But founder member Adam Barnes is back alongside old buddy Lee Armstrong (pictured) and a brand new drummer.
With a comeback gig at Newcastle’s Cluny this Friday, RUSHONROCK caught up with the new-look DRR.
rushonrock: So who’s the new drummer and where did you find him?
Adam Barnes: He’s called Phil and he’s right here. We found each other. But I’ll let him tell the story.
Phil Davies: Dirty Rock N Roll used to practice at my studio – Downcast off the Felling bypass – and I found out they lost their drummer. I’d played a gig on the same bill as them way back when and actually used to work with Adam for a while. I stepped in and stayed there. It was a great fit.
rushonrock: It’s a while since DRR laid waste to the North East rock scene – how long have you been back?
AB: We played a few low key gigs as part of a Battle Of The Bands competition in Blyth just to get back in the swing of things. But playing The Cluny on a Friday night is serious stuff. It marks the official comeback of this band in my mind.
rushonrock: Who else is on the bill?
PD: There’s a band called Revolver and a band called Mother Firefly. We’re on third and then the night comes to a close with Minnie.
rushonrock: And tell us about Minnie…
PD: Oh yeah, I’m depping for them as well on Friday! Their drummer quit a few weeks back and I know all of their stuff. Instead of them pulling out I offered to step in. It’ll be a busy night.
rushonrock: So is Dirty Rock N Roll’s drummer in demand?
AB: I suppose he is. Phil also plays in Tooms and knocks about in another couple of bands. But we’re just pleased he’s with us when Dirty Rock N Roll are playing live. He’s very different to what we had before and people who haven’t seen us for a year or two will notice the change.
rushonrock: Is it fair to say Dirty Rock N Roll are back for good?
AB: I hope so. We’re taking a relaxed approach this time around and just looking to book a few shows. Last time we spent so much time trying to record music that what we do best – the live stuff – took a bit of a back seat. We all love playing live and we rehearse hard every week to make sure we’re as tight as ever.
rushonrock: Phil – how’s your partnership with bass player Lee working out?
PD: I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Lee and we’re going to be working on a couple of side-projects in addition to DRR. He’s a great lad and very talented tattooist. He’s going to do some ink for me when we get some time. I love his work.
rushonrock: Will you be making any new music anytime soon?
AB: We’ve got plenty of ideas and plenty of time. Let’s wait and see. But I think fans of the original Dirty Rock N Roll will recognise a few of the songs on The Cluny setlist. Phil has helped to give those original songs a new lease of life and Lee and I are both excited to be playing them again.
Dirty Rock N Roll play The Cluny on Friday July 5 with Mother Firefly, Revolver and Minnie. The gig will raise money for Stonham Women’s Service – entry is £4 and the first band is on stage at 8pm.
Picture courtesy of BelowZero Photography: https://www.facebook.com/BelowZeroPhotography