Dog Trumpet
Gig Seeker Pro

Dog Trumpet

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 1991 | INDIE

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1991
Band Rock Pop




"Dog Trumpet "Medicated Spirits""

Every now and then a song will stop you dead in your tracks; Shiny Armour, squirreled away towards the end of Dog Trumpet’s sixth release, is one of those songs. A simple chord progression backed with weeping slide guitar gives way to a slow waltz. It’s the story of a man returning from distant battles only to find his girl couldn’t wait, and went off with someone else. There’s nothing too tricky going on, it’s just a brilliantly composed pop song with delicate, yearning melodies of loneliness that slip away far too soon.

Dog Trumpet started as a low-key side project for brothers Reg Mombassa (Chris O’Doherty) and Pete O’Doherty in 1990 when their main band – Mental as Anything – went on a short hiatus. A decade later, they’d both left the Mentals and the side project was now the main band. Both have enormously successful artist day jobs, so Dog Trumpet albums arrive unhurried and unburdened by any need to prove anything. As such, Medicated Spirits sounds like it could have been released any time over the last 30 years, and even though it skips all over the genre map, it is a rarity – a complete sounding double album with no filler.

Part of it is simple mechanics; the album is bookended by a pair of lush instrumentals. It starts joyously with Elizabethan which sounds like Richard Thompson slowing down just a tiny bit and forgoing the complicated chords. Over an hour later it closes with Aqualine, a tumbling slide guitar-infused prog-pop nugget. Though not exactly an exclamation mark, there’s an air of satisfied conclusion about it, knowing full well the circle has been completed.

Of course, if you choose to pick and choose album tracks, you might notice Medicated Spirits resembles a cult radio station playing vaguely familiar but totally unknown gems. There’s languid scuzzed-up summer pop (Speed of Light), light and fresh bucolic psych (Moon and Star), off-kilter folk (Tell Me), and light country (Telegraph Pole, With Good Reason). Oddly, the only song that really sounds explicitly like their previous band – the chugging Camel Rock – was written and sung by Bernie Hayes. The common denominator throughout it all, regardless of overt musical styling, is that every track brims with classic power pop melodies and offbeat tweaks. Then there’s Reg Mombassa’s elegiac slide playing, which can rattle between the heartbreaking – as above, Shiny Armour – and driving blues (Penal Colony). Without a doubt, one of the most underrated guitarists in the country.

Lyrically, the O’Doherty brothers aren’t exactly strangers to quirk. But don’t make the mistake that many have before of assuming that clever puns and cunning rhymes aren’t masking anything deeper, that it’s just funny imagery. Even an overtly politically themed songs like With Good Reason, full of modern anxieties (war, climate change, imperialism) can sound like a breezy Saturday afternoon amble.

Medicated Spirits is eclectic, but often that word is proxy for occasional good ideas buried amongst barely refined demos and a scattershot approach to songwriting that is jarring. But this sort of eclecticism is a pair of seasoned songwriters fashioning a bunch of songs cut from the same cloth, that still manage to sound completely different. It’s also an album of confident relaxation, stretching out with friends (Amanda Brown, Iain Shedden, Bernie Hayes) and family (Declan O’Doherty) but not wasting anyone’s time. Amazingly, in 2013 Dog Trumpet has released an industry-defying double album of fully realised and outrageously catchy songs, that stakes a serious claim for the year’s best. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of musicians.

JUSTIN HOOK - BMA Magazine *****

"AMP Album of the year nomination"

AMP Release Final Longlist Additional Artists

AMP, The $30,000 Australian Music Prize, The Coopers Amp has finalised its long-list today with ten albums deemed good enough to be in the running.

Gossling,Pete & Reg’s Dog Trumpet, Sara Storer and World’s End Press are four of the acts added to the list.

The Australian Music Prize ‘Shortlist’ will be announced at a free event on January 26 at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

Hermitude will headline the free event and the final shortlist of nine albums will be revealed..

