Dave Bainbridge

Dave's Gear Page > Co-founder, songwriter, musician, producer Iona / 1989-present
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Photos by Monica Duffels, Chris Sands, Joe del Tufo, Tim Martindale, Jonathan Mark, Lutz Diehl, Tim Ostendorf, Janien Kommer, Christopher Nehls & Jean-Daniel Lerber
B orn in Darlington in the north east of England, and from a musical family, Dave began piano lessons at the age of 8 and guitar lessons from his dad at 13. He joined his first band 'Exodus' at the age of 14 - "We all liked Genesis at the time, hence the name - it seemed like the next best thing!"

Dave subsequently studied at the Leeds College of Music, gaining several performance awards (including BBC Radio 2 Best Jazz Soloist Award). At college he also developed a deep interest in recording and synthesizers, particularly through work with college bands 'The Leeds Synthonia' and the 'Hyperspace Rock Orchestra' (the members of which, under the guidance of a rather eccentric college teacher, used to perform concerts dressed in Roman style togas!).

Since then his musical career has involved composing, recording, performing, producing, arranging and teaching.

After an unsuccessful attempt to launch a 'progressive rock' band called 'Plan B' with his sister in 1981 (the era of electro pop!), Dave went on to play guitar in jazz fusion band 'Sound Effect', which featured on keys Paul Birchall (currently keyboard player with Heather Smalls, Combination Head and The Snake Davis Band). In 1982 Dave simultaneously joined jazz fusion pioneer Gary Boyle's band as well the soul band 'Snake Davis and the Alligator Shoes' (later 'The Suspicions'), playing keys in both bands. In the mid 1980's to early 1990's, due to his association with the 'Norman Beaker' band, Dave was very active on the UK Blues scene. With the Norman Beaker band, Dave backed many visiting UK, US and European blues artists, both 'live' and on recordings for the 'Paul Jones Blues Show' on BBC Radio 2, including; Jack Bruce, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Paul Jones, Pete Brown, Phil Guy, Lowell Fulson, Lurrie Bell, Cary Bell, Rockin' Sidney, Guitar Shorty (Jimi Hendrix brother-in-law!), Louisiana Red, Colin Hodgkinson, Tony McPhee, Chris Farlowe, Herbie Goins, Fenton Robinson, Johnny Mars, Mick Abrahams, Ted Hawkins, Helen Watson, Angela Brown etc.

Dave has also played keyboards with blues legend Buddie Guy and in 1990 was one of the nominees in the category of 'Instrumentalist of the Year' in the British Blues Connections awards.

Whilst still at college in Leeds Dave, through a mutual friend, met up with singer/songwriter Adrian Snell, whom he had long admired. The result was a working partnership (many concerts, album co-production and musical direction) that spanned the next 8 years from 1982 to 1990 and through which he would first meet Joanne Hogg and David Fitzgerald. In 2007 Dave worked again with Adrian, on keyboards, acoustic guitar and sound design for the world premier of Adrian's 'The Cry' at St Paul's Cathedral - an event sponsored by Save the Children featuring a 17 piece orchestra, several solo singers and a 160 piece choir.

Dave co-founded with the band's former woodwind player, David Fitzgerald, in the summer of 1989 with Joanne Hogg joining soon after Dave and David's first 'duo' gig as . As well as playing guitars and keys with Iona, behind the scenes Dave has produced all the bands albums to date and also mixed the latest album 'Another Realm' in his own Open Sky studio.

Dave's first solo album 'Veil of Gossamer' was released in June 2004 to critical acclaim and includes a number of guest appearances, including Mae McKenna, Racheal Cohen (formerly Jones, of The Reasoning) and Joanne Hogg on vocals.

He has collaborated on several duo projects include 'The Eye of the Eagle' (cd & dvd) with David Fitzgerald (1998), 'From Silence' (cd & dvd) with Troy Donockley (2004), 'When World's Collide' also with Troy Donockley (2005) and his most recent reunion with old friend David Fitzgerald, the evocative 'Life Journey' (2009).

In 2008 Dave briefly formed his own band 'Open Sky' with Gabriel Alonso (percussion and drums), Andrea Alonso (vocals, flute), Steve Lawson (basses, loops) and Andy Green (keys, vocals) and played several concerts in the UK, performing material from 'Veil of Gossamer' as well as new material and some tracks. In the same year he collaborated with classical guitarist Nick Fletcher, recording and producing Nick's album 'Cathedral of Dreams (2009)'. The album features 'Iberian Fantasy' a guitar concerto co-written by Dave and Nick. Tracks from this album have been featured on Classic FM.

He has worked with many other artists including: Gloria Gaynor, Paul Jones, Phil Keaggy, Michael Ball (string arranging), Soulful Terrain, and (through his work as producer) Moya Brennan (Clannad) and Robert Fripp.

Dave's music has been heard on numerous TV programmes and he has written the soundtracks for numerous short films, most recently 'Petrified' (2011) (CGI animated comedy short), 'Man from the Moon', 'Remember to Smile', 'Going Up' (all 2011 'Straight 8' competition entries). Over the past 3 years he has written, recorded and mixed in 5.1 surround sound around 16 short films for a major multi-national company for showing in their iMax cinema.

