Review of Veil of Gossamer
of Dave Bainbridge ('04)

+ interview.

Dave Bainbridge plays in the Celtic folk rock band Iona, when he was a kid he liked to play Genesis and then he found him self playing in different blues band (even with Buddy Guy). He's married with Debbie got one son and one daughter.
When the band decided to have a time out, because Joanna Hogg (the lead singer of Iona) was pregnant again (for the second time), Dave started to work on new material. Songs for Iona, but also songs that didn't fit in Iona's concept and so the idea of making an solo album was born. (Joanna got another son and he's doing wonderful).
veilofgossamer I was really pleased that he a lot of guests playing on his album, especially Mae McKenna, Rachel Jones and Joanna Hogg, three great vocalists.
But I couldn't imagine what it would be, an Iona like album, or more ambient, more Christian, or more rock'?
So I decided to don't buy the album till I would see them live, and so it happened on a rainy Thursday in September 2004. It was an excellent gig and Dave played wonderful guitar.

Veil of a Gossamer released in 2004 by Open Sky records.

Dave Bainbridge: guitars, madolin, bouzouki, piano, keyboards, harp, percussion
Troy Donockley: uilleann pipes, tin whistle, guitars, low whistle, voice
Chris Hale: improvised vocals, wordless and Urdu (from Aradhna)
Joanne Hogg: vocals, voice loops (www.iona.uk.com/)
Rachel Jones: vocals, voice loops ( Karnataka)
Mae McKenna: vocals (Gaelic), voices
Nick Beggs : bass, fretless bass (played with; Iona, Steve Howe, Steve Hackett, Ellis, Beggs and Howard, John Paul Jones, Belinda Carlisle, Tina Turner!)
Frank van Essen: drums, percussion, violin
Pete Fairclough: percussion, gong
Tim Harries: bass (played with: Iona, Bill Bruford, Steeleye Span, Steve Howe, Eddi Reader, June Tabor, the LSO).
William Scofield: cello
Peter Whitfield: violin, viola

The review:

  • Chanting Waves (2:17). An Celtic intro, with the 3 lovely ladies doing their part excellent, accompanished by keyboards and percussion. Real smooth, a good opener, but the question comes; will it be so ambient, "Enya-like" al the time?

  • Over the Waters (7:29). A good guitar based song, the whole band kicks and now I know that this will not be an ambient album, this is progressive music.

  • Veil of Gossamer (4:55). Again ethernal spheres, with a nice background of Dave's guitar playing. And there he is with that Iona sound; Troy Donockley on a Thin Whistle.

  • The Seen and the Unseen (2:17). A gentle acoustic guitar passage.

  • The Everlasting Hills: Part 1 (19:47). An Epic! Again an impressive start of Dave's electric guitar.

  • Part 2. Joanna and Mae are taking the lead over with their wonderful voices, singing and some magic spoken words in Gaelic.

  • Part 3. Dave gentle on an acoustic guitar with the ladies on the background, then another fine guitar solo. Troy voice blends really well with the ladies.

  • Part 4. The mood changes again, this time Dave with an complex piano solo, a very nice ambient piece of work.

  • Part 5. The band kicks in and bring you back to life again, great piece!

  • Seahouses (3:06). Dave wrote "I began writing this piece whilst on holiday in Seahouses, on the north-east coast of England at the end of August 1997, in a memorable week that saw the passing of three icons of the age - Princess Diana, Mother Theresa and the great conductor Sir Georg Solti."

  • Until the Tide Turns (4:30). Beautiful voice of Joanna makes the start of this song, Troy on his uillean pipes brings that real great atmosphere and then after more then 3 minutes of building up the tension the band kicks in.

  • The Homeward Race (5:26). An up tempo song, referring to Camel, Dave takes the lead on his guitars and Frank Van Essen (yes a Dutch man) plays wonderful drums.

  • Star Filled Skies: Part 1 (14:49). The Gealic part, boudran, acoustic guitars, autoharp, percussion, wind chimes.

  • Part 2. The riff changes to a more uptempo rhythm.

  • Part 3. Starts with an cello that grows to an "improvised music" with an quite unusual layered textures of Chris Hale.

  • Part 4. The whole electric band makes an very nice end of this album. Dave agian great on his guitar, an impressive song to end this masterpeice.


