Monday, 16 February 2009

Dayve Dean - Octagon (sampler)

Review by Stephen Harvey

I had the pleasure of meeting and witnessing first hand the extremely talented singer songwriter Dayve Dean performing an acoustic set, at the recent Stoke Twestival charity event. A very confident performer and all round nice guy it seems, having donated not only his time free of charge, but also a number of copies of his latest album sampler to the proceedings, to help raise funds for the ‘clean water’ appeal that had dragged a sizeable audience off their couches, and out to the ghostly surroundings of The Leopard in Burslem, on a very cold and miserable Thursday evening.

The album sampler begins with a good old fashioned balled called ‘I could be happy with you,’ which almost immediately draws comparisons to Gary Barlow. The voice and singing style seemed to run parallel with the songs Gary had created just months after the infamous split of many years ago, that forced him to venture out on his own as a solo artist.

This initial thought and reaction continued for the rest of the album, and I hope Dayve does not feel this to be a harsh description or observation of his own particular style. It is purely meant to describe the overall quality of song writing achieved, and not to suggest in any way that he has attempted to emulate another popular artist. Far from it, this is original and honestly thought out material from his heart I feel.

My own particular favourite is track two titled ‘Starting Line’ which is a bouncy little number with a strong bass-line and pop feel throughout. A cheeky little chorus and punchy lines keep you wanting to hear the rest of the song, and I can almost picture it being performed by a well known boy band (no guesses who) to have a go at it.

Track three ‘like Jimmy did’ is without doubt the best song I have heard in this style locally for a very long time. The piano at the beginning is superb, and I am sure it would be superb to see this performed live in all it’s acoustic glory. A very well written song indeed, and I am certain it will be one his own and his fans favourites on the album.

The last track ‘Follow’ is a guitar based ballad that ‘follows’ much in the same vain as the previous three tracks, with the quality of the lyrics being the real star of the show.

I just hope that making the likeness to Gary Barlow in my review is not taken too seriously out there in the Stoke scene. We all know in this part of the country Robbie Williams is king, and we foolishly pushed aside Gary until recently (I feel a tear forming in my eyes) Is it such a bad comparison for an aspiring artist to reach for, given the success of Take That of late with very similar songs to this?

I don’t believe so, and I think Gary has finally had ‘the last laugh’ and the recognition he should have got in the first place for such well crafted songs, but please bear in mind that the Gary Barlow reference was only to help explain the overall quality of song writing achieved on this album, and that in my mind should be applauded in Dayve Dean’s work.

What you the listener does need to understand though, is that this was only a four track sample of Octagon, and not a full representation of the complete album. What I can honestly say is, the sampler did urge me to listen to every track a number of times, and search for him online to see what else he had to offer and I will be purchasing the full album. My wife is now a confirmed fan, and has even asked when he is playing again!!!

I hope you will join me in promoting and nurturing home grown talents such as this to their full potential.

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