Dave B's Biography
The look and sound of the king and more ……!
Dave’s passion for all things Rock n Roll began when as a nine year old he saw an advert on the tv for Elvis’ 40 greatest hits. The purchase of this double vinyl album was to guide the youngster back through the fifties and the decade of Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent and above all else Elvis Presley. The late seventies spawned a revival in 50s style music in the middle of the punk boom. Acts such as Showaddywaddy, Mud, Rocky Sharpe and the Replays, Darts and a certain Shakin Stevens. These latter two acts owe a debt to Dave B. as they became his favourites and purchased just about anything recorded, written about or photographed of them.
Although he never got to see Darts Live the first concert that Dave saw on a big scale was Shaky at Brighton Dome supported by The Jets [who on the night nearly stole the show]. Shaky’s ability to put on a show that literally had everyone up jiving in the aisles or on seats or anywhere else there was standing room was a massive impact to the teenager. Dave went on to see Shaky a further 11 times over the coming years. Although no match to the king vocally it was Shaky’s whole performance and the way he moved on stage that made you go back for more and as the King was no longer around he without doubt was the next best thing.
Shaky’s success in the UK spawned a boom in 50s revival into the early 80s with The Jets, Polecats, Matchbox, Alvin Stardust [on yet another comeback] and American band Stray Cats who had to come to the UK first before they could make it big time back in the states. Dave B. started to live the life of the 50s never sure whether he was a Rockabilly or a Ted or somewhere in between, yes it mattered then.
Dave wanted to be a singer but could never find mates that were as keen to start a band as he was. Slowly his friends around him started to get converted to other genre’s of music. A few years on and now a working adult still playing the music he believed in and loved he saw an ad for a search for a star competition sponsored by a local paper and with backing by the 22 piece Conchord Big Band. Dave B. chose to do an Elvis Medley singing Teddy Bear, All Shook Up and Blue Suede Shoes. The 8 other contestants in the 400 seat theatre that night sang everything from Whitney Houston and the Carpenters to Sinatra and Bobby Darin. Dave’s performance was from deep within and all those years of listening to what he loved came out in that 4 minute medley. It had them cheering for more and he was announced the winner at the end by the impressed judges. His picture made the front of the paper collecting his cash prize. The show was recorded and videoed and at the time Dave was in a theatre company who were affiliated to NODA [National Operatic and Dramatic Association]. The company found out through NODA about a TV show wanting 3 people to compete to win the chance to be in Buddy the musical in London’s West End Strand theatre. The show was called ‘Whatever You Want’ presented by Gaby Roslin and was on prime time Saturday night slot in the late 90s. Dave B. auditioned to get on the show and was given his chance. The show was recorded at the South Bank TV centre and on the show with Dave that night were a band called Boyzone. Dave and the other two were interviewed by Gaby and then sang Peggy Sue each singing a verse before the judges made their choice[the cast of Buddy] Dave B. was announced the winner and he went on four nights later to sing ‘Heartbeat’ live to 1000 people packed into London’s Strand Theatre.
The shows were broadcast on BBC1 four weeks later first showing Dave B. winning then the following week showing his performance at the Strand. Radio Interviews followed on local radio Radio Mercury and BBC Southern Counties Radio where they got him to sing Buddy Holly’s ‘True Love Ways’ Live on air. The theatre bug kicked in and Dave auditioned for a lot of west end shows including Rent, Smokey Joe’s Café and Grease for which he got called back for the role of Kinickie but didn’t get it. Not one to give up he concentrated on regional theatre winning lead roles in Jesus Christ Superstar, Guys and Dolls, The Music Man and more. He still yearned to be the rocker though and decided in 2004 to start playing the pub/club scene of the south east singing stuff from the 50s, 60s and 70s as well as an Elvis tribute. Bookings went ballistic and Dave B ended up getting regular work at a lot of venues as well as parties, corporate functions, weddings, hotels, pubs and clubs. In early 2005 Dave was asked to join the band Rockaround as lead vocalist playing good old 50s rock 'n' roll. This was a 5 piece band and the highlights were playing every summer on the Bandstand in Eastbourne to hundreds of people as part of the annual rock 'n' roll festival. In 2007 Dave won a heat at the Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall as part of the One Night Of Elvis competition. He won through to the national final at the Opera House, Blackpool where he competed in front of 2500 people along with 13 other finalists. The Judging panel included DJ and TV presenter Mike Reid, Darren Day, DJ Tony Prince [who was the 1st person in Europe to announce the death of the King in 1977] as well as Rolf Harris who performed on the night also.
