Dave Bainbridge

Dave's Gear Page > Co-founder, songwriter, musician, producer Iona / 1989-present
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Photos by Monica Duffels, Joe del Tufo, Christopher Nehls, Chris Sands, Jean-Daniel Lerber, Lutz Diehl, Jonathan Mark, Janien Kommer, Tim Ostendorf & Tim Martindale
B orn in Darlington in the north east of England, and from a musical family, Dave began piano lessons at the age of 8 and guitar lessons from his dad at 13. He joined his first band 'Exodus' at the age of 14 - "We all liked Genesis at the time, hence the name - it seemed like the next best thing!"

Dave subsequently studied at the Leeds College of Music, gaining several performance awards (including BBC Radio 2 Best Jazz Soloist Award). At college he also developed a deep interest in recording and synthesizers, particularly through work with college bands 'The Leeds Synthonia' and the 'Hyperspace Rock Orchestra' (the members of which, under the guidance of a rather eccentric college teacher, used to perform concerts dressed in Roman style togas!).

Since then his musical career has involved composing, recording, performing, producing, arranging and teaching.

After an unsuccessful attempt to launch a 'progressive rock' band called 'Plan B' with his sister in 1981 (the era of electro pop!), Dave went on to play guitar in jazz fusion band 'Sound Effect', which featured on keys Paul Birchall (currently keyboard player with Heather Smalls, Combination Head and The Snake Davis Band). In 1982 Dave simultaneously joined jazz fusion pioneer Gary Boyle's band as well the soul band 'Snake Davis and the Alligator Shoes' (later 'The Suspicions'), playing keys in both bands. In the mid 1980's to early 1990's, due to his association with the 'Norman Beaker' band, Dave was very active on the UK Blues scene. With the Norman Beaker band, Dave backed many visiting UK, US and European blues artists, both 'live' and on recordings for the 'Paul Jones Blues Show' on BBC Radio 2, including; Jack Bruce, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Paul Jones, Pete Brown, Phil Guy, Lowell Fulson, Lurrie Bell, Cary Bell, Rockin' Sidney, Guitar Shorty (Jimi Hendrix brother-in-law!), Louisiana Red, Colin Hodgkinson, Tony McPhee, Chris Farlowe, Herbie Goins, Fenton Robinson, Johnny Mars, Mick Abrahams, Ted Hawkins, Helen Watson, Angela Brown etc.

Dave has also played keyboards with blues legend Buddie Guy and in 1990 was one of the nominees in the category of 'Instrumentalist of the Year' in the British Blues Connections awards.

Whilst still at college in Leeds Dave, through a mutual friend, met up with singer/songwriter Adrian Snell, whom he had long admired. The result was a working partnership (many concerts, album co-production and musical direction) that spanned the next 8 years from 1982 to 1990 and through which he would first meet Joanne Hogg and David Fitzgerald. In 2007 Dave worked again with Adrian, on keyboards, acoustic guitar and sound design for the world premier of Adrian's 'The Cry' at St Paul's Cathedral - an event sponsored by Save the Children featuring a 17 piece orchestra, several solo singers and a 160 piece choir.

Dave co-founded with the band's former woodwind player, David Fitzgerald, in the summer of 1989 with Joanne Hogg joining soon after Dave and David's first 'duo' gig as . As well as playing guitars and keys with Iona, behind the scenes Dave has produced all the bands albums to date and also mixed the latest album 'Another Realm' in his own Open Sky studio.

Dave's first solo album 'Veil of Gossamer' was released in June 2004 to critical acclaim and includes a number of guest appearances, including Mae McKenna, Racheal Cohen (formerly Jones, of The Reasoning) and Joanne Hogg on vocals.

He has collaborated on several duo projects include 'The Eye of the Eagle' (cd & dvd) with David Fitzgerald (1998), 'From Silence' (cd & dvd) with Troy Donockley (2004), 'When World's Collide' also with Troy Donockley (2005) and his most recent reunion with old friend David Fitzgerald, the evocative 'Life Journey' (2009).

In 2008 Dave briefly formed his own band 'Open Sky' with Gabriel Alonso (percussion and drums), Andrea Alonso (vocals, flute), Steve Lawson (basses, loops) and Andy Green (keys, vocals) and played several concerts in the UK, performing material from 'Veil of Gossamer' as well as new material and some tracks. In the same year he collaborated with classical guitarist Nick Fletcher, recording and producing Nick's album 'Cathedral of Dreams (2009)'. The album features 'Iberian Fantasy' a guitar concerto co-written by Dave and Nick. Tracks from this album have been featured on Classic FM.

