Getting Cozy With… Gerard and the Watchmen!

Dave Gerard
Photo by Nigel Lupton

My name is Dave Gerard and my band is called ‘Gerard and The Watchmen’. I live halfway between London and Cambridge across the pond in the UK.

My music has been variously referred to as Americana, New Folk and Indie. However, when I write my songs, (and subsequently produce and record them) I am not looking to fit into any particular genre – I just ‘go wherever the creative flow takes me’. I had lots of  fun playing and  collaborating with some really talented musicians producing my album, and I also  have my own studio where part of my work is recording and producing other musicians. My debut album ‘ ‘Wooden Castles’ was released in October and I predominantly wrote it in the solitude of the North Norfolk coastline. Really the album is an exploration of themes of escapism, love and death, and we recorded it on a wide variety of folk and electric instruments and a plethora of open tuned guitars.

As well as a rich instrumentation from Pedal Steel Legend BJ Coles (Beck, Bjork, Elton John, Cat Stevens), I was also fortunate to have beautiful harmonies from softly sung Scottish vocalist Amber Wilson (Bombay Bicycle Club) and rising stars of the London folk scene ‘The Worry Dolls’.

The core of the band is James Frid, Dan Rodgers and myself though we usually have guest musicians when we tour. I met James when I went to an acoustic evening in a local pub (dodgy pub, great music!). He plays mandolin, guitar and banjo as well as singing harmonies. Dan Rogers who plays Double Bass fantastically well, first joined us when we played at the Swedish ‘Peace and Love Festival’, and the famous Cambridge Folk Festival. We have played in muddy  festival fields, as well as elegant venues such as the The Royal Albert Hall in London and some beautiful old churches where the acoustics have been superb. Being 6’4″ tall and a clumsy, my main concentration on stage is to avoid tripping over leads. Tour guests have included Jessica Moncrief (on fiddle and harmony vocals) and more recently Nuala Honan (on guitar and harmony vocals) two very talented Australians, maybe on our next tour there are some talented Canadian musicians out there that might join us. The common love of music is a strong pull that binds us all together and allows us to meet some fantastic people along the way.

We released an 8 track EP in 2012, ‘I Climbed a Tree’, from which  ‘Stables’ is to be most played track. As a child there was always music being played in my home and I was influenced by everyone from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young together with the Bob Harris (famous for the legendary ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ on BBC Television) BBC National radio show on Saturday Night was an all time favourite as he featured some brilliant music over the years.

Being an unsigned independent musician gives me great freedom, but it also is a challenge to get all the administration work done – the boring bit, but had to be done! Much of my time is spent recording other acts, and I work two days a week for an addiction charity, which I also love as I get to work with a great team of volunteers as well as a lovely client group.

I would love to tour in the USA and Canada in the future………2015 perhaps!

Dave Gerard

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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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