    Conclussion: an album with heavy contrasts in terms of dynamics and moods; you have to sit and listen and I can assure you, you want to let this cd come over you. Very well played.
    Dave is a Christian and maybe some of you'll be afraid that this album "will spread out the word". No don't be afraid, it doesn't. Of course his inspiration will have a Christian tune and his way of looking into the world makes this music, but it's no issue at all. I just can say this album brings you to heaven and back to earth again.
    The album begins and ends with Mae McKenna singing in Gaelic. The 'epic' on the album "The Everlasting Hills" a centerpiece which is on one side gentle acoustic and on the other side more up tempo guitar based.
    Dave let's hear, more then on Iona's cd's that he can play excellent guitar and isn't afraid to lay down long, long solo's that fits perfectly in the mood he created with the songs.
    A "must have" for all the Iona fans, people who like Camel, Mike Oldfield, Anthonny Phillips, Iris (Crossing the Desert) and adventures skillfully played ambient rock' prog; buy it. You want be disappointed.


    Please check out this page again; an interview with Dave is planned!

    More work of Dave:

  • All the Iona- albums, check them out live!

    Songs for Luca.

    Dave Bainbridge & Dave Fitzgerald; Eye of the Eagle.

    The Pursuit of Illusion from Troy Donockley.

    He'll giving some gigs with Troy.

    Info: www.iona.uk.com/

    Open Sky.
    Is a new jazzy project of Dave.
    Band Members:
    DAVE BAINBRIDGE - Keyboards / Guitars / Bouzouki / Mandolin
    ANDREA ALONSO - Vocals / Flutes / whistles
    GABRIEL ALONSO - Percussion / Drums
    ANDY GREEN - Keyboards


    Buy at Sonicbond


    to the top.


    October 2004.


    NG. You started to play an instrument at the age of, did you had any lesson?

    DB. I started formal piano lessons at the age of 8, although before that I had an old bass drum and a 'Sooty' toy drum kit, which I used to play on - and I had a 'Mickey mouse' toy guitar, which I loved playing with, and which I got when I was aged 2. My parents were both musicians and my older sister was a very good pianist and singer, so i was surrounded by music from the day I was born! I didn't really like going to piano lessons when I was young - I preferred playing football! However, when I began to see that I could interpret my own ideas on the piano, and then later the guitar, things started to change and I became more dedicated.

    NG. Which instruments you play?

    DB. Piano was my first instrument, then I started playing the guitar when I was about 13. My dad was very encouraging - he was a good guitarist and helped me to learn the basics and exposed me to lots of old blues and jazz players. We had an old hammond organ at home, which was my mam's instrument and I loved playing that, especially when I discovered bands like ELP and Yes. dave At music college I became interested in synthesisers and studied in an electronic music class, which gave me a good grounding in analogue synthesiser programming. At music college I also learned the basics of multitrack recording and produced several pieces with just me playing synthesisers, piano and acoustic guitar. More recently (in the mid 1990's) I took up the bouzouki and then the mandolin. I particularly like the bouzouki. It is an instrument used extensively in Irish folk music and is great for playing delicate arpeggios as well as driving rhythm accompanyments. I also love playing percussion instruments - there's something very earthy and physical about just bashing something with your hands!

    NG. What is your favourite guitar?

    DB. There are some fantastic instruments around and I can't afford to buy the ones I'd really like! However, I love playing my Fylde Oberon acoustic guitar. It has a lovely full sound and amazing sustain. I got to know Roger Bucknell, who makes Fylde guitars about 7 or 8 years ago - he makes some lovely instruments (he also made the bouzouki and mandolin I have). I recently tried his 30th anniversary model which sounds amazing - but costs about £2,500 - £3,000 which I can't afford at the moment sadly! He only made 6 of these! I also love my Fernandes Sustainer electric guitar, which I had customised to include a Roland synth pick up. I used this for about 98% of all the electric guitar parts on 'the 'Veil of Gossamer' album.

    NG. Did you have a "hero" as teenager?

    DB. Quite a few - Richie Blackmore, Jon Lord, John McLaughlin, Eric Satie, Debussy, Joe Zawinul - then, when I became a Christian - Jesus!

    NG. Favourite Music:

    DB. I like lots of different styles - but generally music that is adventurous and passionate and communicates something deep and spiritual.

