Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Lighting Up


Sorry about the severe lack of posts!! I've been busy working on new recordings and gigs for both Dare To Be Charlie and the Charlie Savigar band and both acts are really making waves. I will do a post early next week as Charlie has a new toy that is well worth mentioning, but I'll need some decent pics which we should have after the gig this Friday at The Cobden Club.

Hope all is good out there and I promise I'll be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, do follow me on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/#!/Daren68

Or eschew the virtual world and come see me in person!!

5th November - Café Rocks presents Charlie Savigar
COBDEN CLUB, 170-172 Kensal Road, London, W10 5BN

Doors 7.00pm Charlie onstage at 9.15pm
£7 with THIS INVITE
(£5 before 8.30pm or FREE before 7.30pm with invite):

18th November
HOPE & ANCHOR, 207 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 1RL

16th December
FIDDLER'S ELBOW, 1 Malden Rd, London NW5 3HS

29th December - DARE TO BE CHARLIE
UPSTAIRS @ THE RITZY, Brixton

Btw, if you're curious about the new toy the pic above is a bit of a clue. It's definitely be a highlight of the show (groan!).

See you soon!

Daren
xxx

Guitars Pictured: Taylor SolidBody Classic, Taylor T5-C and Taylor 314ce acoustic.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Daring To Be Live (On Video)

The last month has seen me and Charlie play some fab gigs. We made our way up to Bristol to play on the same bill as the amazing Less Than Me and awesome The New Root (Kate Bush meets Radiohead - my current favourite band!) at The Croft, we rocked The Montague Arms with Charlie's band as Cowboys and popped up in The Ritzy in Brixton to recreate the sound of AM radio (we had a crackly mic lead... still played a great set though, even if we say so ourselves). It's been fun and exciting, we really feel like there is a momentum building up behind our music and we're looking forward to all the gigs coming up. We've even found time to get on the radio (Charlie's been on practically every internet show you can imagine - and I've been on Radio Sydenham) and we've got a fab show coming up on the 15th October on Resonance FM. We've also started recording some new tracks with the mighty Haydn Callow on drums and Alex Lofoco on bass, look out for those in about two months.

For those of you who haven't been able to make it to a show we have been videoing our sets and it's time to share a few of those with you. Charlie and my shows are not just about the songs, we also like to think that we have a bit of a stage presence and our on-stage banter can sometimes be very amusing in itself. So I thought I'd start to include a bit of our chat so you can get the full Dare To Be gig experience! We do hope you get to see us live very soon, as that's the best experience of all!

Let's kick off the videos with the song that starts our set - Dance. These are all from our gig at The Elixir Bar on the 29th September.



Technical notes (for those that love that sort of thing): Charlie's guitar is a Martin Alternative XT played through a collection of effects including a Boss Flanger that you can hear at the start. My guitar is a Taylor 314ce played directly into the desk. Charlie's auto-tune effect is a Boss VE-20 and all my voice effects (delay, harmonies, doubling and flanging to name but a few) come from a TC Helicon VoiceLive 2. Last, but by no means least, the tambourine is played with my foot! Check it out.



This one features another of Charlie's songs - No Good For Me, this time complete with her intro explaining what the song is about. Excitingly for us we got a spontaneous round of applause before we'd even finished the song, love it when that happens. Also listen out for the coffee machine trying to join in towards the end!

That's all for now on the video front, more songs to follow.

If that's whetted your appetite then do come and see us live, check out our live dates here:

http://www.daretobecharlie.com/

or tune in to Resonance FM (on FM and over the internet) on the 15th October at 10pm (BST / GMT+1) to hear us play live.

Daren
xxx

Friday, August 20, 2010

To Edinburgh and Beyond!

I spent a very pleasant weekend just gone in Edinburgh with my friends Frog & Victoria Morris and Mark Quinn. They were up there performing on the Fringe and their shows were going down really well. The main show that Frog & Mark were performing was the Unwrong Quiz (which you may remember from my multiple appearances at the Montague Arms) - now reworked for a one hour slot in a cellar. Between the rounds it's traditional to have some music. For the Edinburgh run this was provided by Frog's brother Theo Morris, and he was doing a splendid job with songs about genetically modified dogs and land enclosure acts. On the Sunday though, Theo fancied an afternoon off so I was very privileged to step into the breach and reprise my old role as the fill-in music. The show seemed to go really well and I think everyone was happy with my contribution. I have to say though, I was very disappointed to not win a marrow, or Pots! The Game, or even a Crunchie on a mop - oh well, perhaps next time.

Whilst up there I managed to catch a lot of comedians, including seeing Robin Ince for a couple of pounds. I also saw Steampunk strippers, burlesque, singers, the mighty Beta Males Picnic in the bunker, a spell-binding one man show called Bane (very cinema noir) and Frog bemusing an audience with existential art wrestling and Dave "Security" (lovely legs, lovely, lovely legs). I also got used as a keyboard stand! Unfortunately I didn't get to see Utter, Gutted the musical or Charlotte Young's show (Aude, Vide, Tace) - but I hear they are excellent - so go and see them to make up for my absence!! I even got a seat on the train home, so that was a bonus.