Dave has produced and/or mixed albums for several other artists including Joanne's solo album 'Looking into Light', albums by Adrian Snell, The Kairos Ensemble, The Pete James Trio, Nick Fletcher, Kingsway Music.

Debbie and Dave Bainbridge run Iona's own label and his own Open Sky recording studio and occasionally play together in Christian worship events. Dave also occasionally plays with jazz/improvisation artists 'Fairclough & Youell' along with virtuoso bassist & guitarist Fred T Baker. Their debut album 'Momentarily' was recently released.

Dave is currently working on the follow up to 'Veil of Gossamer', which is projected to be released towards the end of 2012.


'Veil of Gossamer' reviews:

'To my ears this is the most successful album of this type since Mike Oldfield's masterpiece Ommadawn. Stunning.' - Sept 2004

'...a sonic masterpiece...Bainbridge has given us what is in my humble opinion one of the best albums ever to be recorded.....some of the best music that he has ever written Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock August 2004.'

'Bainbridge's guitar playing is superb; his electric solos conjure Eric Johnson and Allan Holdsworth, while his acoustic technique dazzles, thanks to a remarkable dexterity and the use of unusual tunings.... ....Looking deeper, the music is genuinely touching, possessing a spiritual quality that speaks to the soul and inspires various states of positivity, from peaceful tranquility to breathless exhilaration. Layers of wordless vocals - courtesy of Joanne Hogg (Iona), Rachel Jones (Karnataka), and Mae McKenna - and McKenna's heartfelt renderings of Gaelic hymns (in the original language) lend an ethereal, otherworldly quality to much of Veil of Gossamer.....Best of 2004, hands down.' August 2004

'Albums of this quality are a rare thing and make life and music absolutely worthwhile. Besides the outstanding compositions and musicians, the production is flawless and the artwork fits the theme of the music as if the artist knew the story (which wasn't the case!). So, an absolutely amazing album, filled with nothing but beauty, beauty we all need in our lives, whether we admit it or not.' August 2004

'I fear that my words might not do justice to the haunting and beautiful guitar that opens The Everlasting Hills (part 1); or misses the beauty of the vocals accompanied by Troy Donockley's Uilleann Pipes in (part 2)......Veil of Gossamer is a truly wonderful album combining the best of Iona's Celtic atmospheres along with some splendid guitar work from Dave Bainbridge, and great performances from the assembled cast.' Holland Sept 2004

Sitting here stunned after my first full listen to Veil of Gossamer, I've not the command of words to convey the true gratitude to Dave Bainbridge for what has instantly become one of my favorite recordings of all time. Kenneth L. Solomon - Progressive Soundscapes Radio August 2004.
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23rd June 2020

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13th April 2020

Pre-orders The Book of Iona AND the all the re-issued Iona studio albums with their their new companion disks, and much more at the new Open Sky Records store!!!

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27th April 2020

Hey everyone, quick update from Dave. Firstly I hope everyone is keeping well and safe. In these times of enforced isolation I've been steadily working away on 'The Book of Iona' Iona box set over the past several weeks and there has been an exciting development!

The original idea was to include one dvd in the box, however we've decided to leave that until the full Iona DVD box set comes out, and instead to include a cd of newly recorded versions of a number of Iona tunes, but not as you've heard them before! This cd, to be titled The Sound World of Iona will be cd 17 in the box! It will include new mainly (but not all) instrumental recordings featuring past Iona band members David Fitzgerald, Nick Beggs, Frank Van Essen Troy Donockley, Terl Bryant, Tim Harries, Martin Nolan, Mike Haughton, Martin Neil and (tbc at the time of writing), Phil Barker. Plus myself, both solo and in collaboration and special guest Sally Minnear. Some tracks are already recorded and others will be completed over the next week or so. I'm very excited about this development and it will really be the icing on the cake for what will be an incredible release, which already includes some great, previously unreleased recordings from the band!

Pre-orders for the box set will be starting very soon!

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16th March 2020

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15th March 2020

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9th March 2020

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7th March 2020

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6th February 2020

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3rd December 2019

Frank is releasing a new, meditative album soon. Available for pre-order now!

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5th October 2019

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3rd October 2019

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24th September 2019

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2nd September 2019

REVISITING SOME ANCIENT WELLS!
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17th August 2019

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8th August 2019

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22nd July 2019

Donegal...... just beautiful.
Always inspiring to be here...... πŸŽΆπŸ™

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15th July 2019

DANCING......
I stumbled across this on YouTube today. A song I recorded in 2008 in Nashville for a solo album entitled Personal..... one that went well under the radar and is no longer available.
Also features some lovely low whistle by Troy Donockley 🎢😁

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4th July 2019

Avec Toi...... some songs in French from moi! ( Jo ) 😁 🎢 πŸ‡«πŸ‡· ( including a couple of my Iona favs )

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11th June 2019

Soon in Hardenberg - Dave Bainbridge & Frank Van Essen and band playing SANCTUM & Iona. With sand art by Gert van der Vijver. Come and join us if you can!

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