    NG. Best album(s) you bought or heard in 2003/2004:

    DB. A difficult question! 'Cello concerto' by Gerald Finzi (on Naxos) which has a wonderful slow movement, there are some very nice tracks on Troy Donockley's 'In Pursuit of Illusion' - in particular 'Conscious' and 'Fragment'. Troy recently played me an album he'd guested on - I think the artist is Julie Cutting (from the USA) - some great stuff on there. I like some of the tracks on Karnataka's 'Delicate Flame of Desire'. I've been listening to a cd reissue of 'Vision of the Emerald Beyond' by the Mahavishnu Orchestra - some amazing stuff on there, and a cd of works by the British composer EJ Moeran - including his violin concerto. Been listening today to Mike Oldfield's 'Amarok' album - which is a bit frustrating in places as ideas come and go too quickly for my taste, but it has some amazing sound textures and guitar playing on it. Also been listening today to Martin Simpson's 'Leaves of Life' album - what a great acoustic guitarist! Sorry, most of those aren't new albums I'm afraid!

    NG. Best album ever:

    DB. I couldn't possibly pin down just one! dave

    NG. Best live act:

    DB. Again - very difficult to say! I saw Gentle Giant twice in the 1970's as a teenager - they were incredible - fantastic musicianship and showmanship - and so original. Pianist Keith Jarrett playing a solo improvised concert was also incredible. Seeing Peter Gabriel live recently also had some very powerful moments.

    NG. What do you've got with the blues (you played in a blues band and you've played with Buddy Guy!)?

    DB. My older sister was a blues singer and had lots of blues album which I used to listen to from when I was about 8 years old! So blues music influenced me from a very early age. In particular I liked many of the blues influenced guitarists, such as Clapton, Beck, Alvin Lee, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower - really most of my guitar heroes when I was growing up were guitarists who had themselves been steeped in the blues boom of the 1960's. I liked the passion inherent in really good blues playing and singing. In the mid 1980's, alongside the other more classical/ rock projects I was involved in, I started playing with the Norman Beaker band. This was a blues band, but we did a lot of jamming and veered off into other styles as well - a great live band. With Norman's many connections, we got to play with many famous blues artists and toured a bit as Jack Bruce's band - which was fantastic when he was on form. My association with Norman led to playing keyboards with Buddy Guy on a festival / live cd. He's an amazingly passionate and magnetic guitarist / performer. Guitarists like Dave Gilmour and Andy Latimer have a background steeped in the infuence of blues music, in terms of their emotive playing, and whilst I try to look for other ways to play without relying on the blues scale as such, I try to capture something of the depth of emotion in my music that is an inherant part of blues music, or indeed any music that conveys truths about the human condition, ie that longing for something better and deeper from life.

    NG. Is there a connection with Karnataka and or Mostly Autumn?

    DB. Ian and Rachel Jones came to an Iona concert at the end of 2002 and we had a nice time chatting together. We exchanged albums and I was very impressed with Rachel's voice. So when I was looking for singers for 'Veil of Gossamer' I had a feeling that her voice would work really well. I spent a couple of days at their house in Wales early in 2003 recording her parts - and really loved what she came up with. I'd certainly like to work with her again sometime. Troy from Iona is best friends with Brian Josh - in fact Brian drove Troy to the airport for Iona's recent gigs in Belgium and Holland. They live quite near each other. Brian is a great guy. He and Heather came to a couple of the duo gigs that Troy and I did together and a few of Mostly Autumn were at an after gig party at Troy's earlier this year.

    NG. Favourite Food:

    DB. Indian and Italian. Apparently Indian food is more popular in England than English food! we were thrilled when an Indian take away opened up recently in our village!

    NG. Favourite Quote:

    DB. The whole of 1 Corinthians chapter 13 from the Bible. St Paul's exposition on love is unequalled. But I particularly like v12 'For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully'.

    NG. Can you make a living out of the Music? Your life besides music? Did you learned a profession, what school did you went?

    DB. I've made a living out of music for 24 years - since I left Leeds College of Music. Music is my profession as well as my passion. There have been many tough times, none more so than now but I'm keeping going. For the past two years I've spent half my time at home so that we can run a home based programme for our son Luca (aged almost 7 now), who is autistic. This has been a big commitment and a strain financially but also a joy to see Luca develop his social and communication skills. We released a 2cd compilation album 'Songs for Luca' to help raise money for us to comtinue the programme. In fact Karnataka were one of the bands who contributed a track, and Mostly Autumn have offered to contribute should we do a follow up.