Some of you will probably know already that I'm off on the road with Katie Melua again in October for nearly three months! So here are the last few chances to catch me live before then. Do come along and hear my exciting (and fun) duo - Dare To Be Charlie or see me playing guitar with the other half of the duo: the excellent young singer-songwriter - Charlie Savigar:

26th August, 8pm with Charlie Savigar
The Enterprise, 2 Haverstock Hill, Camden, NW3 2BL

29th August, 7pm with Dare To Be Charlie
The Croft, 117-119 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3RW

9th Sept, 9pm with Charlie Savigar
Cowboy Night! @ The Montague Arms, 289 Queens Rd, SE14 5JN

14th Sept, 8.30pm with Dare To Be Charlie
Upstairs @ The Ritzy, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW2 1JG

26th Sept, 8.30pm with Charlie Savigar
Tommy Flynn's, 55 Camden High Street, NW1 7JH

Hope to see you at one of these gigs, otherwise, catch you on the road some time!

Daren
xxx

P.S. The Dare To Be Charlie MySpace is now live, do add us to your friends:

Saturday, August 07, 2010

In Real Life


The internet is an amazing thing especially, it seems, for musicians who have many different ways to get their music to potential fans around the world. One site which is really good for this is Last FM, and a couple of years ago a chap from Sweden got in touch to say that he'd enjoyed listening to my music. You can still see his comment at the bottom of my profile from October 2008 - his username is Winterbay. Well this month he happened to be in London, and wanted to know if I was gigging. As I happened I wasn't, but it's easy enough to arrange something, so I booked Dare To Be Charlie in to play at the Elixir Bar last Tuesday. In the emails concerning this date it turned out that it was actually his Honeymoon!! So he had to get permission from his wife to come along!! It all turned out fine in the end and I met him and his new wife and it was a pleasure to play some songs for them and have a good chat afterwards. It was a really good gig for us, and it was made all the better that a friend from overseas was able to make it to listen. So many thanks for coming and your support over the last two years Peter (for that is his real name) - it was a pleasure to meet you and your wife and I hope you enjoyed the music as much in real life (as you say) as you did in cyberspace.

For those of you who are not in the UK, there is another chance to catch some off my own music, and also hear me talk about song-writing and some of the songs I've enjoyed over the years on Radio Verulam - tomorrow (Sunday) morning from 10am - 12noon. Tune in hear and catch the show:

http://www.radioverulam.com

There are also lots of exciting things happening with Charlie's music, so there will probably be another post to follow on that very soon. Plus, a bit shout out to Frog, Mark, Charlotte, Martin, Richard and Theo who are all in Edinburgh this week running or preparing their shows for the Edinburgh Fringe - good luck guys!!

Daren
xxx

Friday, July 30, 2010

Radio, Someone Still Loves You.


When Queen wrote Radio Ga Ga, I feel that they were predicting the decline of the radio in the face of all-singing, all-dancing television. But they missed the mark somewhat as they didn't realise the effect that the internet would have. In much the same way as the internet has let unsigned artists reach fans all around the world, this global reach has enabled local and community radio to reach far wider and expand their audience. So it is that being interviewed or featured on local radio is now not the parochial experience it once was. Listeners from some very far-flung places can be tuning in, so it's always something that I really enjoy.

Following on from me and Charlie both being featured by our friend Lee Robson on Reach On Air a few months back, we have both been on shows again recently. Another friend - Acoustic Ashley Cowan - asked if he could feature Dare To Be Charlie on his Open Mic show for Sydenham Radio. We jumped at the chance, and he duly came to our gig at Babalou in Brixton with a microphone and a few questions. The talk ranged from advice to unsigned acts (and musical couples!!) to thoughts on use of effects in shows. It came out really well and hear the whole of Ashley's show on Vimeo. It's a good show with some interesting poetry and music and other features too, so do check it out. Our part is around 50 minutes in, and features a little of our songs Dance and Wash too.

The second show I have been interviewed for was a real treat. A few weeks back my dad was interviewed for Radio Verulam for a show hosted by Elspeth Jackman called Tracks Of Your Life. The premise is that, a little like Desert Island Discs, interviewee selects a number of records that have a meaning to them and talk about them with Elspeth. My dad's own show was a fascinating glimpse into his life, which I found both interesting and enlightening listen. It's also a fantastic record for future generations to hear what my dad thought about various periods of his life. My dad recommended that I should be featured on the show and I duly made the trip up to Smallford near St. Albans to record my show. It was really fun to choose 16 songs that had meaning to me through my life, and I really tried to find songs from every period rather than just concentrate on the more obvious choices. My dad had taken us on a musical trip through his whole life to date and I'd presumed that my show would follow the same lines. In the end though, although I did present the songs in chronological order, our discussion focussed more on popular music and song-writing rather than a dissection of my life. I had great fun making it with Elspeth, who is a very good radio host, and if you'd like to hear it then you can very soon.

The show will be broadcast on Radio Verulam Sunday 8th August from 10am - 12noon. You can tune in on line by visiting their website, or if you live in the St. Albans area you can tune in the old-fashioned way on 92.6FM. The show features tracks by my old bands Air and Normal, and also Charlie Savigar and Dare To Be Charlie as well as a selection of songs that have meant something to me over the course of my life. I hope you enjoy it, and many thanks to Elspeth for inviting me to take part!

