Andy Davis has always been a difficult man to pin down. He can’t even decide what to call himself; Andy Davis or Andrew Cresswell Davis.
His long meandering career has seen triumph and disaster in equal measure. As a 16 year old he showed himself to be a talented blues guitarist and singer with Bristol band Griptight Thynn. By 1969 then aged 18 he had grown weary of the 12 bar and set off in an entirely new direction forming the inimitable melodic rock band Stackridge with James Walter.
Stackridge went on to record 5 albums over 6 years. The best of these The Man In The Bowler Hat was produced by the fifth Beatle Sir George Martin. Almost as soon as he had set foot in the London music scene of the early 70s Andy found himself playing acoustic guitar on John Lennon’s Imagine album.
Song writing had slowly taken the place of guitar as his main interest and barely 3 years into the often chaotic life of Stackridge he gave up guitar altogether and switched to keyboards.
Stackridge finally lost the plot in 1976 and after playing in various London outfits Andy joined Kim Beacon‘s band The Seranaders who almost recorded an album. After a couple of years perfecting his songwriting (carousing around the bars of west London) in 1978, he formed pop duo The Korgis with James Warren.
It would be nice to report that this was about to be Andy’s moment. Perhaps it should have been, but it was all too brief and after a couple of notable hit singles, If I Had You and Everybody”s Got To Learn Sometime, Andy went walkies.
In a feature of his career, Andy has displayed the somewhat baffling habit of dramatically changing musical styles and switching between instruments.
“I use different instruments to fire my imagination. Certain instruments are more suited to a style than others. To write a gospel or blues I need a piano. For pop you need an electric guitar. A uke is best suited to 40s crooning. Now I’m writing mostly folky stuff for the trio it’s got to be acoustic guitar. I haven’t really gone near a keyboard for about 3 years. I wouldn’t advise it – it can get very confusing!”
As an antidote to the manicured pop of The Korgis Andy picked up the guitar again and immersed himself in the fantastical Slow Twitch Fibres, a confection cooked up by Bristol bass wizard Pete Brandt.
A brief period playing Western Swing with slide guitarist Kevin Brown led to the formation of The 3 Caballeros with Peter Allerhand and Stuart Gordon.
Though rarely straying outside the Bristol Bath area the legendary “3 Cabs” lasted from the mid 80s to 2012.
It was while visiting the same seedy west-country nightspots as the embryonic Tears For Fears that Andy was asked to join their live band on keyboards. Later he toured with Julian Cope on the World Shut Your Mouth tour and he has also done time with the Bill Nelson Orchestra and Goldfrapp.
There followed several years of writing songs with and for a diverse collection of artists including Roger Cook, Flo Mcsweeney, Yaz, Tracy Ullman and Rod Stewart. The real satisfaction though lay in performing his own material and Andy recorded his first solo Album Clevedon Pier in 1990 and then formed the imaginatively titled Andy Davis Band, who didn’t get the exposure they deserved though they did played 3 consecutive years on the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury Festival.
In 2010 there was a new album from a re-formed Stackridge titled A Victory For Common Sense followed by several years of touring with a re-vamped line-up.
Over time Andy has absorbed a smorgasbord of influences and amassed an impressive catalogue of high quality material and it is these influences and songs which form the basis of his latest band Davis Lindley Mullan aka DLM.
The sound this trio make is intriguing – a mixture of folk, celtic, roots, rock and pop with some classical influences. All based around great songwriting.
“It has long been my desirel to write a song as good as one of Cole Porter’s”. The jury is still out on that one.