Dandelion Charm combine prog, folk and rock influences into a blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies, superb musicianship and heartfelt lyrics.
A mix of Fleetwood Mac meets Opeth and CSN meets Yes. Dandelion Charm started in 2015, the brainchild of John and Clare Fowler, who answer a few questions below about their EP release show, their most memorable gigs to date and what they have planned for the rest of 2018 and beyond…
How did the EP launch gig at the Brunswick in Hove go?
John: It was fantastic! It was the first gig with the band so it was a little nerve wracking, but is was such fun. It was a full house and it just went in a flash, the highlights were being able to play tracks that we’ve been playing as a duo fleshed out as a full band, and getting the flying V out and letting rip with some solos
Clare: For me one of the highlights, apart from actually doing the gig, was the feed back that we got afterwards from people about what it felt like to be in the audience. That was a real surprise because the focus had been so much on what we were doing, organising everything, doing the performance and remembering everything. When people contacted us and talked to us about what it was like to be in the audience there was a general consensus that it was felt really special and that everyone there was really behind us. That was just incredible.
What have been the most memorable live shows to date and why?
John: Playing an originals gig in a pub in Halland. We played new songs that people hadn’t head. It was great because you could feel that there was something in the air that night and it was full and everyone was really into it, everything just clicked. Also supporting Gryphon at the Ropetackle, everyone that had come to see Gryphon was in the room when we played and it was totally silent and because some of our music is quite delicate that was really nice.
Clare: I agree, the sound was incredible, it’s a brilliant venue. Gryphon were lovely, really welcoming and it was such a treat to listen to them as well as play ourselves. For me though its not always the bigger gigs that are the most rewarding sometimes there is a kind of magic that happens on the night.
One of me favourite gigs was at a place called Printers Playhouse in Eastbourne. We turned up and there were very few people there but as we played people came in off the street, they heard what we were doing stood outside and came in. By the end of the evening the room was packed, and it was full of people who were completely engaged. That was a really wonderful night because of the contrast between how the night started off and our expectation, ending with an utterly attentive audience that were hanging on every word…amazing!
In an ideal world who would you like share a stage with and why?
John: In terms of supporting it would be really great to play with Fleetwood Mac, as they are such a big influence, and I think we’d appeal to Fleetwood Mac fans. Also, from a personal point of view Wishbone Ash because for me they were a huge influence for so many years. If I could get to join in with any band it would probably be Wishbone Ash or Opeth. Actually if I was taking it one stage further and making a record it would be Michael A or Steven Wilson.
Clare: Well I just love playing with John. That sounds a bit wet seeing as we are married but we have invested years of blood sweat and tears in our creative partnership, we are virtually telepathic!
Seriously though when John and I were wondering whether Dandelion Charm could ever be a band we put together a wish list of people that we hoped would want to be involved and actually all those people are in the band currently. We’ve got an amazing bass player in Jim Bryant, he is so so talented and and musical. Fantastic guitars and third harmonies by Bob Burke who is an incredible songwriter, such a tasteful player.
We’ve got Phil Wickens with his love of prog metal joining us on keys, he’s just amazing and has always got a joke to tell. We are very spoilt in that we’ve got two drummers that we are working with Ivan Pledge and Rob Biss. All together for me at the moment that is the most exciting thing, working with the band that we’ve got. We are just so unbelievably lucky to have these guys with us you know and they are great people as well, they are friends and we are just at the start of our journey together.
For someone new to the music of Dandelion Charm how would you describe it?
John: Well there are elements of Fleetwood Mac as there is a pop sensibility although we try not to make things too obvious because things that are too obvious tend to get tiresome very quickly. There is definitely a bit of early Genesis in there there is a little bit of Opeth. There is also a folk element to what we do people have said we remind then on early Jefferson Airplane and Pentangle. Its music for people that are definitely interested in music, its not background music. The new record sounds like its going to be a bit more maybe atmospheric.
Clare: Laughs… yes currently John and I have been listening to Harold Budd to antidote the hectic screen/brain stimulation and I think he might be sneaking his way onto the second album somehow…if that’s even possible! We are thinking a bit more about atmosphere, plus lots of people have ben calling for more guitar solos and so we are definitely going to be exploring that a bit further. We love vocal harmony, so there will always be plenty of that!
What have you got planned for the rest of 2018?
Clare: We’ve got some really exciting performances coming up, among the highlights are supporting Trembling Bells at Bar 42 Worthing on July 13th. Cropredy Fringe, Oxford we will be in field 8 on Thursday 9th August. We are headlining a Festival in Arlington Sussex called the Summer Triffle with the full band on 11th August. Purbeck Valley Folk Festival in Dorset on 19th August, plus we have also got a Real Music Club gig at the Albert in Brighton on 24thNovember. Our website is the place to go for all our live dates.
John: We are working on recording our second album, which we mentioned earlier. We are really happy with what we have done so far and its shaping up really nicely.
Message for your fans…
John: Thank you so much for your support so far, we love doing what we are doing but without and audience its not quite the same thing. We will continue to keep producing what we’ve done so far… and there is more coming.
Clare: John and I have been working together on projects for a long time and because we are married we live together and work together we tended to be a little bit narrow beam and focussed in on what we are doing. That left us feeling a bit isolated at times but this last year and a half has shown us that actually there are people out there that are interested in what we are doing and that’s been hugely validating and rewarding. We are hugely grateful for the love and support of our fans.
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