Wednesday, 30 November 2011

New contact details

Chris has designed a new business card, Here it is. I think it looks great

Thursday, 24 November 2011

November shows

We played two shows this week. The first was at Joules Yard in Market Harborough on Sunday lunchtime. It was a cold foggy day and the town was busy with a historic car rally. The venue is down a passage betwen the main shopping street and a car park and is full of little shops. I've played there as a solo act on a couple of occasions and we arrived in good time and began carrying our instruments into the venue. It took a short while to set up and get everything working.
As well as the four of us, our good friends Steve and Carol Poole also came along. Steve had his squeezebox and tenor banjo with him, so we made use of his fine playing on a couple of songs during the set.
We've had to learn a load of songs in a short while in order to play for 90-100 minutes, and this show was a chance to try the songs out. Most of the songs we played were fine. We just have a couple of tweaks to fix the others.
The time flew by. We played over 30 songs and tunes to a small but receptive crowd and I chatted to a few of them afterwards. They'll be recommending the band to their local hostelries. We could do with a few more bookings. One a week would do just fine.

Then on Wednesday we played our first pub gig as a band. The Wayfarers is a pub to the south of the town centre and we arrived in good time and loaded in. We soon set up and were ready to play.
We had competition from the football on the TV at the other end of the pub, plus a pool match, but as we played I could see people taking notice and singing along- always a good sign. We planned to play 13 songs in each set (and I hoped that we had enough material).
I needn't have worried. The first set over-ran by ten minutes and we had to cut three songs from the second set, so no worries about dearth of songs then.
I really enjoyed it. Dave the bass player told me there were a number of fellow musicians in the pub and he spoke with them and could only report positive comments.

Me? I spent my time chatting to friends and acquaintances (some of whom were on Facebook.) It's nice to meet a Facebook friend in the flesh so to speak, and I hope they'll do a good job in spreading the word.

The band is good. The audiences like what we play. All we have to do is get a few more bookings. I'm not too fussed about travelling far at the moment, after my health problems following on from the Nicki Gillis tour when I was in hospital twice and off work for two months, but I'm happy to play in the Kettering/Corby and surrounding area. We do have a couple of shows booked next year that will take us up to Whitby, but we can stay overnight on those.

Good times. My friend Rachel has taken some photos and I hope to post some soon.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Forthcoming shows- December

The band is stepping up a gear and is now ready to play full shows,starting on Sunday November 20th at Joules Yard in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.
This is an informal lunchtime venue with a steady passing trade. It should give us an opportunity to run through all the material for our show at the Wayfarers in London Road Kettering on Wednesday November 23rd.

We're expanding our repertoire all the time. Just watch this space....

Monday, 17 October 2011

Featuring a kilt

A few months ago a friend saw the band for the first time. He liked the sound but was concerned about our image. He thought that Chris was memorable because of his hair, Dave because his bass is taller than he is, me because of my hat, but Vince...
Look at the post from the show in Corby back in July, and compare it to this...

Vince and I had a chat and we decided that he'd look good in a kilt. Not just any kilt. This kilt (The Hamilton tartan?)is in different shades of grey, so it matches our "men in black" overall image. No mistaking him now eh?

The Potbelly Festival, October 2011

We played at the recent Potbelly Festival in Kettering. It was about six months since our debut as a band, at the inaugural event back in March, so it was interesting to see how far we'd come.
We had a different fiddle player guesting with us this time, the excellent Barry Ford. I hope we can call on his services again in the not too distant future. I think the extra instrument adds something to our sound.
We decided to include this song in our set at the last minute, and I think it worked well. What do you think?

Friday, 7 October 2011

Back on the road again

The band has had a three month hiatus following Dave's tour with Nicki Gillis. He got quite ill while on tour and ended up in hospital with a mouth ulcers, a severe throat infection and an inflamed bowel that gave him constant diarrhea. Tests then revealed an inflamed appendix so that had to come out. To cut a long story short....

This weekend the band are playing the 2nd Potbelly Folk Festival in Kettering. We're realy looking forward to playing together again. We've only played a couple of shows since June and we're raring to go. We've a bunch of new songs and tunes and we've a special guest sitting in tomorrow- Barry Ford. Barry is a well respected and awesomely talented musician and luthier and he'll be playing fiddle and dobro with the band. I'm hoping to post some photos in the next few days.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Mid August Update

The DCB had to take a back seat throughout July as Dave and Chris were otherwise engaged with Australian singer/songwriter Nicki Gillis. This was her 3rd UK tour and we had a great time as she wowed the audiences across the UK.

The DCB were able to play two shows during July. The first was a charity show in Corby in aid of Help for Heroes. The less said about it the better. Rubbish sound and a soundman who was incapable of putting it right. 1. Turn the bloody thing down. 2. Take your headphones off and listen to the sound out front instead of hiding out the back. 3. When I say turn my guitar up I do not mean turn Vince's guitar up. 4. Turn the PA down. 5. Turn the PA down. 6. TURN THE BLOODY PA DOWN!!!!!

A week or so later Nicki was playing in Corby and the DCB were able to play a short set to open her show. Nicki has been using my PA this tour and it is excellent. The DCB were able to set their sound exactly and boy did we sound great (even if I do say so myself)

When the Nicki tour ended I was ill. Really ill. To cut a long story short I had two stays in hospital and they took out my appendix. I have more tests coming up in a week or so's time. I've lost about a stone and a half (20lbs).

We have a show in a week or so's time and I should be good for that. I'm looking forward to making some more great music with the DCB

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!