plus new drummer Alistair Hamer who join the band for this tour.

But this is no hobby outfit. All seven members are passionate about their music and performing live in particular.

“With our shows it can go from bleak misery to full on party time,” said James. “The idea is that people tumble out into the night feeling that they have been taken out of themselves for a while; that they’ve had the full experience of laughter, tears, singing and dancing.

“Our shows are tremendously interactive and full of humour and that’s why we’re so excited to be heading back out live.”

As many as eight songs from Overground may feature in the live show.

“They all fit right in,” said James. “and will really help take the audience on a journey along with us.

“People love the unique experience that a live show can give them and we need audiences to come back out and join us. It’s a cliche but it’s true, every live show is different and it is an immersive experience. Finally we are getting the chance to share that experience with people.”

Police Dog Hogan, Bury Met, Thursday, February 3. Details from