Friday, 27 February 2009

Gigs this weekend

I've been busy rehearsing with the band for the last couple of weeks as we're playing our first show under the new name, James and the Giant, this weekend. Details below.

Firstly, if you're in the London area this evening (Friday 27th February), why not pop along to CafeDirect's TasteFair Friends' Friday event for FairTrade Fortnight? I'll be playing a solo spot and it's also a chance to find out more about Cafe Direct and sign up to become a Friend of Cafe Direct if you're not already. More information at

And tomorrow night, Saturday 28th March, I'm performing with James and the Giant at The Box in Crewe. Here's the press release:

James and the Giant
Live At The Box, Crewe
Saturday 28th February 2009

Sparks will be flying down at The Box this Saturday night as new acoustic band James and the Giant perform their first official gig.

Saturday 28th February will be the historic night for the band, led by Crewe based singer-songwriter Dayve Dean. James and the Giant play a mixture of acoustic and folk-pop, channelling the likes of REM, Tom Waits, David Gray and Aimee Mann into their original music. Completing the line-up is local radio DJ Dan Logan on drums and guitarists Carl Hill and Steve Welch.

It is the first time that the band will have performed live under their new name James and the Giant, having already played a number of shows in support of Dayve Dean’s latest album Octagon towards the end of 2008. You can listen to songs from the record at and check out the band at

The Box is a new music venue located on Pedley Street, just opposite Crewe railway station and is building an excellent reputation as a live venue. They are committed to bringing the best of signed and unsigned acts from around the country to Crewe’s burgeoning music scene, with live nights every Friday and Saturday nights.

Also on the bill on Saturday night are indie bands Sold Out Story, The Mons and Model Radio. The show starts at 8pm and entry is £4 on the door.

Official Website:
Official Myspace:
Official Dayve Dean Website:
Buy Octagon by Dayve Dean:

Gigs this weekend

Apologies for being a bit useless blogging of late. I've been busy rehearsing with the band and finding us places to play. I've added some to the gig guide including two shows this weekend.

Firstly, I'm doing a solo spot later today (Friday 27th February) at Whole Foods Market, Kensington High Street, London. It's part of Friends' Friday at Cafe Direct's TasteFair for FairTrade Fortnight. Check out

Saturday, 21 February 2009

End of the Day

This week's free song download is End of the Day, taken from my first album, Still Life.

Inspired partly by an interview with REM about one of their songs, End of the Day imagines taking a look back at a long life and where to go from here.

This is the full version from the album. It was recorded in 2000 at Frog Studios in Warrington by Mark Walker and Nigel Stonier and is a Pondlife Production.

Still Life is available to buy from,, iTunes, Napster, and more. Lyrics available at

Apologies for the slightly late arrival of the podcast this week. I've been busy rehearsing with the band as we are doing some live shows in the next week. I'll blog about these very soon, as well as updating the gig guide, but in brief the upcoming live dates are:

Friday 27 March, Cafe Direct event for FairTrade Fortnight, Central London (solo gig)
Saturday 28 March, The Box, Crewe (James and the Giant band gig). More information at

Friday, 6 February 2009


Another rehearsal with the band (who it looks like are going to be called 'James and the Giant') tonight - full band this time!

We've been working on some of the new songs, which are Freefallin' (originally by Tom Petty), Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen, or possibly Jeff Buckley. Just don't mention X Factor!), Just Let Go (one of Dan's songs) and Tell You (from the Octagon album). Once I've caught up on some of the videos from the rehearsal a few weeks ago I'll try to take along the camera again to get some clips of these online. Steve's started to play harmonica in a few of the songs which is sounding excellent. Too many instruments, too few players...! lol

We also went through some of the songs we know including The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite, Follow, Like Jimmy Did, Another Christmas, I Could Be Happy With You, Ordinary, Starting Line, and Lizard Skin. It's getting to the point when we don't have enough rehearsal time to run through all the songs as well as learning new things which is great in a way, but means we'll need to start getting a bit more organised. So probably less impromptu AC/DC moments (well, maybe only a few less...!)

Here's some photos from the rehearsal:

Steve was looking pretty photogenic with the Martin acoustic. Unfortunately he saw me getting the camera out...!

This was the best I could sneakily manage of him and the guitar together.

It's been snowing in Stoke today. Most of it has melted but Dan managed to find some on the wall outside the rehearsal room.

Carl managed to avoid any photos AGAIN! Must take more of him next time just to even things out.

And in case you were wondering who James is, or the Giant for that matter, there's a few hints in one of the songs we play and one of the band member's names. Inspiration also came from Steve's additional "I'm not your Uncle Jim" line in Lizard Skin. It's probably better not to ask!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

31 Today

This week's free download is a cover of the Aimee Mann song, Thirty One Today. It was recorded using GarageBand on the Mac in my home studio. It's the first time I've used the program for anything more sophisticated than an audio notepad so it's been an interesting learning curve. I'm sure I'll become better at using it as time goes on.

All the instruments are played live, generally in a single take (mainly because I've yet to master drop ins!). I attempted to use the automatic tuner and quantize features but neither seemed to work as they should so it's all as it was recorded, with just a handful of effects.

It features guitar, bass and mandolin along with the vocals and backing vocals. Download it at

Feels quite appropriate for this week ;-)