It's quite likely that you will very soon have a chance to hear a live Dare To Be Charlie gig over the internet, but in the mean time you can catch us live at the following fabulous venues:

3rd August 2010, 8.45pm - Dare To Be Charlie
Elixir Bar, 162 Eversholt Street, London, NW1 1BL

18th August 2010, 8pm - Dare To Be Charlie
The Cuban, Stables Market, Camden, NW1 8AH

26th August 2010 (with Charlie Savigar)
The Enterprise, 2 Haverstock Hill, Camden, NW3 2BL

9th Sept 2010 (with Charlie Savigar)
Cowboy Night @ The Montague Arms, 289 Queens Rd, SE14 5JN

26th Sept 2010 (TBC)
Tommy Flynn's, 55 Camden High Street, NW1 7JH

The last of these gigs might well be a debut for the full band line-up of Dare To Be Charllie - featuring Haydn Callow on drums and Wayne Myers on bass!! Stay tuned for more information on that.

Today's picture was from Charlie's excellent show at The Bedford in Balham taken by Annelie Rosencrantz. Look out for more pictures from this show on our various websites.

Happy listening!

Daren
xxx

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rock Royalty And Norwegian Sing-a-longs


You've got to love my life sometimes. Yesterday I flew back out on tour again, this time with Katie Melua. This is for a series of Summer festivals and TV appearances in Europe and UK. We flew out from Heathrow yesterday and a particularly wonderful moment happened when we were waiting for our bags in Norway. One lady suddenly realised her enormous suitcase was passing by a little to quickly and rushed to get it. It was clear that she was going to struggle to haul it from the carousel. I was preparing myself to help when the man standing in front of me, none other than Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters, moved a little quicker and helped her remove the bag. In fact we had shared our flight out with all of Them Crooked Vultures - ie Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones! Plus assorted other band members and crew, quite a collection of tattoos and sunglasses I have to say.

Being around all this rock royalty is very inspiring and it's sure to rub off on my next few performances. Most notably for those who haven't seen me for a while is the very new duo (soon to be band) that I have been gradually working on these last few months. This new act is called Dare To Be Charlie and is myself and fabulous singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist - Charlie Savigar. We've done a few shows already and the feedback has been extremely positive. We're planning bigger and better things all the time and it really is worth coming to check us out as soon as you can. I can safely say that this is the most exciting musical project I have ever been involved in, and that's saying something!

As I say it's still early days, but check back here for more information as we go along. In the meantime do check out our website and the picture above taken by the wonderful Victoria Morris. Make sure you check out her Blog too: Mrs Frog Blogs.

Here are the dates when you can catch Dare To Be Charlie live:

16th July 2010, 8pm
BABALOU
The Crypt, St Matthews Church, Brixton Hill, SW2 1JF

3rd August 2010, 8.45pm
ELIXIR BAR
162 Eversholt Street, London, NW1 1BL

I also now play guitar and sing with Charlie's band, featuring my brother - Haydn Callow - on drums too.

21st July - The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham, SW12 9HD

26th August - The Enterprise, 2 Haverstock Hill, Camden, NW3 2BL

9th Sept - The Montague Arms, 289 Queens Rd, SE14 5JN

26th Sept - Tommy Flynn's, 55 Camden High Street, NW1 7JH

See you there!

Daren
xxx

P.S. Oh, the Norwegian sing-a-long is the gig I'm working at tonight. A TV show in a hill fort in Halden, Norway. Apparantly the audience are expected to sing-a-long - sounds bonkers to me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Charlie Savigar


I first met Charlie Savigar way back in October 2007. It was a moderately memorable gig (mostly due to the fact that a band was playing in the room next door!) but I thought very little of it at the time. I do look back on it very fondly now as it was because of this gig that I thought to recommend Charlie to Lee Robson when he needed more artists for his Faith! album, and thus how we met up again (almost exactly 2 years later) in Margate for the album launch. As Charlie said in a text message afterwards: we won't leave it 2 years next time! How right she was.

A few weeks later, after we'd met up a few times and seen each other's bands, Charlie's guitarist quit her band with several big gigs coming up. In an effort to boost her sound I volunteered to sing backing vocals, and things just grew from there. Charlie then joined my band Callow Youth to sing on some couple of songs, and with my TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 box I started to add increasingly dense harmony vocals to her live set.

The real eureka moment for me came when we were strumming through my song When The Snow Fell In Denver on acoustic guitars. Charlie suggested slowing the song down and started singing a close harmony as we played it through. I'd always imagined the song with a male and female vocal on it (to kind of get both sides of the story if you like) but I had never imagined it would work so well. I must confess I felt very moved by what Charlie had added to the song - for the first time the song really worked for me. Unsurprisingly the idea of performing and writing songs together became very important to us both.

Recently we've performed a few times as a duo, with some great feedback (see the last post) and started to put together a new band, but more on that at a later date. We've also started to write new songs together, which is a really exciting thing for me. It's great to have found a collaborator who I feel so compatible with and I'm sure this will lead to some really magical things. We already have a few new ideas ready for you to hear, but you really will have to wait until the band is ready to go (am I teasing you enough?).

