About The Los Dawsons

We were originally an intrepid acoustic quartet from in and around Greenwich, we are now vocals, 2 guitars, electric Bass, Drums and occasional harmonica. We perform as close to acoustically as possible in small venues or amplified in larger ones, we have headlined large festivals but we are just as happy playing in your dining room and have done so on more than one occasion. We play music that encompasses 75 years of popular music; jazz, blues, swing, country, rockabilly, rocknroll, latin, soul, Rhythm and Blues, pops, standards, folk, punk, brit pop and even some originals too... so Rent Parties Bar Mitzvahs or any other suitable occasion is our pleasure or hopefully yours! A snapshot of our latest tracks are featured in the Flash player here, they were recorded live with no overdubs – so this is what we sound like live...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gluttons for punishment; Powercuts, Juke Boxing and Frozen Hands...

After nearly being booked for a couple of function gigs, and a sonically wondrous gig at the old library in Charlton house for the Picnic in Greenwich Parks Movement, we had some gigs that became more of a challenge than we expected.

An old college friend arranged a special evening for her significant other halfs' half century celebration, intitially we were going to try and fit in a rustic snug bar when the power gave up, whilst it meant that we had to break set in the pitch black (exciting!) we then had to move everything upstairs into a large rather bland conference room, as one can imagine the organisers were fraught.... We got on with rigging the band and thought at one point we may have to play totally acoustically - but we rigged the power from the pub kitchen got on with it turned the lights down and created the vibe - it went down very well and a big thank you for Jim Kimberley who covered percussion and drums beautifully... I also had the added frisson of us performing one of my songs from college days - crikey...

Then Sunday at Catteleyas with the Juke Box second set - where we get the audience to shout out numbers from the Juke Box flyer - this is very tricky as they tend to chose songs we don't always play, whilst this keeps us very much on our toes it can be a bit difficult...

Then Frozen toes, fingers, noses etc, back at the East Greenwich Pleasaunce for the Christmas Open Air party - Carols, Choirs, Santa, Mulled Wine, Mince Pies and an aptly chilled Los Dawsons..

But we brought the sun with us again (in the summer it poured with rain and then was fine for the rest of the day) and similarly the inclement weather disappeared for our two rather chill(y) sets.. I found that if I wore cycle mitts it kept my hands warm enough to start playing.. Ben and Dave were not so lucky, but Kate from the committee thought we kept the audience happy and a lot of people came up to express their amazement that we were to prepared to play outside in December, a record I reckon... So as usual we are trying to keep the gigs diverse.. Im currently trying to sort out a charity gig for Crisis in Smithfield for mid January and I reckon that could be interesting too...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh what a night!

The LD’s rock Plumstead’s One Day Café

We can quite understand why you wouldn’t want to turn out on a dark, cold October evening, especially to the depths of Plumstead, but, we’re sorry to say, you missed a cracker.

The gig was for the One Day Café, an enterprising group in Plumstead headed by Jane Fenton, that is trying to establish a community café/venue an area that’s full of artists, musicians, actors etc. but completely lacking in any decent venue or indeed café. Seeking council funding to secure a permanent venue, the One Day Café organisation has been putting on gigs in various Plumstead locations and Friday 16th October’s event was an imposing brick sh*thouse-like building nominally titled the Greenwich Rugby Club Pavilion. But with a little bit of TLC by Jane and her crew it was turned into one of the cosiest, intimate venues we’ve ever had the pleasure to play in. Attendance was very good too. So a very big thank-you to all the One Day Café-ists who turned out — not to mention a few Los Dawson ‘groupies’ (you know who you are!) and shame on you other Los Dawson-ists who couldn’t summon the courage to venture to Plumstead (and no, you don’t need a passport to leave Charlton!). Seriously, we really appreciate all your support.

Actually there was a bit of Blitz spirit to the evening. Ben was otherwise engaged so bass duties fell to our old buddy Nigel ‘Reggie’ Pierce who’d been working away leaning some 30 songs at very short notice. Paired with his old drumming partner Mark Walker, however, Reggie fitted like the proverbial glove. Handy too that he was playing an acoustic bass, not an upright double bass like Ben — the ‘stage’ was on the small side, barely room for Mark’s kit and our egos let alone Ben’s huge bass. And mid-way through our second set the power went off plunging the venue into darkness and muting our PA and amps. While the organisers hurriedly re-lit candles and ventured to find the problem, Mike serenaded the audience as only he can — the power came back on and we didn’t miss a beat. See, we said it was a special night.