He has worked with many other artists including: Gloria Gaynor, Paul Jones, Phil Keaggy, Michael Ball (string arranging), Soulful Terrain, and (through his work as producer) Moya Brennan (Clannad) and Robert Fripp.

Dave's music has been heard on numerous TV programmes and he has written the soundtracks for numerous short films, most recently 'Petrified' (2011) (CGI animated comedy short), 'Man from the Moon', 'Remember to Smile', 'Going Up' (all 2011 'Straight 8' competition entries). Over the past 3 years he has written, recorded and mixed in 5.1 surround sound around 16 short films for a major multi-national company for showing in their iMax cinema.

Dave has produced and/or mixed albums for several other artists including Joanne's solo album 'Looking into Light', albums by Adrian Snell, The Kairos Ensemble, The Pete James Trio, Nick Fletcher, Kingsway Music.

Debbie and Dave Bainbridge run Iona's own label and his own Open Sky recording studio and occasionally play together in Christian worship events. Dave also occasionally plays with jazz/improvisation artists 'Fairclough & Youell' along with virtuoso bassist & guitarist Fred T Baker. Their debut album 'Momentarily' was recently released.

Dave is currently working on the follow up to 'Veil of Gossamer', which is projected to be released towards the end of 2012.

'Veil of Gossamer' reviews:

'To my ears this is the most successful album of this type since Mike Oldfield's masterpiece Ommadawn. Stunning.' - Sept 2004

'...a sonic masterpiece...Bainbridge has given us what is in my humble opinion one of the best albums ever to be recorded.....some of the best music that he has ever written Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock August 2004.'

'Bainbridge's guitar playing is superb; his electric solos conjure Eric Johnson and Allan Holdsworth, while his acoustic technique dazzles, thanks to a remarkable dexterity and the use of unusual tunings.... ....Looking deeper, the music is genuinely touching, possessing a spiritual quality that speaks to the soul and inspires various states of positivity, from peaceful tranquility to breathless exhilaration. Layers of wordless vocals - courtesy of Joanne Hogg (Iona), Rachel Jones (Karnataka), and Mae McKenna - and McKenna's heartfelt renderings of Gaelic hymns (in the original language) lend an ethereal, otherworldly quality to much of Veil of Gossamer.....Best of 2004, hands down.' August 2004

'Albums of this quality are a rare thing and make life and music absolutely worthwhile. Besides the outstanding compositions and musicians, the production is flawless and the artwork fits the theme of the music as if the artist knew the story (which wasn't the case!). So, an absolutely amazing album, filled with nothing but beauty, beauty we all need in our lives, whether we admit it or not.' August 2004

'I fear that my words might not do justice to the haunting and beautiful guitar that opens The Everlasting Hills (part 1); or misses the beauty of the vocals accompanied by Troy Donockley's Uilleann Pipes in (part 2)......Veil of Gossamer is a truly wonderful album combining the best of Iona's Celtic atmospheres along with some splendid guitar work from Dave Bainbridge, and great performances from the assembled cast.' Holland Sept 2004

Sitting here stunned after my first full listen to Veil of Gossamer, I've not the command of words to convey the true gratitude to Dave Bainbridge for what has instantly become one of my favorite recordings of all time. Kenneth L. Solomon - Progressive Soundscapes Radio August 2004.
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29th January 2018

MAP Project update. Also coming up in 2018....Japan!
I've been invited to Tokyo in April to perform the Xenogears soundtrack songs (recorded 20 years ago!) at 4 concerts. I've also been asked by their composer, to record some new vocal material while I'm in Tokyo.
You just never know what a year may bring !
PS - hereโ€™s a link to the song I mentioned in the video -

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2nd January 2018

The song " When Kindness Comes" was originally recorded as a demo in 2014 when I (Jo) was recording a track for Uncountable Stars - it was an unedited performance of the song, played on a concert grand piano.

At the end of 2016, while recording MAP Project songs, I decided to finish a version of the song with upright bass and flugelhorn tracked to the original demo. Here is this new recording as a soundtrack to the experiences of many of the refugees I've encountered in 2017.

