It seems strange now that anyone could associate the band with Oi music but it just goes to show what can happen when you name a song of yours with boot boys in the title.
An archetypal Punk band. Their style of music? Their sound was fast, furious and full of speed and coincided with punk and the Pistols perhaps even predating it.
Hailing from the notoriously tough Manchester suburb of Wythenshawe (once the skinhead capital of the North) Slaughter & The Dogs originally formed when Wayne Barrett (vocals) and Mick Rossi (guitar) got togetther at school and decided to start a band picking up drummer, Brian (Mad Muffett) Grantham on a bus along the way! Bassist Howared ‘Zip’ Bates joined them in late 1975. Wayne thought up the name for the band whilst lying in bed prior to their first gig…. a mixture of Diamond Dogs by Bowie and Slaughter on 5th Avenue By Mick Ronson.
They did the usual rounds in local clubs and working mens clubs doing covers of Lou Reed, Bowie and started writing their own numbers. Going from strength to strength and picking up good press they found themselves at the foreftont of the manchester punk scene along with the Buzzcocks and The Drones mirroring the London scene. Their gigging schedule grew heavier and they were soon playing at leading London punk venues like The Roxy and Vortex as well as others like the Marquee and Nashville. Live they were quite a sight with Wayne’s predilection for talc in the absence of smoke generators!!! The Roxy gave the band their first recording break when they appeared on its live album with two songs Boston Babies and Runaway.
This led to a one off classic punk anthem single Cranked Up Really High / The Nitch (rabid 1977) and in turn led to the band being signed by Decca. Classic singles followed Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone / You’re a Bore (1977 Decca), Quick Joey Small / Come On Back ( 1978 Decca with Mick Ronson their hero), Dame To Blame / Johnny T (1977 Decca) and lastly Ready Now / Runaway (1979 DJM). Album Do It Dog Style (1978 Decca) collects these Decca singles with other prime cuts as Victim Of The Vampire, Boston Babies and a cover of the New York Dolls’ Mystery Girls.
After these highs they split up, reformed, split with different singers, guitarists including Morrissey and Billy Duffy and again reformed in a more heavy metal guise to no avail.