So, a big thank-you to the One Day Café for putting us on. Their next gig is on 4th December (www.onedaycafe.org.uk) featuring the Steve Pringle Trio, a Greenwich-based trio of some of the UK's best up-and-come jazz musicians from Trinity College of Music.

If you want music in your area this is exactly the sort of event you should come along and support. We won’t be playing that one but some of us will definitely be propping up the bar — please join us!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September and Onwards

We had a gig without Ben this last Sunday, and Reggie filled in with great aplomb, Dennis came and sat in then disappeared with the PA for some secret Nine Below Zero Mission.... BTW what a great version of "you never give me your money" with Glen Tilbrook on the Mojo CD this month... I bet Macca is made up...

We have a flurry of activity in a couple of weeks... lets keep our fingers crossed for even more interesting opportunities we like odd gigs...

Mike

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Los Dawsons Break Records

Phew! The weekend of the 25-26th July was a busy one for us. A private function on the Saturday night for the quartet yielded our biggest income for the year. Hurrah! We can now afford new strings (well, not sure about double bass strings). Special thanks to Sue & Peter Boyles for putting on a great party. Clearly that’s all you need for a good evening: people, beer, garden and the Los Dawsons!

Some of us — we’re not saying who but he plays the nylon string guitar — were rather ragged around the edges come Sunday evening’s regular slot at Cattleya’s in Charlton. We turned up to find the place full and by the time we’d started playing it was standing room only (we broke the house record again) and unfortunately some people had to be turned away. Special thanks to Candy and Helen for helping out behind the bar to make sure those who could get in got a drink. As any of our regulars know it can get very, very busy so we always advise that you book a table in advance. Just call 0207 642 1014. Our next gig there is on 23rd August, 8pm start.

We were joined by the ever-youthful Dennis Greaves from Nine Below Zero who sat in for rollicking renditions of Let’s Stick Together and the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ She’s Tuff freeing up Mike to blow harp. The ‘Zeros have just put the finishing touches to their new album ‘It’s Never Too Late’. We’ve heard the finished tracks and suggest that you all rush out a buy a copy immediately. Their best album for years? We think so! More info www.ninebelowzero.com
So, apologies again for the over-packed Sunday at Cattelya’s, don’t forget book early for the next one. See you on the 23rd August!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We've had a quietish month so far

Dave was away so we had a bit of a break; now we're ready to go - we have a party on Saturday night as the quartet, and at Cattleyas on this Sunday (26th July) as the trio, and if eveything is even we should have a good bunch of people down, I am hopeful....

We think we want to add some newer material to the repetoire and are even starting to consider adding some original material - Crikey, watch this space.... Currently we have potentially four varied sets (over 50 songs) circa 4 hours of music so to add some more material should be fun - trying to memorise all the lyrics can be a challenge, thank goodness I dont have to sing Dylan or some of the more wordy Springsteen songs..

Though as one of our (as usual) perceptive punters remarked - we play covers material in such an unusual manner that we shouldnt necessarily worry too much about these not being originals... Oh well lets see what happens... its all a journey...

Mike

Monday, June 8, 2009

Phew... A mighty amount of activity....

Since the last update weve done five gigs which is quite good going, we have had some nice responses from the festival and open air concerts, a big thank you to Rob Wilson who sat in so nicely at Wadfest, he had learnt all the tricky bits better than we know them... Chapeau as they say...

We had some lovely responses from people who came up to us and said they hadnt expected to see an act as interesting as us - our hats wont be fitting soon if this carries on....

I returned the gesture to Glenn Tilbrook by giving him a copy of our new CD, as he so kindly gave us his the last time we met... the main difference was that our budget was most likely exponentially smaller...

Hope to see you all at the British Oak, it should be a good one...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The New CD is completed.. and ready for sale

Its called Cattleya Nights, Its live, Its 10 tracks, Its had the front cover illustration designed by Lance Bohl which is a lovely Picasso Pastiche.. It will be ready for sale at the Oxleas Wood Gig this Sunday for a lovely £6 each all we need now is the weather to be fantastic..