The winner of the 9th annual Australian Music Prize will be announced in March, 2014.

The Australian Music Prize Longlist Additions

‘You Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine’ by Ainslie Wills
‘Medicated Spirits’ by Dog Trumpet
‘Harvest Of Gold’ by Gossling
‘Open Season’ by High Highs
‘The Cloud Appreciation Society’ by Melanie Horsnell
‘The Loving Gaze’ by Montero
‘Lovegrass’ by Sara Storer
‘Malabar’ by Songs
‘Rookie’ by The Trouble With Templeton
‘World’s End Press’ by World’s End Press

Watch the Noise11 interview with Dog Trumpet - Noise 11

"Dog Trumpet Live @ The Sydney Opera House"

NOV 22 at Sydney Opera House Alternative Media Group

Posted November 25, 2013
Reg Mombassa and Peter O’Doherty were once ‘Mental As Anything’, but for the
last twenty-two years have been revolutionising genre and making waves as Dog
There was a nonchalance moving through the Studio at Sydney Opera House as
Holidays On Ice kicked off with their impressive opening set. The dreamy electropop
was the perfect precursor for Dog Trumpet’s rousing mishmash of folk, country,
rock and blues.
You expect a degree of competency from brothers who have been writing and
performing together for nearly four decades. Both O’Doherty and Mombassa proved
they’re still top of their game, seamlessly switching between instruments, styles and
moods with dexterous precision.
The pauses between songs were infused with the distinctive comedic yarns the
audience have come to love as much as the music itself. Bolstered by guest
performances from Amanda Brown on violin and Peter Mitchell on harmonica, Dog
Trumpet upheld their status as one the world’s best hybrid bands (RG).
BY RHYS GARD - Alt Media

"Dog Trumpet stays true garage roots"

Reviewer rating: Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Rock has a knack for hanging on to the various styles from across its history. Everything from rockabilly to heavy metal and punk have been sustained by successive generations of players and fans. Among the threads is a subsection of pop-rock that we might call the ''charm school''. It runs from the Beatles and the Kinks through Hunky Dory-period Bowie to Nick Lowe and on to Dog Trumpet.

Reg Mombassa, left, and Peter O'Doherty.

Brothers Peter O'Doherty and Reg Mombassa can't help themselves. The charm oozes from the lyrics, the singing and the instantly appealing melodies. Part of it is down to the absence of posturing, part to the way the catchiness of pop is anchored to earthy grooves, and part to the ingenuousness of O'Doherty's singing.

Then there is the winking wit peeking through the lyrics and the affection evident in musical nods to precursors.

Such songs on this double album (their sixth) as Speed of Light (with its fuzz bass), Bored Wife (''My wife is so bored that I think she might leave''), Raise Your Glasses, Moon and Star and Tell Me (to mention just five) are fast friends by just the second listening. The singing is like receiving a smile when a forbidding door is opened to you, and the playing is iced with such little gems as Mombassa's slide guitar on Penal Colony.

The brothers attract collaborators of the calibre of Hamish Stuart and Jess Ciampa, and yet through it all chirps the joy of the fledgling garage band, as was there when they co-formed Mental as Anything 38 years ago.

LIKE THIS? TRY THESE The Beatles, Revolver; Nick Lowe, Jesus of Cool.

DOG TRUMPET Medicated Spirits (Orange Lounge Recordings) - Sydney Morning Herald

"Dog Trumpet "Medicated Spirits""