At the start of the year I read the words of Isaiah 21.14-15 ...." haul water to the thirsty, greet fugitives with bread. Show hospitality to those fleeing the horrors of war in the desert."

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26th December 2017

And very impromptu.
Happy Christmas๐Ÿ™

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25th December 2017

But not the usual Christmas music. More of a CELTIC CHRISTMAS!
I thought you'd enjoy a little clip from our Christmas Eve by the fireside at home in Ireland. Our neighbours , the Mooney family played hours of traditional Irish music for us and some of our neighbours. This was one of my favourite moments and I'll share some more over the holidays.
Jo wishing you a very Happy Christmas.

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21st December 2017

A SMALL CHRISTMAS GIFT... For all those who have contributed to my Indiegogo campaign or has shown an interest in my music. Be blessed & have a wonderful Christmas time! Frank

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13th December 2017

It's Zero degrees at Zerohour studio. Recording vocals on Good Samaritan.
This is the song I wrote just after my first trip out to the refugee camps. Asking myself some big questions. Think we're done with the recording aspect of Part 1 ๐Ÿ‘.

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7th December 2017

THE MAP PROJECT .... and more.
I know..... it's been ages, and the MAP Project Part 1 still isn't finished. But the best folk are always busy,so it takes time to get things done. I'd hoped for a pre Christmas release , but I don't think I'll quite make it! Just some vocals to do and then the last two of six songs will be ready for mixing. Last night I got to track the last of the cello parts with the wonderful Gwyneth Reid. Soon...... it will be ready ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ™. ( and no.... I've not taken up electric! Just a prop to hide the mess my dinner made on my jersey๐Ÿ˜ฑ). Keep an eye out for a bit of live singing pre Christmas ๐ŸŽถ

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4th November 2017

But still, "a place you could write or paint pictures, and dream that the troubles will end....."
It's been a lovely week here in Portugal with family, on half term hols. It's a long way from the plight of so many in refugee camps , but that's very much in my mind and still demands a response from me.
I travel home today to prepare for our church women's conference where I'll have the opportunity to lead worship and to share some of the MAP project songs and some new songs inspired by my recent experiences. It's been a long journey creating the MAP , but I hope to have Part 1 ready to release before Christmas. ๐Ÿ™.

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12th November 2017

This is Moria camp for refugees on Lesbos island. These families fled from their home city of Deir es Zor in Syria just weeks ago when heavy bombing destroyed their neighbourhood, killing relatives and friends. They survived a treacherous sea crossing from Turkey to Lesbos in inflatable boats , and were then brought to this camp 10 days ago. There are now close to 6000 refugees here, in a facility that was originally a prison for 1200. Hundreds more arrive every week. There is nowhere for them to go from here. Such great need and so little help...... we cannot say "We didn't know!".

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15th October 2017

From one extreme to another ......
This time tomorrow I'll be on my way with Karen to the Greek island of Lesvos, still one of the main ports of entry for refugees into Europe. Conditions in the Moria camp close to the main port are described as similar to concentration camps. We'd greatly appreciate your prayers during the next 5 days as we attempt to assess things and figure out a way to bring teams of people out to do something to help. I'll keep you posted.

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26th September 2017

All these things I saw in one day. Yes, there is so much global chaos, human suffering and catastrophic events taking place on our planet and it feels overwhelming. I'm so thankful for this day and for a place where I could dream, write, refresh, and then, refocus. We need to find a way to release the hope and wisdom of God in our world , but we can't do it in our own strength. In a few weeks , my view will have changed dramatically. There will be a sea of refugees and an atmosphere of despair and if all we carried were a couple of suitcases of medical supplies, it would be overwhelming......but , thankfully we carry much more; the compassionate, loving presence of our God of grace. May we be filled with faith for the impossible. ๐Ÿ™

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6th September 2017

Joining me ( Jo) in the old Crumlin Road jail , Belfast, on Friday 8 th for A21's ( anti -trafficking org) event are dream band Tre Sheppard/guitar, Graeme Flowers /horns, Gwyneth Reid/cello and Stu Reid/drums , perc. Also playing will be trad band Na Leanai ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŽถ. If your around, we'd love to see ya there.

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31st August 2017

Frank's campaign is going incredibly well! At 84% now with 10 days to go... Still time to get alongside and become a part of this amazing musical journey.

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21st August 2017

"Oh, have you seen the clouds?
Have you observed the skies?? "
These places and landscapes remind me of so many of our Iona songs.

