Future Gigs

Earlier Gigs

Dave

I was born in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, ….. shall we say in the mid twentieth century, homeland of Hank Marvin, Sting and Mark Knopfler, so a true Geordie lad living daarn sarf! I’ve always prided myself with a good ear for music so at age 6 or thereabouts I learned to play harmonica! Dad and I would play old tunes in front of the coal fire during cold winter nights, entertaining ourselves by candlelight during what seemed like quite regular power cuts back then! I now have a fair collection of Hohner Blues harps and still knock out the odd solo instrumental now and then! Now waiting for an opportunity with these fella’s! I moved south at age 11 when my dad changed jobs, leaving Tyneside for a career as a Production Engineer in Dunstable. After a short time at stuffy Dunstable Grammar School (which I hated with a vengeance) we were soon on the move again where more career changes found us living in Bromham then Kempston and now a student at Stratton Grammar in Biggleswade. In those days Music lessons were nothing more than sitting listening to Classical Music records on a small Dansette and trying to get to grips with basic music theory. We had none of the modern itinerary of instruments and recording gear at our disposal that seems common in schools these days so Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nacht Musik and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata were order of the day until….. Joy of joys my epiphany came in the form of a little four piece band out of Liverpool called The Beatles. Right then when “Love me do” hit the top twenty I knew I wanted to learn to play guitar! My first second hand instrument was an old jazz style “F hole” acoustic that I picked up for the princely sum of £6! Back then that was almost a whole weeks wages from my part time job at Safeway food store! Whilst at school I helped form my very first band called “The Roadrunners” covering quite a lot of early Rolling Stones hits. Some years later and now working as a Toolmaker at Brookhirst Igranic works on Elstow Road (sadly long gone) I quickly moved on to an old Hoyer 12 string acoustic then a brand new EKO 12 string acoustic that I bought from Carlow Radio for 35 pounds, 5 shillings & 6pence! I joined a local folk group for a while playing around the local village pubs but used to drool over the Bell’s Music Catalogue, particularly at the Hofner Violin Bass made famous by Paul McCartney. It’s staggering to think that back then a new one could be purchased for £52 but as a school boy earning £1-10shillings per shift I might just as well have been reaching for the Moon. I soon discovered great bands such as The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Crosby, Stills and Nash and The Eagles where I was blown away by the close harmony vocals which I still love to this day. I became a part of a three piece acoustic band covering songs by the afore mentioned bands along with other pop and rock classics still using my trusty EKO 12 String. A chance encounter with a former school mate at Bedford (formerly Mander) College in 1972 soon had me auditioning then taken on as bassist with an established club band called WEDGEWOOD where I found myself playing gigs around the south east almost every weekend. With this new found additional income I was soon able to afford my dream bass guitar and after only 6 months playing some easily forgettable instrument I turned up at a club in Luton with my first brand new gleaming American made Fender Precision! Other bands came and went where I used my faithful old “P” bass and Trace Elliott 1215 rig then... two marriages and two wonderful children later plus a 9 year time away living in Dallas, Texas playing in a great little four piece Classic Rock and Blues band called LAST MAN STANDING I found myself back in Bedford in 2010, having come full circle, again living in Bromham. By now I was the proud owner of my original 1971 Sunburst Precision, a custom built fretless through neck bass with a “P” bass body, a sweet Takamine 12 string and Taylor 214CE 6 string acoustic electrics which I get to play fairly regularly too although not with Vintage Stuff. In early 2011 searching for a way back into the Bedford music scene I started to go regularly to the Open Mic nights at The White Horse in Newnham Avenue and The Flower Pot in Tavistock Street, (the latter one of my favourite venues to play!) I got to meet lots of local musicians, made loads of new friends, reacquainted myself with some old ones and have sat in with several bands over the past decade. In 2015 I had the good fortune to be offered a beautiful, scarcely used American made 1977 Black “P” bass with a maple neck! It had lain under the owner’s bed for over 30 years and looked like it had just come out of the showroom! This is now my bass of choice, the older 1971 model having taken quite a beating in the Texas heat now retired and safely in it’s case. I now gig with the black “P” bass and my lovely Markbass Mini CMD 151P! Cutting a very long story short, after Fred, Vintage Stuff’s long serving bassman decided to retire, I had the opportunity to sit in with the band to help fulfil outstanding gig commitments and realising what great fun I was having being as part of this happy band of brothers decided to offer my services full time! Surprisingly they said “YES!” So here I am! It’s great to be on board with the guys and I’m loving every minute as part of the rhythm section along with other “newbie” Jonathan on drums! See you at a gig soon!