For over 35 years, Reg Mombassa and Peter O'Doherty have been creating some of the most distinctive music in Australian history. While they were two-fifths of Australian legends Mental As Anything from 1976 to 2000, they were crucial to that band's success. Martin Plaza (guitar and vocals) and Greedy Smith (keyboards and vocals) may have been in the spotlight a bit more, but Reg's slide guitar and Peter's inventive bass playing helped to create and fuel the Mental's unique sound. The fact that Reg and Peter wrote plenty of songs for the band only solidified their standing as two of Australia's premiere talents. When The Mentals went on hiatus at the end of the '80s, Reg and Peter formed Dog Trumpet. Their debut album, Two Heads One Brain (1991), continued in the Mentals tradition of expertly produced Roots Rook/Pop. The Mentals got back on track in the mid '90s but that didn't stop Dog Trumpet from releasing their next album, Suitcase, in 1996. Reg and Pete left Mental As Anything in 2000 in order to focus on Dog Trumpet and their art projects. The duo released three more albums from 2002 to 2010 (Dog Trumpet, Antisocial Tendencies and River Of Flowers), all of which were gloriously unique and inspiring.

Now, three years on from River Of Flowers, Reg and Peter have released their masterpiece - Medicated Spirits.

While it's not entirely different from their last few albums, the duo have come up with their finest batch of songs to date and released in as a double album... on two CDs! It doesn't get much better than this, to be honest. 19 songs and every one of them a gem. Reg and Peter don't just write Pop songs - they paint aural pictures that they fill in with different shades, colors and genres. But with that being said, the tracks are still very earthy and warm. The charm in Dog Trumpet's music is that there is such beauty in their simplicity. Dog Trumpet sound like no one else and that is a rarity in this day and age. The album is awash with acoustic instruments and delicious harmonies that offer up an almost magical feel to each track. This isn't music created to shift units - it is music that connects with the listener on many different levels. Shifting units is just a plus. Fans of Alt-Country, Pop, Rock 'n' Roll, Blues and Folk would do themselves a favor by clicking on one of the links above and buying Medicated Spirits immediately


The album's opener, the instrumental "Elizabethan", is similar in spirit and style to some of Paul McCartney's early '70s instrumental pieces on the McCartney album. Yes, it's that good.

"Speed Of Light" kicks things up a notch with it's heavy fuzz bass and Psychedelic Folk groove. Peter's affinity for Psych-influenced melodies is immediately apparent here.

Reg's "Made In The World" is a catchy Blues/Folk ditty with a keen Pop sense to it You will find yourself singing this track to yourself and your friends for weeks afterwards (and MY friends can verify because that's just what I've been doing since I first played the album!)

"Bored Wife" has been one of my favorite Dog Trumpet songs since it appeared on an EP two decades ago. They've re-recorded it for this project and it has lost none of it's emotive power in this new updated version. It is touching and melancholic, although a bit more raw and loose.

"Ray Davies And The Kinks" sounds nothing like Ray Davies and The Kinks although the lyrics paint a glorious picture of a road trip listening to Ray and the boys, and that is just as fun. More Muswell Hillbillies than Kinda Kinks, its a track that will earn repeated listenings on your next road trip. Who needs Ray when you have Reg?

"Methylated Spirit" has a wonderful hook that is accented by some fantastic harmony vocals that sound almost other-worldly.

"What Falls Away" is a splendid Pop song from top to bottom. Again, the backing vocals really help make the song the perfectly constructed recording that it is.

"Camel Rock" features fantastic lead vocals by band member Bernie Hayes, a performance that now has me trying to track down his two solo albums. Hayes gave a stellar vocal performance on "Bloomsbury Birds" from their album Antisocial Tendencies as well.

"Broke In Many Parts", "Tell Me" and "Moon And Star" have some of the prettiest melodies that Peter has written.

While they don't sound like old Mentals recordings, songs like "Telegraph Pole" and "Arriving At The End" wouldn't sound out of place on their albums Get Wet and Espresso Bongo.