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In the Studio Today and the East Greenwich Pleasaunce Picnic

We started the recording session at 10am, finished at about 6.15pm and we managed to complete 10 live take songs from our set list, we were a quartet with Mark playing drums and percussion, so the groove was really great... we think we have a good CD for all of you out there in wonderful webland/dawsonista land... it should be mixed and mastered in time for the Oxleas Wood Cafe gig which we are very much looking forward to... if you can make it the new CD will be an added bonus...

We have a really funky gig at the East Greenwich Pleasaunce Picnic, hopefully Glenn Tilbrook will be headlining on Sunday 7th June 12-4pm - we should be playing at 2pm all being well, the last few events there have been really special - its a glorious open space... and we will bring a few CDs along too...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Parties, Rehearsing, Studios and Open Air festivals

We played at a really hectic Party in Camberwell for our friends Dean and his partner Lisas’ Birthday, it was a fabulous night which is a testament to good organising; and we played well too..

Dean sang, and so did some other guests including Steve Ellis from Love Affair singing Stand by me and a young lady called Alex did a sterling interpretation of Summertime..The Restaurant should be given a mention as we were extremely impressed with their enthusiasm, professionalism and food… so Caravaggios in Camberwell gets 5 stars…

We did a very in depth rehearsal yesterday evening for the Studio session that we are doing later this week; it will be a magnum opus as we are recording 11 numbers live on the day that will be mixed next week ready for the Oxleas Wood Café gig…

So we need to get some good photos together for the artwork and we have to be very focused… but if the results yesterday evening are anything to go by I am very hopeful…

It seems hopeful that we have the East Greenwich Plaesaunce Picnic gig which will be a lot of fun and we are hopeful about some other very interesting outdoor local gigs later in the Summer… And we are in conversation with Kingy at the East Dulwich Tavern too (EDT)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 2009 - gigs - CDs - ideas etc etc.

It was a busy weekend, Dave went to see Steve Morrison & Mark Walker play at the Spice of Life last Friday and by all accounts most excellent they were... Uh oh....Dave then found out that locally on the Bank Holiday Sunday at the same time we were at Cattleyas (4pm - 10.30 pm) we were competing for audience with Steve Morrison and Al Richardson at Olivers in Greenwich and Bruise were at the Pelton Arms in East Greenwich so suddenly we thought wed have a quiet one... as we have common fans....

Coupled with this we had to do a BBQ gig in between sets that alot of our regulars were invited to, so we thought we were onto a hiding..... thankfully it was cooking all night and the people stayed with us from the off...

A few cards given out and some new people on the Dawsonista mailer... the Charlton fans seemed to enjoy what we were doing and even danced a bit too... so the gloom surrounding relegation was nullified

Yesterday (May bank Holiday) We went to the British Oak to see our old mates play in the Mish Mash Band - and stomping they were too... I wonder whether the Oak should get us to warm up for the next one.. now that would be a great gig...

We are also liaising with the East Greenwich Pleasaunce picnic to perform, trying to get closer to Charlton House because we think we could offer a great package there... (as other friends are interested in joining us) and we are desperately trying to find any other interesting outdoor or indoor gigs that are unusua.... if you have anything in mind pitch it back to us...

We will hopefully have our new CD ready for the Oxleas gig... anyone out there with a good pic of us that we could use?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Big News - Were going to record a new CD...

We thought it was about time we recorded something that reflects our current abilities and line-up. So we are hoping to have a CD ready for the Oxleas Wood Cafe gig, as we think that would be an appropriate launch... If any of the dawsonistas out there has any nice black and white photos of the boys in action it may be considered as artwork for the new title, we havent got an idea what to call this one yet...

Also HOT PRESS we will be doing an early 4pm'ish set on this Sunday 3 May before our usual session due to it being the last match of the season at the Valley..

Be there or 4-sided...

Monday, April 13, 2009

The British Oak Easter Sunday: The Quartet.. and a new mail id..

We quite often go out as a quartet if we can, as its a joy to perform with Mark Walker as he is very inventive drummer/percussionist and his washboard playing is er sublime...

(I have to say here that when Mark cannot play we also play with Jim Kimberley who is just as much fun, we are privileged that two so musical drummers want to perform with us).. I digress..

