About 10 years or so ago, I asked my daughter what she wanted for her birthday. Her reply? VIP tickets to see Dave Giles at the Cockpit in Leeds. You got to meet up with Dave before the show, have tea, listen to the sound check, get a bag load of signed and exclusive goodies, and then watch the gig.
Being the great dad I am, I duly obliged, and a small part of his fan base grew.
Back then, I was working on a local radio station & managed to grab a chat with the man himself for my show.
Here I am, all these years later, and I’ve just taken her to see Dave and his Nashville backing band, the ’79 Sound, at the Night and Day cafe on Oldham Street for the penultimate night of his new album launch tour, and I have to say, found myself very happily whiling away a few hours, listening to some great music, played by some ass kicking musicians.
The album, Tennessee and 48th, was in part crowdfunded and recorded in Nashville in January of this year. It’s a very accomplished piece of work, and hangs together beautifully.
Hearing it live can sometimes be a different beast altogether.
Dave has either been very lucky, or very wise. His backing band of Nashville musicians plays to each other’s strengths and the whole set simply bounces off the walls and you can’t help but tap your feet.
Dave wrote most of the album before heading off to the USA on what was probably the biggest gamble of his career, and it comes across as a really polished set. The whole idea of this short tour is to get the album out there to audiences who have supported him in the past, as well as hopefully a few new fans who may have heard it on Spotify.
If the finished product is what you can achieve in Nashville with £20k, more power to him!
For the gigs themselves, Dave is supported by Nick Parker and Pete RG, two very different and contrasting acts to Dave’s laid back style. Both acts in their own way doing what opening acts are supposed to do, warm up the crowd for the headliner.
To be fair, Dave Giles knows his audience, in some cases personally, such is the fan base he has built up over the years, and he moves easily through the venue before taking the stage greeting fans as if they are old friends he’s not seen for a while, which for the most part is true, having also done a series of living room gigs for fans up and down the UK.
Once on stage, it’s easy to see why Dave has built up such a loyal following. His easy going style plays perfectly with the mixture of people in his audience, and there is soon a decent crowd around the front of the stage happily moving to the new album, most of whom already seem to know each new track by heart.
Its great to see an act who is not only in touch with his fans, but so approachable both before and after the gig.
Sadly, this was the penultimate night of the tour, but rest assured, as soon as he announces another gig in the North West, get on to the tickets as quick as you can, because although he has a “pay what you feel like” policy (‘…and if you feel you’ve paid too much, come and see me, I’ll refund you.’) his gigs are always pretty much sold out well in advance of the night.
Dave also has a very interesting merchandise stall (run by no other than his Dad!) which includes the usual T-shirts and hoodies to different teas and mugs. All available on line as well as at the shows.
Easily a 5* show from beginning to end.