In the meantime there is a great chance to hear some of Charlie's story tomorrow night (and it is a fascinating story) - Tuesday 25th May - at 7pm, when Charlie will be Lee Robson's guest on Reach On Air. To listen in then click on the link coming up and then on Listen Live a little before 19:00 (British Summer Time - ie GMT + 1) and catch her show:

http://www.reachonair.com/

Also there is a great chance to hear our musical collaboration live on Thursday 27th May at Arch 635 in Clapham. We're onstage for half an hour from 20:30 and we can promise a super set with one co-written song and lots of new arrangements. We're also doing a longer, fully acoustic set during the day on the 5th June in Brockwell Park as part of a large art event - come and find us from 2pm. I've put a full list of Charlie's gigs below, all of which you will see me at in one role or another. Do come along. For those of you further afield, we're hoping to play a gig soon which will be live web streamed, so you can all listen in. Look out for more details in a week or so.

So what does the future hold for Charlie & me? Well we both have a few ideas, but I can promise you that whatever happens, it's going to be fun and exciting!

Happy listening,

Daren
xxx

27th May - Arch 635, 15 - 16 Lendal Terrace, Clapham, SW4

5th June - Brockwell Park (2pm - 2.50pm), Herne Hill.

11th June - Octoberfest, 678-680 Fulham Road, Fulham, SW6 5SA

15th June - The Library, 235 Upper St. Angel N1 1RU

21st July - The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham, SW12 9HD

PS Picture of Charlie was taken at Camden Rock by Annelie Rosencrantz

Friday, May 21, 2010

Duo

Planning a big post on my partner in crime - Charlie on Monday. But for now here's some great feedback we had from a couple of our recent duo gigs, and a list of dates so you can catch us in the flesh very soon.

"Lovely set, fantastic end to a gorgeous day. Charlie was every bit as good as you said she was. Brilliant." Carl

"Great gig on Sun. I really loved the male/female front person thing. It gave an edge to the songs I thought. Seemed to bring them to life, like seeing both sides of the story. I loved it." Trish Boothby - The New Root

27th May 2010 - duo with Charlie Savigar
Arch 635, 15 - 16 Lendal Terrace, Clapham, SW4

5th June 2010 - duo with Charlie Savigar
Brockwell Park (2.30pm), Herne Hill.

15th June 2010 - duo with Charlie Savigar
The Library, 235 Upper St. Angel N1 1RU

Love to everyone,

Daren
xxx

Friday, April 30, 2010

Manic Music Month


It's been another mad music month, lots of gigs and lots of chances to see bands play. Here's a round-up of some of the highlights:

Dan's Send-Off
=============
The gig to see Dan off in style went even better than expected. Despite only a short time to get Haydn & Wayne up to speed with Charlie Savigar's songs I think they played really well. The vibe was great with people singing and clapping along and again we were told that our chemistry on stage was really good. It's a real sign of what will come when we have a regular band to back our duo act, it's certainly the most exciting thing I've worked on musically (and that's saying a lot!!) - so make sure you keep checking back for more news on this new act. I'm very pleased to say that Dan had a fabulous evening, all the acts played with gusto and gave him a great send off. As a bonus the ash cloud actually cleared enough to allow Dan to fly out to Cyprus on schedule, where he is currently getting a nice suntan apparently.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
==========================
Charlie and I had been looking forward to this gig for ages and on Friday 23rd the day finally arrived. It was a really great gig at the Forum with a lot of songs from the new album (which we really like) and the best of the old and we enjoyed every minute. Their new drummer seemed to fit in really well and the atmosphere was great as always (the picture above says it all). We enjoyed it all the more after spending the previous day working on our own music and some new recordings, including mixing a live version of When The Snow Fell In Denver which was played during my radio interview on the 27th.

Oh, we got some great t-shirts too, which you might well see at a gig very soon.

Torriano
=======
Charlie and I took our duo to the Torriano in Kentish Town on Sunday 25th (it was nice to be doing our own gig so soon after seeing BRMC in Kentish Town) and had great fun playing. The gig itself was downstairs in a little area that had a great vibe and the audience were very into listening and supporting the acts. The night was run by David Studdert who kicked things off with one of his own songs. Our performance went really well and we also loved the little backstage area where the artists could chill out whilst still watching and supporting the other acts.

Backfire Cool - 12 Bar
======================
Following on from the Torriano I made my way down to see another of David's nights at the 12 Bar Club near Tottenham Court Road. This is a venue with a real history of live music, although I'm not convinced it was ever a forge as the sign on the chimney says. The fireplace sure looks old, but it's far too small to be a forge I think! Anyway, I have to say it was a fantastic night of music and it would be unfair to pick single out any acts, so I'll save a review for another time. Suffice to say that the place was really rocking for a Monday night and David will be running nights there every month now.

Reach OnAir
==========
On Tuesday night I was scheduled to appear on Lee Robson's radio show - Variety Hits - on Reach On Air. This didn't start too well as phone problems meant we couldn't actually talk to each other! However, things recovered and went a lot better when this was fixed. I must confess I could talk about my music for hours and it was great fun and a real privilege to be on Lee's show. We covered a lot of ground and actually played 5 of my solo and band tracks, one of Charlie's (Long Way Home, on which I am singing, but am not - very sadly - playing the gong!!) and finally the first recording of Charlie and me as a duo. We were very excited to have a live recording of us singing When The Snow Fell In Denver which we previewed on this show. If you tuned in we would love to hear what you thought. I'm also hoping that Lee managed to record the show, so you can all have a listen even if you couldn't tune in live.