I could go on and talk about every single track on the album, but my goal here is to inspire you to run out and buy Medicated Sp - Discussions Magazine


Album - Two Heads One Brain 1991
Album - Suitcase 1996
Album - Self Titled 2002
Album - Antisocial Tendencies 2007
Album - River of Flowers 2010
Double Album - Medicated Spirits 2013
Best of - 2015



Dog Trumpet is a band spearheaded by musician/artist brothers Peter ODoherty and Reg Mombassa. Reg is well known for his idiosyncratic work for Mambo Graphics and as a fine artist. Peter is also a successful and much sought after painter. Both are former members of iconic Aria award winning Australian band Mental As Anything. Their contributions to the Mentals, who formed at art school, include songs such as Berserk Warriors, Egypt, Brain Brain, Apocalypso, Surf and Mull and Sex and Fun, Close Again and Psychedelic Peace Lamp. By the end of the 1990s they left the Mentals to concentrate on Dog Trumpet and to continue their respective parallel careers as visual artists.

Dog Trumpets first release was the 1991 album Two Heads One Brain. It featured the eccentric pop singles Made of Wood, Im So Handsome and Jean and so began their new incarnation as eclectic purveyors of percussive psychedelic folk, country, and semi-abstract blues.

With their feet planted in the music and art worlds they persuaded their artist friend Martin Sharp to do the cover art work for the release of their 1993 version of Creams Strange Brew. Martin had created the renowned psychedelic album covers for Cream ( Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire ) as well as posters for Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and Donovan back in the 1960s when he lived in England and contributed artwork to Oz Magazine.

In 1996 Dog Trumpets second album, the quirky Suitcase was released on TWA Records. Then in 2002 the band released their third long player (and the first) on Nic Daltons label Half A Cow Records. This was the self-titled Dog Trumpet with a cover painting by Reg of him and his brother Peter when they were small children. By this time they were recording everything themselves with an ever expanding and explorative creative palette at Peters Big Brain Studio and had found a stable live line up of Bernie Hayes (a well respected singer songwriter in his own right) on bass and Jess Ciampa on drums and percussion.
The follow up on Half A Cow was 2007s Antisocial Tendencies, arguably their strongest and most cohesive album to that date with its witty title song gaining attention from both critics, music fans and Siamese cats.

In 2010 came their fifth album, the critically lauded River of Flowers containing the brothers most personal and autobiographical songwriting to date. Including a cover of Northern Irishman Bap Kennedys marvelously poignant song On the Mighty Ocean Alcohol, the album launches off with Regs similarly titled Mr Alcohol and Mrs Marijuana. wellat least alcohol shares a mention, but this and other universal themes are touched upon in a suite of songs that trawl through family history, memory, sex, health and mortality, and traverse the globe from Ireland, England, New Zealand and back to Australia. Peppered with slide guitar, dobro and mandolin, a bit of Irish whistle and trumpet and congas thrown in for good measure, the musical palette on River of Flowers evokes lilting acoustic Irish folk, blues and country through to psychedelic rock and roll.

In 2013 they continue their sonic alchemy with their sixth and best release, a double album, Medicated Spirits, released in Australia, the U.S. and Canada on the Toronto based Orange label. Recorded and mixed by Peter in Sydney at his Big Brain Studio over the past three years, the rollicking, inventive album of seventeen songs and two instrumentals hosts a stellar line up of guest musicians including Amanda Brown ( Go Betweens ) on violin, Bernie Hayes ( who contributes the song Camel Rock ) on backing vocals, Sharon Finn on backing vocals, Rob Woolf on piano and organ, Jonathan Zwartz on double bass, Iain Shedden, Hamish Stuart, Jess Ciampa and Declan ODoherty on drums, Peter Mitchell on harmonica and Ken Allars on trumpet. The album is nominated for the AMP Australian album of the year.

Now Dog Trumpet are touring with Bernie Hayes on bass and Iain Shedden on drums. With their acoustic and electric slide guitar and mandolin driven songbook they have graced stages in Australia and internationally entertaining audiences with their imaginative and poetic songs.

MEDICATED SPIRITS  double album available on CD and vinyl

2015 in shaping up with a Best of album, released internationally. A tour of the U.S.A., Canada, N.Z. and Australia to support the bands greatest tracks.

Band Members