Music Spotlight: South Cheshire’s Dayve Dean and Nick Bayes form unlikely duo

SOMETIMES musical collaborations just click right from the off.

From the crème de la crème like Lennon and McCartney, Simon and Garfunkel and so forth.

Yet it can be all about finding the right partner, unlike McCartney and Jackson who proved more cheese than chalk during the early 80s.

Sometimes, when it really shouldn’t work, it just does as demonstrated by Aerosmith, Run DMC and cool trainers without laces.

Then you get plain old bizarre like Axl Rose and Elton John paying tribute to Freddie with their take on Bohemian Rhapsody.

And quite often, it just sucks.

Thankfully the somewhat unlikely duo of Dayve Dean and Nick Bayes might just be practising Bridge Over Trouble Water soon.

A well-known face on the local music scene for two decades, Bayes has crossed genres in several bands.

He’s supported the late Kirsty McColl, played Glastonbury and more recently figured in the Chloe project and currently figures in 70s/80s covers band Foulplay.

Singer-songwriter Dean has hit local headlines with a variety of projects – including playing on a plinth in Trafalgar Square, touring his second album Octagon and supporting the likes of Doll and The Kicks and The Christians.

“I don’t think Paul and Art will mind the comparison,” joked the amiable Dean.

“It’s just all worked out well. We were a bit in limbo when Steve (Welch) left. I’d heard Nick had stopped working with Chloe so I sent him a message saying we’re always looking for an exceptional bass player.

“The band name James and The Giant was only for Steve really, to be as a band while playing my songs. Having Nick on board brings great contacts and a load of new gigs.

“We got together at the turn of the year and we’ve done bits and pieces. Dan Logan has joined us on occasions and we’ve recently played the Brighton Fringe Festival, Audlem Festival and also supported Katy Lied in Darlington.”

In for the long haul, Dean and Bayes are already looking at working on new material over the coming months.

“We’ve discussed it, we were going to write a couple of tracks while on the beach in Brighton but we ended up sunbathing,” continued Dean.

“Nick has already given the songs a different edge and, in truth, he’s given them a new lease of life.”

Recorded two years ago and produced by Nigel Stonier, Octagon is an impressive piece of work.

Featuring backing vocals from award-winning singer-songwriter Thea Gilmore, it’s a collection of intelligently crafted pop songs with killer hooks and insightful lyrics.

“The album is different to what we can do live,” added Dean.

“For starters, it would be incredibly expensive to replicate for the sheer amount of musicians involved.

“You would need seven or eight more people on stage and some world-class musicians worked on that album.

“For instance the guitarist had just finished a tour with Jamelia and the drummer had also worked with a lot of names, including Thea.

“Nigel produced the album and played some of the early instruments while Thea gratefully provided backing vocals.

“I’ve known Nigel since I was a kid and even their son, who is budding violinist, was involved.

“He’s only two years old and he’s got the tiniest of string violins, he used to follow Fluff around on tour so I think they bought it to keep him happy.”

A summer on the road lies ahead as the festival season kicks in.

“We’ve have got a busy few months coming up,” said Dean.

“At the moment the calendar is full of festivals, which is great. We’re off to the LLAMA Festival in Devon, we’ve got the Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival and also Edinburgh so there is plenty to look forward to.”