We were offered an opportunity to play at The British Oak at their BBQ afternoon on Easter Sunday, we used to play there before before it changed hands so whilst we are always a bit worried by bank holiday afternoons as London can become a ghost town, we didnt want to lose the opportunity... We like the pub and ro be honest we had given up hope a bit as perhaps we thought were not the landlords kind of thing..

So we were pleasantly surprised with the call and so it had to be.. A lot of the acts in the 'Oak are primarily "music" rather than "music and entertainment" but the audience there are intelligent and will encourage acts if they fit in... were a bit different as we encourage a fairly intimate experience.. we are used to engaging, thankfully there were a few familiar faces and they were local people who will go to the Oak again..

The Gig: 4 musicians, a vocalist with a bad chest infection, 3 sets, 33 numbers, condensation on the windows, audience clapping and joining in, Dawsonistas from Southwark and Balham, the Oxleas people coming along to make certain were the right kind of act...

All in all it went extremely well, the Landlord said hed book us back, and I got to play some more harmonica (it may be catching....) and as the dawsonistas are aware they now receive a dedicated email from thelosdawsons@gmail.com to tell them what is happenning - if you want to join in send us an email and youre included too..

thank you - all of you you are making certain I can keep on playing guitar singing and now picking up harmonica again (ill have to make certain I play well enough if Mark Feltham turns up.. phew)

Mike

A Surprise at Catteleyas 5 April

Its funny, when we think we're going to have a few quiet gigs the condensation runs off the windows.... I guess it helps in smaller venues with the amount of people and our frenetic activity.... we thought the Sunday at Catteleyas on the 5 April would be a man in his flat cat and a sheep dog... How wrong were we......

We had Matt the minister and a party to celebrate his wifes birthday (wed done a surprise bithday gig in his garden last year). Dennis Greaves and Dean Powell and their partners and friends turned up, Sharon from the Special League was there and too many others to mention - absolutely tremendous.. I had to rush home to get some lyrics for Dean as our repetoire doesn't include the Faces.. and grabbed an old harmonica that half worked to have a blow with for a bit of a joke (I used to play harp in a few Rhythm and Blues bands 25 years ago...) to whit I ended up supporting Dennis Greaves on I cant quit you baby.. which is a bit tricky with a 50% harp and a quarter century of no emblature and practice.. however the response was - we didnt you know you could blow you should do more... food for thought indeed...

Truly fabulous performances from Dennis Greaves (and hed just done 4 gigs in
Germany on the bounce... and flown back from the ruhr in the morning - a consumate professional...) Dean Powell rolled off a few faces and small faces classics with aplomb, should he ever want to give up boxing managing and promoting he could give Weller a run for his money...

Ben and Dave as ever were on the money (strange term that... as I reckon weve never made a brass farthing from music... hahahaha do we care...)

Its an inspiration as I then have to start the noprmal week on the Monday morning...

Friday, April 3, 2009

April News.. and hunting gigs...

Well we put in considerable effort for the Steve Morrison gig, got some lovely music arranged and then the Gig was cancelled due to circumstances outside our control, we were all a bit despondant as the vibe was lovely - so were now looking for a venue suitable enough for the guitar orchestra; Ive heard that Dr King's Jailhouse at the East Dulwich Tavern may be a goer, though I cant find kingys email pah.. I wonder if hes the same Dr King that dressed up in a bear suit with Jim Moir at the Parrot Cafe all those years ago, if it is it would be fun to recount old stories... so we will have to investigate, another likely venue maybe the Hob in Forrest Hill ...

we are getting quirkier gigs this year so were pleased - there seems more momentum...

see you all at Cattleyas on Sunday evening there should be some good music on...


Mike

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Busy Times - and some...

On Sunday 8 March we did a private party with Dennis Greaves Mark Feltham and Glenn Tilbrook and a great time was had by all - wall to wall music, and we had such a great time that we are currently discussing a potential gig with all of us doing it again - the Albany Saturday lunchtime sprang to mind, of course that is if Cameron the chap at the Albany is interested...

and Glenn said hed endorse us so you cant say fairer than that..