Thanks again Lee! Your support over the last year has been really wonderful and, of course, if it hadn't been for the Faith! album, I would probably not be working with Charlie Savigar now, so we owe you a lot!

15 Minute Club
=============
The week just got busier and busier as I headed to the Hoxton Pony on Wednesday to host the marvellous 15 Minute Club. I've written plenty about this in the past, so won't dwell too long. It's enough to say that it was an amazing night of up-and-coming original music in a really top London bar. All the acts who played were really good and really joined in the vibe of the night. It was wonderful to see Rae and Laurence down too, which really made the night special.

Unwrong Quiz
===========
In a rare night off from playing or talking about my music, I popped along to Frog Morris & Marc Quinn's Unwrong Quiz at the Montague Arms last night. I won a clock that tells you the time (wrongly) by decorating my answers very nicely. I also really enjoyed the music from Less and Fred Lindberg.

Frog and Marc are taking the Unwrong Quiz to the Edinburgh Fringe in August, so if you are going, do look out for it.

This Happy Band
==============
Despite the fact that my partner in crime - Charlie - is off for a break in New York this week, I will be picking up my guitar at least one more time... this Saturday I'll be in Brixton Market from about 2pm playing as part of the eclectic troubadours - This Happy Band. If you are in the area, come and find us - it will be a hoot!

Also, do come and see my band Callow Youth playing at the Elixir Bar on the 12th May. We promise a really tight and exciting set, so make sure you check us out.

There are also lots of exciting duo gigs coming up, which I'll write more about in my next post.

Bye for now!

Daren
xxx

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Exciting Times


There are quite a few exciting things happening behind the scenes: a new band, some new songs, gigs further afield in the UK and Europe and even a new guitar. But these are all for the future, in the present there are two really exciting musical projects to savour. Firstly my duo with Charlie Savigar is starting to attract attention and fans, we're expecting the crowd to continue to grow. Do come and check us out as soon as you can, there are lots of chances coming up (check on MySpace for a full list). Secondly my new band (Callow Youth) continues to get rave reviews and we're getting tighter all the time as we really start to know the songs, and get into the live vibe.

Here are the next three chances to hear me play, do come along to one or more!

Daren Callow & Charlie Savigar
Sunday 25th April, 8pm
The Torriano, 71-73, Torriano Avenue, London, NW5 2SG

Hosting 15 Minute Club (with a short set from Daren & Charlie)
Wednesday 28th April, 8pm
The Hoxton Pony, 104-108 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3AH

Callow Youth (band featuring Haydn Callow, Wayne Myers and Charlie Savigar)
Wednesday 12th May, 8.30pm
Elixir Bar, 162 Eversholt Street, London, NW1 1BL

Catch you later,

Daren
xxx

Photo is from Charlie Savigar at the Camden Rock taken by Annelie Rosencrantz. Check out more pictures from this gig on Charlie's redesigned website: www.charliesavigar.com

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Clear Skies

The sky is empty of planes today, a strange and ominous event. A reflection of the past or a prediction of the future?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Farewell to Daniel Joe


I've played a great many acoustic and open mic gigs over the last three years, and the largest number of them have been for Daniel Joe. He's been running nights at The Phoenix, Power's Bar and the Edinburgh Cellars (plus one or two short lived others) for about two years now. He's always been a patient host and sound engineer in the face of many many acts of varying quality. It's been really inspiring to see how he's championed and rebooked a number of acts who were prepared to play regularly and work hard on their sound and songs. So it's with some sadness that we have to say goodbye to him for about 6 months. As well as a promoter he's also a singer, guitarist and performer in his own right and is off to perform in Cyprus for 6 months over the Summer. I'm sure all the acts that have performed and developed their songs and performance at Dan's nights would like to thank him and say goodbye in style, and there are two really good chances to do that this week.

On Wednesday (14th April) it's the last of Dan's nights at the Powers Bar in Kilburn (details below), and then the really big one: The Phoenix on Sunday (18th April) when a really large number of Dan's acts will be doing a small turn to say farewell. Charlie Savigar and I will be performing at both, on Wednesday it will be our duo act (which is really starting to turn a few heads) and then on Sunday a unique and mouth-watering performance backed by Callow Youth (Haydn Callow & Wayne Myers) with a half hour set to round the evening off and send Dan off in style.

These are going to be really fun, and perhaps a little emotional, nights so do come along if you are free on one or both, and see some of the great acts that Dan has helped to develop and support these last two years.

Farewell from all of us Dan, have a fantastic time in Cyprus, and we'll see you for more gigs when you are back in England!


14th April 2010 from 7.30pm
Stripped Bare @ Powers Bar
332 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, NW6 2QN

18th April 2010 from 7.00pm (lots of acts on this night!)
Stripped Bare @ The Phoenix
37 Cavendish Square, London, W1G OPP

Dxxx

Friday, April 09, 2010

Rock & Yoghurt

I'm still recovering from last night (tiredness only) and what a night it was! Looking forward to seeing some pictures, but in the meantime suffice to say that we totally rocked! Haydn (Callow) was on amazing form and the set is really starting to click now. Wayne and Charlie also played their parts very well, and it was gratifying to have a number of people come up and say how much they liked it. The evening also featured songs from Jude Cowan, Theo Morris and Dave Hill; a picture of me as an evil robot (!) and a performance that involved a striptease, a long green wig and yoghurt (I kid you not!). Top night.

