My somewhat modest success in the good ol’ music biz came rather late in life, and almost completely by accident. Although, having said that, a lot of hard work had gone into making that accident happen.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
Remaining Still In Obscurity
It was on October 6th 2018 that my debut album, Bedtime Stories, recorded under the name of Dr Bird, was released. I was well into my middle years when it happened. Boy, was it worth the wait.
Like a lot of people in my position I have been playing music for a long time. My first bands were back in the days of the 1980s Mod Revival, when record labels were falling over themselves to sign any band that wore shiny suits and sta-prest trousers. They didn’t fall over themselves to get to me, and I remained in obscurity for most of my adult life.
After years of living in Brighton, on England’s south coast, playing the very occasional solo gig in pubs, I made the decision to move back to London, the city of my birth, some seven years ago. In truth, I haven’t really looked back since then.
Dr Bird Was Born
Within a couple of years I had restarted my music career, met some good friends, and formed a band. Dr Bird was born. By this time I had notebooks full of songs and lyrics that I’ve written over the preceding two or three years. Some of them, I thought, were worth getting people to listen to. After a couple of months of rehearsals we were ready to go out and play.
Our first gig as a band turned out to be a headline slot at the venue that once hosted the famed Ealing Blues Club, frequented in those days by members of The Who and The Rolling Stones. I couldn’t have been happier.
Both band shows and solo gigs started to come thick and fast, almost always in London and almost always on the Mod band circuit. My songs, it seemed, fitted in well and a small buzz started running through the regulars.
Part Of My Plan
Then, in the February of 2018, when Dr Bird were supporting the marvelous French Boutik at a pub in Charlton, South London, I was approached after our set by Colin Swan, formerly a member of 80s Mod Poppers The Direct Hits. He told me that he really liked my songs and that he would be delighted to help me to record some demos so I could get the songs out to a wider audience. Of course, I agreed like a shot.
The initial recordings went well, and Colin decided that the songs were far too good to be just demos. Those first recordings went on to make up the “Part of My Plan” EP, released in the May of 2018 on Colin’s own Direct Records label. To my astonishment the initial run of CDs sold out in very quick time, and also gained airplay on BBC Radio London (Gary Crowley), Soho Radio (Andy Lewis), and a whole bunch of smaller internet stations throughout the UK, Northern Europe and North America.
The Style Council
Colin and I decided that an album was required, and we set about the task of recording ten further songs. These sessions took place over the Spring and Summer of 2018. By Autumn “Bedtime Stories” was ready to go. Once again, it sold out fairly quickly and more airplay was coming my way. I was clearly doing something right.
For those of you who haven’t heard any of my previous releases, which I guess would be most of you, the reviews of the album included comparisons to such greats as Van Morrison, Nick Lowe, Belle & Sebastian and, to my great happiness, The Style Council.
Since the album’s release more gigs have kept us busy. I also made a dream into reality when I stepped onto the stage a London’s iconic 100 Club last Summer and played a solo set in front of a packed crowd. A proper career highlight, that.
More recordings are planned for later this year. As an independent musician, though, that is all dependent on funds. I’m going to have to make this next album myself, which, as most of you know, is a costly business. In the meantime, in fact only yesterday, I released an EP containing some pre-Colin demos which I considered to be far too good be kept languishing on my computer’s hard drive. These songs, along with my entire back catalogue, are available to all on the Dr Bird Bandcamp page.
I thank you all for taking the time to read this, and for continuing to support new independent music and those who make it.