The last time the Dwarves played Call the Office it was 1991 and their set was too short. The Dwarves lasted all of about 11 minutes before a broken beer bottle lobbed from the crowd cut vocalist Blag Dahlia and he had to be taken to hospital. The singer may have lobbed the same object into the crowd, an observer says.
Blag recovered quickly but it has taken the band 12 years to return to the downtown London club. Tonight, the Dwarves are back, ready to play a full set -- which might run to more than 20 minutes on a truly hardcore punk night.
As frontman for the Dwarves, Blag has somehow maintained his anonymity through 20 eventful years of sex, drugs and rock.
Blag reckons Sympathy For The Record Industry, set to release a new Dwarves' album this year, is the band's "fifth or sixth" label.
"Labels are like banks that are run by drug addicts," Blag says. "They make lots of stupid moves and then they get frustrated. They spend too much money on things that they shouldn't spend money on, then they get all agitated like they don't have any money."
Blag used to believe punk rock was what it was all about. But he has grown weary of "fake" bands making noise about "being real" while awaiting their chance to sell out.
The Dwarves "always try to come up with something new within the idiom," Blag says. "We've been playing around with weird sounds and samples and drum loops and various vocalists and different things since the beginning. And people find that confusing."
IF YOU GO
What: Club show by U.S. punk rock band the Dwarves. How to Win Friends and Influence People on Reptilian Records is a recent release.
When: Tonight, doors open at 9 p.m
Where: Call the Office, 216 York St. (at Clarence) in downtown London
Tickets and details: $15 advance, $20 at the door. Also on the bill are Toronto's Maximum RNR, the Ottawa area's Riptides and a London band, the Deportees. Call 432-4433