More music to come this weekend (see post below) - Charlie Savigar at the Camden Rock 6pm Saturday, and Charlie and me live as a duo on Sunday at the Cavendish Arms (some time after 7:45pm) - come on down and join in the fun!

Dxxx

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Three Of The Best


My dad doesn't really like my band's name: Callow Youth. His surname being Callow too and the phrase being much in use when he was younger it was used to tease him and he's not forgotten it. These days nobody much knows what it means, and for my own part the fact that it was used to describe Luke Skywalker in the novel of Star Wars actually made it rather cool. So hands up, who does know what the phrase "callow youth" means? (answer at the bottom of this post). Regardless of it's meaning the name tickles me as a moniker for my band. It's very useful that it has my name in it, but the "youth" part makes me laugh every time. Not that you'd know that we've been in one or two bands before this one, we all look so fresh faced!

I'm taking my band to the Montague Arms this Thursday (8th April) for one of Frog Morris's excellent cabaret nights. This month you can also expect to see a Voice Activated Drawing Machine, the singers Jude Cowan and Dave Hill, Charlotte Young and Dr. H. Notter giving a lecture on DNA cloning techniques and (as if that weren't enough) performance art from Alex Fear. All this, plus my kick ass rock band (Haydn Callow, Wayne Myers, Daren Callow & Charlie Savigar) all for £3! It's a seriously enjoyable night and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

There are actually 3 chances to hear me play / sing this week and the band gig is just the first. Secondly I will also be appearing as a backing singer for the Charlie Savigar band at Camden Rock on Saturday (10th April) as a part of the Camden Weekend - Charlie's songs are very catchy and feature really strong melodies and harmonies - her shows at the Cafe de Paris, The Troubadour and the Bull & Gate were all excellent and very well received and this one promises to be another great show, at the family friendly time of 6pm. Check out her recently recorded songs produced by Gregg Jackman on Last FM.

Thirdly Charlie and I will also be appearing in our spanking new duo on Sunday (11th April) at The Cavendish Arms. The duo act features a combination of the best of both of our songs presented in new acoustic arrangements, with harmony vocals and percussion, plus a few surprises. We're also writing new songs and previewing new material in the duo, so you should always hear something a bit different from our band shows. Charlie and I are really excited about this collaboration and I've been told that we have real chemistry on stage (by people who really should know better, ha ha) - so do come down and check us out. This show is free, so make the most of it!

So there you go, three good reasons to leave your house and venture out into music world this week. I should also mention that I'll be using my brand new TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 at all these shows and it adds an amazing sound that will really take your breath away. Here's all the details for you:


8th April 2010 - CALLOW YOUTH (feat. Charlie Savigar)
Frog Morris presents @ THE MONTAGUE ARMS, 289 Queens Rd, London, SE14 5JN

10th April 2010 - As part of the Charlie Savigar band
Camden Weekend @ The Camden Rock, 18 Kentish Town Road, NW1 9NX (6pm)


11th April 2010 - As a duo with Charlie Savigar
The Cavendish Arms, 128 Hartington Road, London, SW8 2HJ (7.30pm)

Looking forward to seeing you and playing for you very soon.

Daren
xxx

P.S. So what does "callow youth" mean? Naive and innocent youth. So who got it right?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Meeting Bob Taylor


I've met a couple of legends of the music equipment world. I was really happy to get a signed poster of Jim Marshall OBE at a music show a few years back. Marshall amplifiers and speaker cabinets have virtually designed the way we hear and appreciate electric guitar today.

On Thursday I met a new kid on the block (relatively speaking) in the form of Robert Taylor of Taylor guitars. The event was a special Taylor presentation at Harrod's department store (some of you may have heard of it) and it was great fun to meet the man behind the guitars and try some of their new models. For those that don't know much about guitars, my acoustic guitar is a Taylor 210-E. It's one of those guitars that soundmen and audience love very much as it sounds great just plugged straight into the mixing desk. I've often loaned it to people who's guitars weren't working, or had broken a string mid-set and I've always enjoyed hearing how it sounds from the listener's point of view. It really is a great sounding guitar, and very inspiring for writing songs too as it also sounds great unplugged. Songs such as Lightkeeper and A Song About Pain were written on it, and sound at their very best played acoustically.

Charlie (Savigar) also has a Taylor guitar (see picture above, with Bob himself holding it) - a very beautiful Taylor SolidBody Classic in stunning purple flake. This is an electric guitar rather than an acoustic and it sounds great when she plays it with her band. According to the great man it is the very first one in that colour that they made, it's certainly a very special guitar. Charlie loves that colour so much that she is planning on getting an acoustic in the same purple sparkle! If you'd like to see and hear Charlie's Taylor then come along to the Camden Rock on Saturday 10th April - she's playing with her band at 6pm as part of the Camden Weekend.

I'd also like another Taylor guitar. They do some really fantastic sounding hybrid (both acoustic and electric) guitars and the one I'm after is the Taylor T5 - this amazing guitar will allow me to play both acoustic and electric sounds in the same song. It will be perfect for songs like Lightkeeper and When The Snow Fell In Denver which really need both sounds to be played at their best.

