Dave Holmes

Biography

I started playing the guitar at the age of 10, having received a small Kay acoustic as a birthday present. I was committed right from the start and practised diligently. I had lunchtime lessons with my art teacher and then moved on to devour the compositions of my first guitar heroes, Ralph McTell and Gordon Giltrap, with an insatiable appetite. I wrecked several cassette players with my constant play-rewind-play-rewind, as I continued to teach myself by ear.

Although, I’d owned a Fender Strat from the age of 15, I didnt take the electric guitar seriously until my late teens, concentrating instead on my acoustic playing.

At Reading University I studied computer science and maths, but played in various bands in my spare time hoping to follow in the footsteps of one of my favourite bands, Queen who’d met while studying.

My plan was to follow the career path of Jimmy Page and Alan Murphy. Both had been session players before forming Led Zeppelin (Page) and joining Level 42 (Murphy). I wanted to experience and prove myself in every aspect of guitar work, from pub gigs to recording with established artists and everything inbetween. The second stage of my plan was to join or form a band and become a creative musician. So...following in the footsteps of Brian May, Alan Murphy and Jimmy Page then, no mean feat!

My first professional job was playing covers in an Oslo bar called “The Scotsman” in December 1987, soon followed by a tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland playing in a production of “Fiddler On The Roof”. I was on my way!

Since then, I’ve performed live and/or recorded with the following artists: Shirley Bassey, The Bee Gees, William Bell, Colin Blunstone, Peabo Bryson, Carl Carlton, James Fox, Rachel Fuller and Pete Townshend, Natasha Hamilton, Katherine Jenkins, Ronan Keating, Annie Lennox, Vanessa Mae, Brian May and Roger Taylor (Queen), Dorothy Moore, Billy Paul, Freda Payne, Sinead Quinn, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Lionel Richie, Candi Staton, Stiltskin, Russel Thompkins and the New Stylistics, Bonnie Tyler, Voice Of The Beehive, Deniece Williams, Matt Willis, Will Young.

TV performances include: “Prince’s Trust Concert 2006”, “An Audience With Lionel Richie”, “Royal Variety 2007” playing for Jon Bon Jovi and Seal, “Royal Variety 2009” playing for Lady Gaga, Shirley Bassey Electric Prom 2010. Various other shows playing for The Magic Numbers, Kelly Osbourne, Jamelia, Chaka Khan, Lemar.

I’ve also performed in the following West End productions: Beautiful Game, Billy Elliot, Blood Brothers, Dirty Dancing, Fame, Grease, Mamma Mia, Oliver!, Our House, Saturday Night Fever, Shrek, Sunset Boulevard, Tell Me On A Sunday, The Full Monty, Tonight’s The Night, We Will Rock You, Whistle Down The Wind.

Time for stage two...

© 2012 Dave Holmes

Dave Holmes