My dream gig at Glastonbury

Davos: Dave Clough
Davos: Dave Clough
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This weekend, former Lancashire Evening Post digital media technician Dave Clough will be setting the crowds alight in Glastonbury Festival’s Dance Village.

As his alterego, Davos Live, Dave will open up the 8,000 capacity Sonic Stage at the UK’s biggest festival, playing alongside US electro house star Steve Aoki, Subfocus and Totally Enourmous Extinct Dinosaurs – and it’s all thanks to a mobile phone video.

Dave said: “I‘ve never been to Glastonbury so this is the 
experience of a lifetime.

“Potentially, if everybody is up, I could be in front of 8,000 people.

“Or I could be in front of a hundred – I’ve no idea what’s coming up.

“We’re just going to get 
on stage and have fun.”

Six months ago, Dave, 44, who has played piano since he was 10, was invited to a 
birthday party in Leeds by some new friends.

He couldn’t afford a present – so instead he put together a mash up of his favourite old school piano house tracks.

One guest videoed it – and Dave’s entire life changed.

Dave, who is involved with Blackpool dance night, Northern Project, recalls: “I was on a bit of a downer late last year. I’d given up on music as a career and was just doing it for fun.

“And we made friends with some guys from Leeds who do the same kind of old school 
revival nights we do.

“We hit it off so well that we didn’t go home for a couple of days, we stayed and partied with them.

“Then a couple of weeks later, they invited us up for a friend’s birthday party.

“And being skint, I said, ‘I can’t afford a pressie or any booze or anything so how about I just play a bit of piano?’

“So I got on to YouTube and called up all my favourite old bangers from back in the day and learned how to play them and strung it together.

“And it took the roof off.

“They filmed it and I didn’t really think anything of it because I was concentrating and I was a bit nervous as well.

“A couple of people said, ‘Oh, it’s going to go viral, that’.

“I didn’t really understand the significance.”

But when a girl called Vicky, who filmed the entire thing on her phone, posted it to YouTube on Monday, Dave’s life went mad.

He says: “When I went to bed that night, it had 300 hits in a couple of hours.

“I thought, oh, that’s cool, that’s the most reaction to anything I’ve posted online.

“Then I went to bed – and when I woke up in the 
morning, it had hit 40,000.”

“I went off and got a brew, then sat down and put my 
Facebook up and I had about 250 messages.

“I’ve had thousands since and I’ve answered every one.

“But that first week, the numbers kept going up and up and by the end of that week, it had hit something like 100,000 and we’re just approaching a quarter of a million now.

“And that’s not including a couple of people who illegally downloaded it.

“The total number of views, as a rough estimate, is somewhere over a million now – not bad for a little party trick!”

Since then, Dave has played to ecstatic crowds of up to 6000 from Glasgow to Cornwall and even Dublin.

Although Glastonbury is sold out, you can catch him in Lancashire the week after when he fulfils a long-held dream by playing Beat-Herder Festival, near Clitheroe, on its new Fortress stage.

He’s a regular at the festival and says: “Beat-Herder, it’s my fourth one coming up.

“I absolutely love the place and I’ve always dreamed of playing there one day. I can’t wait.”

And he’s got famous fans.

He says: “(Faithless star) Sister Bliss tweeted: ‘Gotta get this guy on at my house party’.

“Then she struck up a conversation with my mate, Mark Wilkie, and tweeted that my choice of tunes was impeccable and she admired my keyboard playing – which was ace.

“Then Mike Pickering posted up my video with the caption House Master – which was just amazing.

“Then I heard a message that Arthur Baker, the producer of New Order, he wants me to play a party later this year at his place in Ibiza.

“Stanton Warriors got in touch and bigged me up. Keith Thompson from Raze actually held me up as an example, arguing about who’s the best DJ.

“I am just totally blown away by that level of respect.

“I stil feel a bit surreal, like this shouldn’t be happening to me.”

He’s now with Diesel Management, one of whom is Cream founder member Andy Carroll. And he’s picked up a few celebrity collaborators too.

He says: “Idris Elba, the actor, has asked to work with us on some hip hop and soul stuff.

“I’ve just finished a single with Shapeshifters which they’re releasing later this year. I’ve been working with Doorly, the dubstep artist, and just a couple of weeks ago, I was in the studio with Marshall Jefferson who I’m performing live with him in Blackpool on August 10 for our Northern Project night

“And K Klass were round here the other day.

“I’ve just done a session with them and I’ll be performing live on stage with them in October.”

It’s an amazing break for a man whose had a pretty tough life so far. Born in Lytham, Dave lost his mum to MS aged just 10 and grew up with his grandparents in Blackpool.

His circumstances earned him a boarding scholarship to Lancaster Royal Grammar School – where he began to learn piano.

He says: “I got piano lessons up to Grade 3, passed my Grade 3, just. But then we couldn’t 
afford it anymore.

“But the school had two grand pianos in the hall and, being a boarder, I had access to them. So I just noodled on them every day.”

After school, for a while, he ended up homeless. But as the house music boom kicked off, he bumped into a friend in 
Bolton called Lee Garrity.

He says: “He put me up in his flat but he also had a studio set up. Since then I’ve never looked back.”

He moved to Preston and spent many years playing in 
local indie rock band, Tin Gods, and also working at a studio in Fleetwood before starting his own solo project, Big Wheel, around 2008.

And Dave’s old friends haven’t forgotten him.

He says: “They’re all right behind me. The one thing about this is everyone I’ve ever known, even people who I’ve had difficulties with, they are all 100 percent behind me and that’s what I’m mostly grateful for.

“Everybody seems to be on my side with this, touch wood.

“It’s not been an easy six months, I will say.

“But having everybody behind me like that had made it all worth plugging on with.”

Davos Live plays Beat-Herder Festival next weekend, from Friday, July 5 to Sunday July 7.

Adult weekend tickets are £105 from Tickeline on 0844 888 9991 or online at www.beatherder.co.uk.