Until I have one though I'll just have to stick with my trusty Fender Telecaster (a very special guitar too) and you can hear this guitar in the flesh on Thursday 8th April with my band Callow Youth at the Montague Arms in New Cross.

See you there!

Daren
xxx

Monday, March 29, 2010

One Plus One Equals?


Last night I played at The Phoenix in Oxford Circus as a duo with Charlie Savigar for only the second time. We've been really working on our set, taking the best of our songs and re-working them with acoustic arrangements and harmony vocals. The third member of our group (TC Helicon VoiceLive 2) has been working overtime too, with big harmony and choir sounds, echo effects and telephone / radio voices all at different times. We've also working in some percussion - including something very unusual, but you'll have to see us to find out what that might be. It all seemed to go down rather well last night, with some of the seasoned performers saying that they thought it sounded really good, and so much better than either of us playing on our own. One lovely chap actually came over to tell me that he really enjoyed it, especially my song Lightkeeper, which he said made him cry! I think he meant in a good way... it was a really touching thing to say and just added to my feelings of excitement over the night.

We're both really excited to take our duo to the Blag Club in Notting Hill Gate on Friday night (click here for the Facebook event). We have a couple of new tricks to add into the set and will be looking to just perform with even more confidence and passion. Do come along and support us if you are around, it's going to be a great fun evening.

Also do check out the dates of our next band gigs, mine comes up first: 8th April at the Montague Arms, and Charlie's next one is on the 10th April at The Enterprise, all very highly recommended.

Daren
xxx

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Troubadours


I have been to the wonderful Troubadour in Earl's Court many time, but never played there. This finally changed on Tuesday 16th March when my band, Callow Youth, headlined at a select night. It was a really cool evening, Frog Morris opened the night with poetry and puppets! Then Charlie Savigar and her band took to the stage and we really excellent (I am a little biased, but only a little) - her performances are coming on all the time and she was very good to start with! Luke Jackson then astonished the growing crowd with his powerful voice and intimate and well observed songs.

Finally it was our turn, and Callow Youth (Daren Callow, Haydn Callow and Wayne Myers - with a little help from Charlie Savigar) finally played on the famous Troubadour stage. We didn't manage to get all the performance on video, but here are a couple of highlights:



That was our intro song... and this one came soon afterwards:



I've been sadly neglecting my Blog recently, but this year is promising to be really, really exciting, so I'm going to make more effort. Plenty of band gigs with Charlie and my band coming up, plus going on the road with Katie Melua to do more merchandising later in the year. So look out for more things to read.

Looking forward to catching up with you all,

Daren
xxx

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Callow Youth - 16th March 2010


Stand by your spaceships my friends for the music event of the year (so far) - CD Live are excited to announce Callow Youth, Luke Paul Jackson, Charlie Savigar, Vashti Anna and Frog Morris live at the Troubadour. Please let me know if you are coming, so I can add you to "the list" which will save you £1 on the entrance fee.

March 16th 2010
Doors open 7.30pm

The Troubadour, 263 Old Brompton Road, London, SW5 9JA

Acts in order of appearance:

Frog Morris (host)
=========
Frog Morris is a man, a poet, a comedian, an artist and a real ale drinker. Nobody is quite sure which of these is the most important one, but we suspect it's the real ale part. His poetry takes you on journeys through a wild and wacky world of insane animals, beer, travel, space, bar snacks, pig semen and, indeed, more beer. Frog will be hosting the evening and sharing his crazy world with us between acts.
http://www.frogmorris.net

Vashti Anna (8pm)
==========
Vashti Anna is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist. Her voice is sultry and evokes thoughts of travel and losing yourself in fantasy and romance and smoke filled rooms in a way that is both nostalgic and bang up-to-date at the same time. Equally at ease on her own or with a wonderful assortment of other musicians she is the perfect opener for our evening.
http://www.myspace.com/vashtimusic

Charlie Savigar (8.45pm)
============
This country rock chick has it all, the songs, the sound, the attitude and the look. Her band are always tight and entertaining, and her catchy songs will have you singing along before the set is out. Glamour, unfailing enthusiasm and fun are never far away when Charlie plays. Your feet will tap and your ears will be loving every minute. She recently stole the show at the Cafe de Paris, and she's one of the co-organisers for this show.
http://www.charliesavigar.com

Luke Paul Jackson (9.30pm)
===============
What can be said about this young man that hasn't been repeated many times over. Don't let his age fool you for a second (he's just 15), this kid has the biggest voice you've heard in years. He will hold your spell-bound you from the very first note to the very last as his huge stage presence and talent shine through in his mix of original songs and covers all done in his unique style. This is a one performer who will be going a long, long way. If you don't believe me then just check out a few of his videos.
http://www.lukepauljackson.co.uk/

Callow Youth (10.15pm)
===========
A dynamic, exciting, original and eccentric three piece, Callow Youth combine driving rock, with reggae, jazz and spoken word to create a captivating sound. Daren Callow (Stars in Exile, Normal) is the lead singer and guitarist adding vocal effects and soundscapes via a TC Helicon Voicelive vocal processor, Haydn Callow (The Choice, Barron Knights, Honeytunnel, Damien McCabe) plays drums and percussion with great technique and passion which drives the songs with Wayne Myers (Fit & the Conniptions, Hadar Manor, Vivachi) weaving lyrical bass lines with a jazz feel and a broad grin. Fun, fantasy, love, sci-fi and life are all here, an explosive end to our evening.
http://www.callowyouth.com

I hope that's whetted your appetite, see you there!!

