ABOUT DAVE HILL
The second house Dave ever owned (and lived in) was the birthplace of Fleetwood Mac guitarist, Jeremy Spencer. Jeremy had lived there until he was nine years old… Dave can also lay dubious claim to having suggested the title to Virgin Records’ first ever release on its Virgin TV imprint – ‘Glam Crazee’. He’s still waiting for his prize of a pair of silver platform boots… there’s also not a week that goes by without someone saying to him, “Didn’t you play guitar with Slade?”
Brought up on the sounds of big bands and jazz (George Shearing, Glenn Miller, Dizzy Gillespie) by his father and the great singers (Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Shirley Bassey) by his mother, these sounds didn't seem to leave an impression on Dave until he realised, years later, that he had been left at least one legacy: a love of great arrangements. These manifested themselves in his love to this day of Manhattan Transfer and Earth, Wind and Fire - as well as those great marriages of horns in rock bands - like Frankie Millers' 'Be Good To Yourself', the music of Gary Moore's Midnight Blues Band and the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
After leaving school in the middle '70's, Dave served his 'apprenticeship' working on stage crews at Newcastle City Hall (convenient for his 'day job' at the City Council) whilst harbouring dreams of rock'n'roll hedonism. Having dropped Paul McCartney's rather large and expensive studio mixing desk (true, but he was only one of six people trying to get it up the stairs), he moved to Hartlepool, leaving the rock n roll to his best friend at school, who ended up working for Motorhead and later, Hazel O'Connor and Eurythmics - not bad for someone who previously only listened to Simon & Garfunkel… Where are you now, Richie Armstrong aka ‘Richie The Lights’ on ‘No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith’. Dave integrated into everything musical he could in the town, amongst several other things, Dave began writing 'live' reviews for the ‘Hartlepool Mail’ and working with the local community studio.
Two years at a cable TV company (in the mistaken understanding that this might get him involved with the fledgling music tv programming) preceded another two, managing a Virgin store, followed by three years on the road for the Virgin label. Dave's major claim to fame is that on his first day, he got Lenny Kravitz lost in Gateshead. In between, he failed an audition to present ’The Tube’ (along with hundreds others, no doubt) and did a stint for UK Records (original home of 10cc). Following redundancy at Virgin (something to do with Thorn EMI, apparently), he was approached to act as a reissue consultant for Caroline International, having coordinated several reissues for Virgin.
Whilst looking at the feasibility of a homeless project, Dave had been put in touch with Pete Duncan - MD of TGP Group Ltd - who had an impressive background, including London Weekend TV, Alan Pascoe International and The Rank Organisation. Over several months their shared enthusiasm for music somehow made it inevitable that they should form a record label - Siren Music - to co-ordinate a release archive and reissues, as well as new releases by heritage artists, including Alex Harvey, Michael Chapman, Lindisfarne, Steve Jolliffe (Tangerine Dream) and Steve Phillips (The Notting Hillbillies)
Dave has also acted as a Music Industry Consultant for New Deal for musicians. In addition has been a media tutor at a College of Further Education for over 20 years. He is also the author of ‘Fog On The Tyne: The Official History of Lindisfarne’ (Northdown Publishing).
One day, Dave promises, he will start a great band that manages to be one part Little Feat, another the Streetwalkers - mixed with a dose of Status Quo and Stevie Wonder. It might just work.