David hits the road again

David Boardman, front, with his Darktown Jubilee band mates.
David Boardman, front, with his Darktown Jubilee band mates.

A MORPETH musician is on the road again after achieving early success with his new band.

David Boardman went to university in Manchester after his A-Levels at King Edward VI School so he could be inspired by the burgeoning music scene in the city.

He was living the dream in his first band, Roller, as it went on UK and international tours, but it did not achieve stardom and broke up. Mr Boardman later joined Sealife, which not long afterwards played on the same bill as Sir Elton John, but again the success petered out.

Mr Boardman, 40, thought he would be concentrating on painting, his other professional skill, but he did not want some of the songs he has written during the last ten to 15 years to go to waste and decided to form a band – Darktown Jubilee – to record an album.

He has been pleasantly surprised with the reaction to The World, the Flesh and the Devil, which has led to bookings nationwide, including the Cluny near Newcastle tomorrow.

“After Sealife ended I was fed up with the music industry and went back to my art work, but I had amassed quite a body of songs over the years and a few months later I decided to put an album together — more for posterity than anything else,” said the singer and guitarist.

“I linked up with former Roller bandmates Stuart Day (bass) and John Cosgrove (drums), and two other musicians, Al Roberts (lead guitar) and Gary O’Brien (keyboards), came on board.

“Once we got going, we managed to build up some momentum. We’ve done a number of shows in the North West and gained a bit of a following and we received some investment, which has allowed us to do a couple of music videos.

“When you have people showing enthusiasm for what you are doing and you are getting a good reaction to your music, it gives you a new lease of life and hopefully we will have a good reaction in other parts of the country and perhaps get some national radio airplay.

“Although our songs are melodic, there is an edge to them and we show that passion on stage. Some of them are about modern society and looking to improve your circumstances and others are based on how I felt about certain situations at certain times of my life.

“I’m a fan of old black-and-white movies and Darktown Jubilee is the name of a film made in 1914 that I really enjoyed. I like the juxtaposition of the two words and they nicely sum up our music.

“My mum, dad and brother still live in Morpeth and I see them every few months. Tomorrow night’s gig is an important one for me as I will be playing with my new band for the first time in the region I grew up in.”

Mr Boardman, who now lives in Cheshire with wife Liz and their two daughters, did his degree in graphic design and illustration and worked in an art gallery while Roller started to make a name.

The band went on tour across the UK and it received backing from a Canadian manager, who set up gigs in North America, including a support position on six of former Spice Girl Mel C’s world tour dates in the early 2000s.

He was in Sealife for a much shorter time, but was there when the group supported Sir Elton for a show at the O2 Arena in London on New Year’s Eve, 2008.

He said: “When I was in Roller, there was a great camaraderie between everyone in the band and we had many wonderful times and great adventures.

“We certainly felt that we were on the road to fame and fortune, but after the North America tours it didn’t quite take off as we would have liked and in 2004 we wanted to do different things so we called it a day.

“As for Sealife, not long after I joined we were signed to Rocket Music Management, which Sir Elton John is involved with, and when he heard a few of our songs, he asked us to be part of the O2 Arena gig.

“It was an amazing and unforgettable experience playing in front of almost 20,000 people and meeting Sir Elton’s band, many of whom have been with him since the 70s and are great musicians in their own right.

“But in 2009 the management company lost interest in us and our momentum fizzled out,which is what can happen in the music industry.”

When he is in his art studio, Mr Boardman mainly does acrylic on canvas paintings that capture movement such as dance and sporting action. His style is described as cubist and futurist.

“Painting is a very important part of my life and hopefully I will get a bit of a break from Darktown Jubilee stuff this year so I can go back to it for a spell,” he added.

For more information about the band and ticket details visit www.darktownjubilee.com