Daren
xxx

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Notes From Holiday


Kuwait airport only has three places to eat: Cafe Costa, Pizza Hut and, yes, McDonald's. Is this the price of liberation?

I love the Airbus 340 - very smooth plane. I actually slept fairly well on the way to Bangkok. I was awakened by a voice I thought they were calling my name, turns out they were saying "hot towel?". Still not a bad way to wake up.

There can't really be any reason why we can't use mobile phones on planes, otherwise terrorists wouldn't need to worry about all those, frankly dangerous, bombs. They could just call up auntie during take-off and cause untold chaos the world over. I for one though am glad for a little respite from the intrusive little buggers.

We lit a fire under a small balloon and watched as it slowly floated off into the Thai night sky. It's orange glow burning like a fiery star looking down on us. Mars too added it's angry red glow to the firmament. The light of the fragile balloon and the mighty god of war appeared much the same as they twinkled above us.

The moon was full and directly above me as I reclined by the pool. I was even more thrilled to know that the full awesome mass of the sun was directly below me, beneath the whole globe of the earth.

Lucy the babysitter returned scared. Up the road from our hotel there is a area of road patrolled by several dogs, they seemed reluctant to let her pass so she returned for help. It fell to me to perform some sort of masculine duty. We started off bravely enough, but after the first dog began to bark violently others joined in from all directions. These dogs were not on leashes either and, egging each other on, began to advance on us, Lucy hanging on to my arm for grim death. When one actually decided to lunge at us I saw my life flash before my eyes. I willed us on with the calmest wrds I could find, don't look directly at them or make and challenge, keep moving. Eventually, my heart tearing at my chest, we left their territory and the barking slowly diminished. We breathed again. A little disorientated it took two goes to find the right house (with more dogs), Lucy was safe, but it dawned on me that I had to walk back past the hounds alone! She walked me back to the junction I needed, are you married? she asked me.

Phuket town has a Tesco and a shopping centre. As if to remind me of Croydon, it's called Central.

Surin is just as expensive as London.

Bangkok has a most delicious mixture of old and new. From the ornate and noisy, yet wonderfully baroque Tuk Tuks, to the glittering skyscrapers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Can You Hear Me?


Can you hear me? There are plenty of ways to do so, and this post is going to outline three of them. Read on wherever you are are in the world, as there is something for everyone.

First up there is fantastic chance to hear me live with my band - Callow Youth - this Thursday 21st January at the White Hart, 1 Mile End Road, Whitechapel. Callow Youth is a three piece band featuring myself on guitar, vocals and vocal effects; my brother Haydn Callow on drums and percussion (he's a truly amazing talent, well worth the price of admission just to hear his playing alone) and Wayne Myers on bass (Wayne is also a very talented multi-instrumentalist and a seriously good player). We'll be doing our usual mix of songs (including favourites; Lightkeeper, When The Snow Fell In Denver and I Need Your Love) plus all the spoken word, instrumental and weird sound effects that you would expect from us. We'll be onstage at about 9:45pm, so plenty of time to check out the art openings in the area, grab a bite to eat and a beer and not miss a note. Admission is just £4 on the door (£3 for students with an NUS card) - a real bargain, as it includes four acoustic acts too.

Can't get to the gig? Well how would you like me to come and play in your own living room, school, church etc..? well thanks to the growing phenomenon of Micro or Home Gigs this can be arranged. Do you have a room large enough to allow ten of your friends and the artist to be accommodated comfortably? If you have a detached or isolated space then we can bring the whole band, alternatively we can play acoustically or with an electronic drum kit. I can also arrange for more than one artist to perform and make a fantastic night of music for you and your friends. Prices would start from about £60 for one artist up to about £120 for a full band plus support act. If you can get 10 friends along that is only £6 - £12 per person and the price would include a demo CD (usually £3) so a great bargain. If you can get more friends along the price per person is a lot less. So what do you need to do? Well just think of a date (or dates to be on the safe side) and get in touch... drop me a line at music @ darencallow . co . uk (without the spaces). Acts I can get to play for you include myself, Callow Youth, Charlie Savigar, Fit & The Conniptions and more... the prices quoted here are for the south east of England, but we can sort out prices for anywhere in Europe or the world, if you really want it, it can happen!

So one more option to hear my music in this post: I am very excited to announce that you can now download the Faith! album from iTunes. This super compilation album sold in aid of Cystic Fibrosis features a unique mix of my own song - Lightkeeper, as well as tracks by Luke Jackson, Eddy Johns and Charlie Savigar to name but three. Only want one track, no problem just download the one you want, or grab the whole lot (a massive 18 tracks!!) for just £7.99 - every single penny raised will help this good cause, so please go and get one, more or all!

DOWNLOAD NOW!

That's it for now, after my gig this Thursday I'm off to Thailand for two weeks for a holiday. I'll try and do at least one post from out there, otherwise, see you all when I get back. I'll be heading to Charlie's gig at the Cafe De Paris, Leicester Square on the 12th, so maybe I'll see you there.

Daren
xxx

Picture is from my gig at The Library in Islington, taken by Harriet Armstrong - www.harrietarmstrong.com