    NG. Surprising Facts:

    DB. Ermmm? I once did some work as a window cleaner....I played in a club band that used to play Abba songs.....I once set up all my equipment for a gig and realised that I'd left my guitar at home - miles away in another city.........my first musical job was playing in the band for a summer show on the end of a pier (after a few weeks we got quite bored and one night the whole band dressed up as Kiss - the audience was shocked!)......I wrote the music for the launch of several new chocolate bars, some of which was in the style of 19th century Italian Oper

    DB......I'm quite a good boogie woogie piano player......I once played in Gloria Gaynor's band (and yes - we did 'I Will Survive'!).......I wrote some music for a children's animated character called Sammy Steel......my children like to hear me play 'The Flight of the Bumble Bee' on my teeth

    NG. How was it to be on the stage again with Iona, after the break of two years, you all made a relaxed and happy appereance.

    DB. It was great - we always enjoy playing together and being together for concerts.

    NG. Is there a ritual before the gig starts, how do you prepare yourself?

    DB. Usually there's not a lot of time to prepare, we just have something to eat, chill out for a few minutes, get changed and go on. Before the Belgian gig I had a problem with my guitar amp to sort out, then an interview to do.

    NG. Is there a difference between the audience like The Spirit of 66 and Drachten, or the upcoming tour in Germany?

    DB. No, not really. The main difference is between venues that are seated and those that are standing. For Iona's music I prefer standing venues, then the audience are less inhibited - particularly towards the end when we play some reels - then they can dance around if they want. Q, There were two new songs, one about Robben Island – Nelson Mandela, beautiful.

    NG. When can we expect a new album of Iona?

    DB. Definately in 2005 - but I'm not sure exactly when. We still have more writing to do.

    NG. There are plans for a DVD recording, can we expect something special, why should we visit that gig at the London University; Thursday, 18th NOVEMBER?

    DB. Well, it will be a chance to be part of the DVD - everyone who pre-orders a ticket and the DVD will have their names on the actual DVD programme. We'll have a great light show for that concert - hopefully with Paul Kell, an amazing lighting guy.

    NG. Your solo album is wonderful, were you surprised by the good reviews?

    DB. I've been thrilled with the reaction to the album. It's particularly good when you know that the reviewer has understood what I've been trying to convey through the music - and that has happened a lot.

    NG. Was it hard to make? Did you have enough ideas, where do you get some inspiration of?

    DB. There was no shortage of ideas - more just a case of honing them down and developing them fully. The inspiration for the title came from a beautiful prayer/poem by a Scotsman called George McLeod called 'A Veil as thin as Gossamer' which talks about the thin veil between this life and the next, between heaven and earth. davedvd

    NG. You’ve catched three wonderful voices, Mae McKenna, Rachel Jones and of course Joanne Hogg. Had you wanted other artists?

    DB. The only other person I'd hoped to have on the album was singer Moya Brennan (from Clannad) - but she had too many other commitments at the time. I'd originally wanted her to sing the Gaelic parts, but as it turned out Mae McKenna did a fantastic job and now I couldn't imagine anyone else singing her parts. I was really pleased at how the three female voices blended so well together - they act like a glue that connect all the different parts of the album.

    NG. Are there plans for another solo-album? Which artists would you like to invite?

    DB. I'd definately like to do another solo album and already have several musical ideas for it. I think I need to be a bit further on with the writing before I'll know who to invite to be on the album.

    NG. The writing process in Iona is a group process, is everyone involved?

    DB. No, not usually. Most of the writing is done by myself, Jo and Troy, either together or separately, although for some of the recent new songs we worked from rhythm ideas that Frank came up with. We work in a combination of ways and whichever is the strongest material will go on the album. So, sometimes we have a lot of strong vocal songs, other times we have a lot of strong instrumental passages. But in my role as producer, I try to keep an overall concept of how the album should sound. On the new Iona album Troy will probably get more closely involved in the production side too.

    NG. You’ll be touring with Troy, what can we expect, where can we see you?

    DB. We're currently working on getting an album finished together - actually two (one is a live improvised project which we're going to record in a large cathedral in England). So once they're out, then we'll be setting up more gigs. So far all our duo gigs have been in the UK, but we hope to make it to mainland Europe soon. We have 3 concerts in Japan in December!

    NG. What would you wish for the future:

    DB. Just to be able to continue playing, writing and recording music which will touch people.

    NG. Thanks Dave for you time and patient.
    A kiss for Debbie and the kids, Think we’ll meet again, somewere, sometime…

    Take care,
    Nick of the lovely South of the Netherlands.


    Here you can find an interview with Troy Donockley.

    Back to Iona.


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    Updated 04 October '07 by Nick.
    Shine On!