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Dave Dobbyn, so where do I start?

Typical comments doing the rounds;

From the newsgroup;

"OK, so now the opening act comes on and its some little New zealand dude named Dave Dobbyn. He took me by surprise and was really good. the crowd was really receptive and i dont think he expected it. he played a short 25 minute set and was off the stage".

"This guy was really good, I was very impressed. The crowd was incredibly receptive, it was pretty cool."

"I have heard such good word of mouth on Dave Dobbyn. If I wanted toget an album of his, where to? Does he have some solo stuff out or what?"

From the Music Boulevard website

"Boston fans would have to say they got the winning combination. While many people thought Dave Dobbyn was a pseudonym for the evening's special guest (Eddie Vedder), his engaging, albeit brief solo acoustic set proved otherwise. No slouch in the songwriting department himself, Dobbyn rose to the occasion, catching and holding the crowd's attention."

From the Tongue in the Mail mailing list;

"DAVE DOBBYN IS AMAZING! The man is brilliant. He is wonderful. Seeing him open for Neil in Austin made me a complete and instant convert, and I'm going to buy all his CDs."

"Dave Dobbyn did his customary acoustic set (receiving a huge response from the crowd which clearly delighted him) and was joined by Neil on piano for the closing "Hallelujah Song".

If I wanted to get an album of Dave's, where to?
Does he have some solo stuff out or what?"

To start your Dobbyn collection I highly recommend his last three solo releases, Lament for the Numb (1993), Twist (1994) & The Islander (1998).

I also recommend purchasing / listening to them in that (chronological) order. Lament for the Numb  is quite angry and abrasive. Twist is swirling & organic, and The Islander is open and wistful. They form a natural progression.

Ensure you get the NZ / Aus / UK release of Twist, which has 3 songs (Umm, Gifted, and Betrayal) which are not on the US release. They were bumped for three of the songs off Lament for the Numb (Lament for the Numb, Belle of the Ball, and Maybe the Rain). The loss of those three tracks and the shuffled track order on the US release changes the whole feel of the album (for the worse).

After those three albums, if you're still craving more, then get the Dave Dobbyn Collection (1992). It's a great little sampler of his work from his biggest hit from his first band, Th' Dudes, Be Mine Tonight to Loyal, via his chart toppers from his band DD Smash, Whaling and Outlook for Thursday. And if those songs grab you (they're quite different in feel & style to Lament, Twist & The Islander) , then buying the DD Smash CD's Cool Bananas (1982) and The Optimist (1984), and Dave's first Solo album Loyal (1988) might be an idea.

Sadly the only Th' Dudes CD released "So You Wanna Be a rock n Roll Star / Last Chance to Dance" (1982) has just six tracks on it (and six from another NZ band Hello Sailor). There were two Th' Dudes albums, Right First Time (1979) and Where Are the Boys? (1980).

What, you want more Dobbyn? Well, there's the Footrot Flats Soundtrack (1986). And if you ask around, you might just uncover the occasional live cassette doing the rounds of his fans, but, uhh, you didn't hear that from me.

So, where do I buy these albums from?

The best places to get the albums (outside of a CD shop in New Zealand) are; (a US online CD store)   (a NZ online CD store)

I can personally recommend netCD. The current $ exchange rate between NZ & US make netCD very cheap.Your best bet is to search for "Dobbyn", "DD Smash" and "Dudes" in the searchbox on the netCD homepage.

Where's the best place for up to the minute Dobbyn information?

Well, there's this Belltower website, of course!

Hopefully if you're taken with Dave, you might consider joining the DD mailing list, "Umm". It is "digest only" at this stage, so it won't clog your e-mail inbox. We have about 55 subscribers at present, and I send out an Umm digest about every one to three days.

Members of the Umm list send in any info they've stumbled across, plus their own discussion and reviews etc. Someone from SONY NZ was supplying me with info & press releases directly, which was fantastic while it lasted (about a week). The SONY Dobbyn pages are quite disappointing. Hopefully Dave will get his own personal site going one day (if you want a hand, Mr Dobbyn, you know where to ask!). Or perhaps he'll just adopt The Belltower, which would be fine by me.

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