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Dunwells brother duo show is a show well done

By Paul Winspear

The Dunwells (5739470)
The Dunwells (5739470)

The Dunwells – brothers Joe and Dave – will be bringing a special, intimate duo show to The Horn at the Half Moon tomorrow (Thu).

Usually joined by drummer Adam Taylor and bassist Rob Clayton, The Dunwells are heading to Stortford to present a night filled with crowd participation, fun, laughter, stories and stripped-back songs.

“We’ve not been to Bishop’s Stortford before, so it's going to be a completely new experience for us,” says Joe. “We've been working with Luke Hinton at Juicebox for a while and we've previously played at The Horn in St Albans back in 2013, in our early stages as a band.

“We're coming up to 10 years together now. It’s been an amazing experience. We’ve been lucky to see the world, travel around and play our own songs in front of thousands and thousands of people.

"I think the fact that we’re still doing it, still writing and recording, is great, and the stuff that we're doing now is the best we’ve ever made. Creating now is just as exciting as it was when we began.”

Joe has known Adam since he was 18, while Rob went to school with Dave. The band have appeared on Late Night With Jay Leno and at Lollapalooza Festival in previous years.

“The fact that we’ve known each other for so long means that we know the ins and outs of what we want,” explains Joe.

“This tour that we're doing is as a brothers duo, and Adam and Rob are totally cool with it, in the knowledge that we'll be back together next year for a full tour. To have that freedom and ability to go off is great.

“We’ve added a little stomp board in there just to put some of the bottom end back in. When we're with the band we write a set list and we rehearse and rehearse, making sure that we're the tightest band possible.

"As a duo, because Dave and I wrote 90 per cent of the songs and we still love all of them, we have the freedom to strip them back to complete basics. Some songs that are big on the recordings, like Lucky Ones, we’ve completely stripped back and slowed it down; you really hear the words and the emotive-ness.”

Derby was the first night of the tour and went better than the pair ever expected: “I knew that it was going to be a lot more relaxed and that we were going to be one with the audience, almost conversational. The audience got completely on board with it and enjoyed it as much as we did, and I think that came across.”

2018 has been a slightly quiet year for The Dunwells on the live side, but they have still managed to pack in a trip to America in March and have just completed a European tour with Pete Murray. They have also recorded around 40 per cent of the next album, which is due out in May and will be their third LP.

Writing has been a big focus. “At the start of the year we acquired a brand new writing room, so we're going to be not only writing for ourselves but writing for other artists like Lucy May Walker and Lucy Spraggan, so it’s been a busy year in terms of creating.

“Because we're always seeing new artists, we're always connecting. We mention that we have a writing room in Leeds in case they fancy hooking up, and it seems to work well. What we like about what we're doing is that we're creating a community, we sing on other people’s records, other people sing on our records... it’s nice.

“It’s come full circle. When we first started as a band in 2009 there really was a strong community. When we went to America it could be a little dog-eat-dog, but you're so focused on yourself that you only write for yourself and making sure that your own show is the best one possible. You see a lot of green rooms and you see a lot of backstage areas.

“Whereas now, I feel like because I’m a fan of music and I’m letting myself experience it again, I stand out and watch the full set of all the support acts, the entire show. We’re all in it together and you’re never too good to watch anyone else.”

* Tickets are £12 on the night and £10 in advance from www.thehornbs.co.uk. New single We Made Fire in the Pouring Rain is out now. Look out for a new album and full band tour in 2019.

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