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18th August 2017

Spending a bit of time in the wilds of the north coast of Ireland writing some worship songs. The vibe is Celtic. Must be that St Colmkille connection.

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9th August 2017

We are excited to announce that Iona's drummer/violinist Frank van Essen is currently working on an instrumental solo album, in collaboration with Dave Bainbridge, Troy Donockley and many other great musicians. Please check out his Indiegogo page and get involved!
Please feel free to share this post!

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13th July 2017

It's that time of year again for some family time in the place that has inspired so many Iona songs .....Edge of the World, Irish Day, Wave after Wave, Kell's theme, Friendships Door, Vision Of Naran, Beyond These Shores,..... probably a few more. It still inspires ๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ™.....

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29th June 2017

Hi folks. Collected my Emerald guitar today and of course had to sing a wee song. The guitars first trip abroad will hopefully be to refugee camps in either Turkey or Lebanon in October. Lots of time to practise ๐Ÿ‘

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6th July 2017

A quick visit but no PEAKS to climb this time. And according to National Geographic, Donegal is the place to see ,worldwide ,in 2017!
Thankyou again to all of you who supported the 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS fundraiser for SyriAid ๐Ÿ˜„. A team of folk ( individually self funded) are heading out to camps this weekend for two weeks of aid work assisting various projects.

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6th July 2017

Here are some pics from my final mountain hike. 23 hikers in total went up one or more of the mountains with 6 of us completing the 3 hikes. Thankyou so much to everyone who's donated towards SyriAid's effort to support refugees in crisis. Donations can still be made here

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3rd June 2017

Here's today's story in pictures. Thankfully all 13 of today's team made it to the top and down safely despite the rain and treacherous conditions in places. Thankyou so much for your support.

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3rd June 2017

SyriAid team set off last night to climb our first peak. It's a long hike up from sea level but everyone made it up and down with no falls or injuries. This morning we'll set off for Donegal to climb Mt Errigal.
Thankyou so much to all of you who are following and supporting this fundraising challenge.

( for donations)

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2nd June 2017

TODAY WE START 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS fundraiser......
It has rained for 24 hours prior to us starting our first hike, but even if it's a bit muddy and we get a bit wet, we still won't be able to imagine what millions of refugees have been forced to experience.
Let's not forget them.

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28th June 2017

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST. PATRICK โ˜˜๏ธearlier today!
In 48 hours we hope to be at the top of our first mountain in the SyriAid 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS challenge. Thankyou so much to all who've already supported our efforts to help Syrian refugees in crisis.

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21st May 2017

I realise for most of you seeing this, you're a long way from here on our North Coast.
I just thought you'd like to see the pics ๐Ÿ˜„
This is the Giants Causeway and I've been coming here frequently in the last two weeks after a long absence, to get in some training for the SyriAid 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS challenge. If you are close and would like to join us for a hike on any of the days 2-4 th June, then go to
If you'd like to support with a donation you can do that here

Thankyou ๐Ÿ˜

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17th May 2017

Last night a few of us put in some step training for the SyriAid 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS challenge. What a beautiful evening. ๐Ÿ™ we get such weather 2-4 th June !
If you'd like to support our effort you can here

Thanking you.

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13th May 2017

Some scenes from one of the refugee camps. It's been one year since these folk were evacuated from a large camp at Idomeni near the Macedonian border. Some families have been refugees in camps for 4 years in total. Hundreds are still arriving on Greek islands every week.

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12th May 2017

Guitar on my back, camera in my bag, returning to Softex and Sinatex refugee camps in Thessaloniki. Just five of us for a short trip of 4 days to interview and film the stories of some of the families we've connected with for a media exhibition later this month. It's been one year since these families were evacuated by the military from their campsite near the Macedonian border at Idomeni and moved to smaller industrial sites in Thessaloniki. It's been a long time in limbo.....

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7th May 2017

Getting in some preparation hiking for the SyriAid 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS challenge June 2-4 th.
1. Slieve Donard Co. Down
2. Mount Errigal Donegal
3.Muckish Mountain Donegal

Join us if you're free. Or maybe contribute to the funding ๐Ÿ˜

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15th May 2017

The little mountain associated with St Patrick.
Getting ready for the SyriAid 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS challenge
2-4 th June.
What a beautiful evening. Video to follow.

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