Adding to the mayhem yesterday we did the first rehearsal with the quartet plus Steve Morrison for the long lane gig; as Mark now does more gigs with Steve than us it may have been more the trio joining Morrison and Walker - sweet as a nut which ever way we concoct the outfit - it was awesome... Ben and Mark - great Rhythm section... Steves genius and a brand new repertoire.. crikey... you must come along...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

2009 for the Los Dawsons; ligging, new gigs, new venues...

Numbers! well weve been doing some interesting stuff already; we have increased out repetoire to c70 songs so we can now do 2 independent 3 setters, Im trying desperately to learn all the lyrics- no mean feat...

We were recently hanging out down at Glenn Tilbrooks studio seeing some of the final touches being put to the new 9 Below Zero offering.... which already in its pre mix down format has had an airing on Janice Longs Radio 2 show with great reviews..... we really like what we've heard I reckon its Dennis Greaves and Mark Felthams Exile on Main Street, fabulous....!!!!

Whilst Dave and I were there we were also dead chuffed to be given a couple of pre release "Pandemonium Ensues" which is Glenns new CD and is really good - I love it - very blue eyed soul... And we had the privilege to see Glenns Ivor Novello award up close and personal - blimey they're heavy! cast out of bronze or something....

We have put the final touches to some new work where we are to be the the guts of another friends Cabaret project... Steve Morrisons Guitar Orchestra which will have its first outing on the 4 April at Long Lane Pavillion; this will be very good night, please email and we can tell you who to contact for tickets - we will also be using our Los Dawson quartet drummer Mark Walker who we introduced to Steve and they've been making madcap music together in a baaaddd rockin duo ever since ...

We are also in conversation with some other great musicians to build an acoustic function band.. so that should be fun when weve finally sorted it out... we are also excited about this we may yet be the "funk brothers of Charlton"...

More great news: the Fabulous Oxleas Cafe Sunday gigs are now about to be Los Dawsoned... they currently have a rock covers band once a month and we are going to alternate fortnightly with an acoustic alter ego with the Los Dawson quartet.. hundreds of people turn up - bring their own bottle have some fantastic cafe fare and chill out to the festival vibe - perfect for our kind of performance... Ill have to ping the Greenwich Phantom about this...

We also liked a music pub in Croydon that we think wed fit well in, and are in negotiation with a venue in Beckenham, lots of stuff going on.... though wed like to play more local venues, Glenn is heading up an Acoustic Roster at the Albany today... though I may pop into Rectory Fields to catch the Rugby first as theres some talk of us doing a regular session there...

Mike

Friday, January 9, 2009

And a big Thank-you to all our guest sit-ins in 2008

The last year has seen some regular guests who have helped make our evenings go with a swing, Notable thanks go to Glenn Tilbrook, Dennis Greaves, Mark Feltham, Dean Powell, Steve Morrision, Reggie Nigel, Mark Walker, Jim Kimberley, Phil Dearing, Andy Ropek, Gus Glen, Mark Trounson, Keith Parker, Mike Porter and some other more anonomous players who if I have forgotten anyone many apologies...

and those of you who have promised to come down please do... you are always wellcome - but give us a ping first...

The 2009 Los Dawson catch-up

Well its been a busy last year; 3 bassists, we reckon about 60 gigs, some good venues, some ghastly ones, lots of new songs but more consistently we think better music and more variation, we have developed a varied repetoire and we now have close to 4 x 45 minute sets, not that we ever expect to perform all of them in one evenings entertainment.... make us a challenge!



Further to the issues above: we now have a new Bassist Ben Hillyard who is a fine musician, thanks for making the transition a pleasant one... We have stopped the Thursday nighter in Old Kent Road/New Cross because we felt the venue wasnt suitable, an issue was either punters who seemed disinterested or psychotic; "stop tapping your feet when youre playing" well I think that was what he was trying to tell us... but seemed a trifle non compis mentis

One new venue we liked was the Vanbrugh Arms though they were trying to establish a Sunday acoustic venue with too little publicity- it deserves to continue and has a lovely vibe... We are looking to establish a residency on either the alternative sunday to Chu and Chos or on the Thursday evening, we dont know where yet but we are working on it - weve heard good things about the Nuns Head in (unsurprisingly) Nunhead... cor this establishing acoustic gigs is hard work...

If any of you out there in blogdom have amny ideas please get in touch