Later that same year the BBC had heard of Dave B's exploits and invited him to be on the ONE SHOW presented by Adrianne Chiles. This was to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the death of Elvis on August 16th. He sung Always On My Mind along with some other ETA's [Elvis Tribute Artists] accompanied on keyboards by James Crompton Shakin' Stevens keyboard player no less and a former member of 70s band Darts. As is often the case the year proved hectic and Dave B could no longer combine his solo act as well as being the vocalist of Rockaround so he decided to part with the band amicably at the end of 2007 after a fantastic farewell gig in his old home town.
Also that same year Dave B recorded his first CD. This live CD consists of live tracks recorded in Spain on a mini tour in March 2007 as well as tracks from gigs in the UK. This sells well at gigs and the massive production line should see him break the 900 th chart position in the album charts.
In January 2008 Dave B entered for the 1st time the annual ETA European Championships. 80 Elvis Tribute Artists from across Europe competing for the title of European Champion. This is a must for any Elvis fan. That same year Diversity FM, based in the Northwest of England and available on the internet, played Dave Bs version of A Fool Such As I. This was the first airing of a Dave B recording. It was quickly followed by Radio Dixie, based in Stockholm, playing his version of My Baby Left Me. Again this was brilliant exposure for Dave B.
A theatre production of a show entitled Vegas Nights in the summer of 2008 at the Chequer Mead Theatre, East Grinstead saw Dave B doing 6 songs by Elvis as part of a show paying tribute to the stars who have graced the stages of Vegas inc The Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe, Barry Manilow and of course the KING.
On April 24th 2010 Dave B was again back on the radio this time with a 25 minute article where 6 of his recordings were played and a brief biog was read out as to what and where his show and career have led him. This was on the internet on Discovery Radio on the DJ Blues Dave ETA Show. DJ Dave is an avid Elvis nut and is a great believer in ETA's [Elvis Tribute Artists] keeping the Elvis flame glowing. That's exactly what Dave B intends to do along with his love of rock n roll and rockabilly music and a bit of country thrown in for good measure.
Keep rockin and see you at a gig one day soon.
Elvis Presley. Shakin Stevens, Roy Orbison, Darts, Stray Cats, My Dad.
Music, Football, Nascar[National Association Stock Car Auto Racing] Golf, Films.
Did You Know?:
Dave B. was a part time crowd control steward at Arsenal Between 2002-05 where he met Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungburg, Patrick Viera, Tony Adams and even shook the hands of Sven and Nancy in the directors box.
Dave B. visited the home of The King ‘Graceland’, Memphis, Tennessee.in 1997.On that same holiday he was in Nashville and ran to eat in the Hard Rock Café there to get out of the rain. Who should be in there? The legend that is Scotty Moore. Elvis’ first guitarist who stayed with him right up to 1968. He was there with the drummer DJ Fontana who joined Elvis the year after Scotty and Sam Phillips owner of Sun Studios in Memphis and the man who discovered the King. They were in Nashville being enrolled into the country hall of fame. What are the odds for an Elvis fan?
To see Dave’s Rockin Years succeed to the point of going full time.
To make his first CD in late 2005 early 2006. Achieved (See Above)
To see Arsenal win the Champions League [Dream on]
To gain a starring role in an Elvis The Musical.