Biography

This is where you are meant to write in 2nd person and use loads of adjectives to make yourself sound brilliant. I’m not doing it. I’m just going to tell you my story –  the short version that is. I grew up in the river town of Kempsey in northern New South Wales, Australia. I live in Holland now. I don’t miss Australia much, but I really miss the shire. I love that part of the world and its people. I carry it with me everywhere and it has gotten me through some stuff I can tell you. Seriously. Sounds cliché but its true.

 

I left the pretty valley and headed south to Tasmania to study botany and ecology when I was a young fella. Love the bush. Ended up living in a caravan at Fortestcue Bay there on the Tasman Peninsula for a while working as caretaker of a forest reserve. Right up my alley. I knew the names of all the birds and trees and was a very happy little naturalist.

Joined a folk/punk band in Hobart in 1983 called Wild Pumpkins at Midnight – I had no idea what I was doing, but apparently I could play the bass OK. We used to rehearse by firelight down at Fortescue or, much to my despair, in a dingy little basement in Sandy Bay, Hobart. I used to be very reluctant to leave the bush and come into town back then. Ask the rest of the band about it. I was always late. It used to frustrate the hell out of them.

Thats me on the bass in the Pumpkins - somewhere around 1993 I imagine:)

We started getting successful so we moved to Melbourne. Spent a few years there cutting it up. Almost hit the big time. We used to pack them in at the Punters Club in Fitzroy in the late 80's early 90's. I love Melbourne too. Best place in the world for making music if you ask me. I just didn’t know it back then. When your'e young you think you own the world, so, in an upsurge of youthful ambition and reckless adventure, the entire band relocated first to London and then to Holland in the early 1993. Craziness. Did pretty good on the European club scene for a while though, especially in Germany. Somehow in the middle of all that I managed to fall in love and father 2 children. Even more craziness. If I didnt know what I was doing when I joined a band I certainly had less of an idea when kids started entering the equation. I was away a lot on tour, and when I got back I usually couldn't wait to go straight back out there. I was earning zilch. Miraculously we are still together as a family. The band broke up so it looks like my marriage outlived my band. Most don't. 

In about 2002, I met some musicians here in Holland (you know who you are) who were such inspired players, they really got me started again. It resulted in different combinations of us forming two bands; Big Low & Parne Gadje. Those projects are kind of on the back-burner now but they were both excellent groups, pushing all sorts of musical boundaries with extraordinary levels of instrumental skill. I loved those bands - still do.

This is Parne Gadje doing a television show a couple of years back (me on geetah:). The clip below is Big Low playing a tune live somewhere around 2011.

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I also began a record label in 2001 called Smoked Recordings and I’m really proud of the the label has released since then; 18 titles. No big sellers but every release fetching great reviews. So all this brings us up to about now I guess. I told you it was going to be short. I know its not. And I’ve got stories galore to fill in the gaps. More than you could poke a stick at. Songs from Dan, is my solo project.  Come to a show and I’ll tell you a story.