The Saloon Dogs were formed by four ex-members of London-based band The Bogarts – Billy MacInnes (vocals, guitar), Maria Gallagher (vocals), Phil Taylor (drums) and David Longworth (keyboards) – after the band broke up in the summer of 1995. From the start, the emphasis was on music based around acoustic guitar, vocal harmonies and ‘feel’. The Saloon Dogs started practicing in October 1995 and within a few months they were in the studio.
Over the course of two weekends, they had completed an album’s worth of songs, recorded by Keiron Hunter in Dalston, London. The songs on Shooting Star, all written by lead vocalist MacInnes, focused on love from a number of different angles. The band had a strong live following and played many of the more prestigious pub venues in London including the Mean Fiddler acoustic room, The Half Moon in Putney and Upstairs at The Garage. Hunter filled in on bass for the first few gigs – he had also played bass at the recording sessions. Later, Hunter's place was taken by Marcus Nason. When Phil Taylor returned to New Zealand, he was replaced by Mike Johnson on drums and Joe Fay took over from Marcus Nason on bass.You can find out more about Shooting Star, including links to the album and reviews, here.
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