Recorded this live session/interview for BBC Introducing with some great musicians.
It was broadcast on BBC Radio York on 21st October.
DAVE KEEGAN - WHO?
I realised that there was no information about me here - and not much more elsewhere either. A quick Google throws up more about Dave Keegan the Elvis impersonator in Benidorm than me.
So I thought I'd write a little bit about who I am, why I write songs and how I actually go about recording music like this new album.
I don't want to bore you with a biography, so the story will unfold gradually and will have lots of pictures and little snippets of audio along the way.
Like this > A little tune trying to get born.
So anyway - briefly
I am from the North West of England, born in Bury, Lancashire and grew up in a little town near Manchester called Stalybridge.
Left home at 18 and went to Oxford to study English then moved back to Manchester and made a short film with some crazy notion of becoming a film-maker.
Then I was accepted to Cambridge university to become a teacher. I decided I didn't want to be a film-maker or a teacher but a musician and that was that.
And now live in York.
There's much more to tell, but them's the basics and I'm much more interested in the how and the why bits to go into more detail just yet.
So let's dive straight into this new record...
I sang & played guitar, etc. in front of some microphones and recorded it into a computer to be mixed together.
OK, there was slightly more to it than that, and I'll go into some geeky audio stuff in a bit, but that was basically it - some of it was recorded at home & some of it was done at Sam Forrest's legendary Factory Of Unprofessional Sound deep in the North Yorkshire countryside.
A little trickier.
Why make an album in 2017?
There's good evidence that it's a dying medium for an endangered art form that few people want to listen to or buy any more. Besides, there's already more than enough recorded music out there isn’t there?
Why bother investing all that effort, money and time in writing new songs - agonising over the tiniest change in a lyric or a melody for days or weeks - buying equipment, learning how to use it, going through the sheer hell of doing 48 takes of guitar parts & deciding that the first was the best - all that struggle just to make something you'll probably have to give away for free AND - this is the really crazy bit for me - not even want to hear again once it's done!!?
The short answer is I don't know.
I am just compelled to write, play and record music. There might be something wrong with me.
All I do know is that ever since I was able to record from tape to tape on whatever crappy cassette machines my Dad had lying around at home, I've been hopelessly addicted to making recordings.I thought I’d invented 'sound on sound’ recording when I was bouncing down one tape to the next in my Hitachi ghetto-blaster. Wondering why it all sounded like a muffled mess after 4 or more ‘overdubs’.
I also thought that I’d invented analogue distortion and alternative guitar tunings too but hey! Learning the truth is painful (NB - I am 10 years old at this point and the internet is just interned spelt wrong)
So it started back then.
My Dad then made it a thousand times worse by taking me to his friend’s recording studio one day. Oh boy. They were in band together in the early ‘60s and now this guy had an ACTUAL recording studio with reel to reel tape decks, a massive console and racks of hardware, glass windows, red lights and drum/vocal booths.
It was the best place I’d ever been in my life.
It smelled of stale beer, fags and curiously, fresh bread because there was a bakery underneath the studio. It was heaven. I was saved. And I knew what I wanted to do.
Fast-forward >> September 2017
This is where you'll be able to find some of my previous work and other interesting odds and ends that I've done.
EVEN NOW/EXPERT WITNESS/GREAT WHITE EPS
The 'Even Now' ep was originally released on a (very) short run of cds...about 50 I think...back in late 2002.
They all sold out quickly, but I didn't get round to making any more copies after that - I was too busy recording new songs!
All the sessions were recorded with a view to making one whole album eventually, but I ran out of funds so they ended up as 3 eps.
'Expert Witness' and 'Great White' never actually got beyond the ruff demo stage though & didn't get released all (until now)
Looking back, I think there's some decent songs there - especially Even Now.
They're available to hear and purchase over at Bandcamp
Back in 2010, my good friend and long-term collaborator Simon Snaize and I made an album called 'Portmanteau'. We'd both been away travelling and living in New Zealand and the U.S respectively, so when we returned home we decided to make an album together with the songs we'd written.
It was all recorded in my flat in York on an ageing Mac G4 fitted with a Soundblaster Live! card with an SM57, a Realistic PZM and our one good mic - an ADK large condenser.
It sounds pretty good though and the songs shine through!
Check it out on Bandcamp
My Soundcloud page has all sorts of stuff on it. I mainly use it for promo purposes, but it has radio interviews and experimental pieces on there alongside covers, demos and old material from my bands Wooden Horse/lo beams. It's updated pretty regularly so there's always something interesting to listen to.