Sunday, 19 June 2011

Other great show by the DCB

The DCB played a blinder at the Rowell Charter Inn Beer and Music festival last night. We were originally due to appear at around tea-time but we were asked if we could play the final set of the evening instead.

The weather was typical for April, all showers and quite cool. However, this was mid-June! The bands play outside in the courtyard under a huge umbrella and the audience sit under awnings. Normally they keep the sun off, but not this weekend. They did however keep the worst of the weather out.
When we arrived the crowd was enjoying the music of the Branstown Band as they played a high quality set. All too soon it was our turn to take the stage, and with encores and requests our half hour set became 45-50 minutes.

It's amazing how far we've come in a few short months. All I can say is they ain't seen nothing yet! We've loads of ideas for songs that we can play in the DCB style, and we're looking forward to trying them out over the next few weeks and months.
We finished our set and Stevie Jones and Mark Gill closed out the evening with a fine set of songs. All in all, a great evening of music, good beer and free entry! The only thing missing was a fine mid-summer sunset. Ah well......

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Filming the showcase dvd

We finally got around to shooting video for our showreel. We'd been looking for a suitable location (cheap, photogenic and available)and in the end we settled for a local rehearsal studio. We were going to use our stage lights and blackout cloth to disguise it, but the results were poor to say the least, so we switched all the lights on and recorded it, just as it looked, warts and all (as the saying goes).

A friend kindly loaned us the use of his digital desk and we had three video cameras, so we aimed to play each song two or three times, filmed from three angles and then have a decent soundtrack and three videos to edit into a reasonable, albeit budget showreel to show potential bookers of the band.

It took a while to work out how to do everything, but four or five hours soon whizzed by. We've got a lot of audio to go through, plus a load of video. One of the cameras has hit a gltch that we might not be able to overcome, so we may only have two cameras for some songs, but we've no doubt that we'll have a suitable showreel within a week or two.

Friday, 3 June 2011

The Potbelly Folk Festival March 5th

This was the first outing for the band. We'd had two rehearsals and were joined for this set by my good friend Teresa Brown, who I'd known for many years and who'd played on a number of my recordings. This is one of my original songs, one that I'd only played a few times live, and one I hope to be able to record at some stage.

The song is called December Song

Where it began...

Dave writes-
I've known the members of the band for some time. I first met Dave Walker in the late 70s when he was the bass player in the Four Teens, a four piece band from Kettering. He must have been 15 or so. Our drummer's sister Karla was their singer for a while before she joined our band.
I first met Vince when we took part in a round the table music session at Sawyers in Kettering about 5 years ago. He played bodhran for one number when Isabelle played their one and only gig at Sawyers. We then lost contact until I started attending the Sunday night sessions at the Duke's Arms in Woodford just before Christmas.
And Chris? I was there when he was born. When he was much younger he would travel with my wife Sue and I as we played concerts and churches across the country. About fifteen years ago he bought some bongos and joined the band. Then he bought a drum kit, joined a band and I became their roadie for a while. Then his band became my backing band for a short tour in 1999, followed by recording a CD and splitting up. It's not cool for a teenager to be in the same band as his dad...

That's how I met them. But the seeds of the band go back much further. I grew up in the 50s and 60s and can just recall the skiffle boom of the mid 50s. The 60s began with Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the Stones, and ended with Fairport Convention. Their foray into folk-rock took me into traditional folk music, and I was a member of a West London folk collective called Captain Swing for a couple of years in the 70s. I learned to play the mandolin, and I suppose my weekly trips to Woodford were an excuse to dig my mandolin out and play some of the tunes I'd learned back then.

In 2007 or so, Chris and I collaborated on an album of cover versions called, unsurprisingly, "Covered". At this time I was playing solo acoustic venues and trying to market an album of songs recorded with an electric band. It wasn't ideal but the seeds were sown.

A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with leukaemia and had a year out while they treated it. Once I was given the all-clear I started playing and singing again. I wanted to put together an acoustic band, to bring together all my musical influences and to have some fun. I'd survived leukaemia, I still had a voice (although it had subtly changed) and I could still play my guitar and mandolin. All I needed was a band...

Chris was the first recruit. He'd spent a couple of years working on an Iggy Pop tribute band ( the economic downturn and personnel problems in the band brought it to an untimely end. Sue and I were at a loss as to what to buy him for Christmas. Between the three of us we decided on getting him a cohon. A lovely lady called Fiona Kingdon from Rothwell makes them out of solid oak, so we drove over, and Chris tried out all her stock and settled on the one he has today.

We played a couple of open mike nights with Willie Sherkle on guitar. This encouraged me to think we were on the right track. Unfortunately Willie's work committments prevented us from taking it any further. Vince and I started meeting and jamming and playing some open mike nights, including one hosted by Dave Walker and his fellow musicians.

By now it was February 2011, and I had been booked to play the inaugural Potbelly Folk Festival at the Kettering Arts Centre. I could have done it as a solo, but I really wanted a band. I asked Vince, Chris and Dave if they fancied working on some songs to play and they all agreed. We had a couple of rehearsals and on a Saturday afternoon in early March 2011, the Dave Clemo Band made their debut.

I thought we had too much material for our time slot. As it happened we ran about ten minutes short, but the audience reaction persuaded us that it was worth carrying on, and here we are, three months later......

Watch this space!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Welcome to the Dave Clemo Band blogsite

Hi and welcome. We'll be posting about life on the road, forthcoming shows, news and gossip. Feel free to comment on what you read!