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Dave Rowntree
Drums & percussion

 

Dave Rowntree
Think Tank promo shot (2003)

Born: May 8th 1964, in Colchester, England

Family: Parents, sister Sarah

Height: 5' 10" (approx. 178 cm)


David Alexander De Horne Rowntree is the oldest member of Blur. His musical ear comes from both his dad, who had commuted for 40 years to his job as a BBC sound engineer, and his mother, who had played in the London Orchestra. The parents made him play bagpipes, but he fell in love with the drum kit at school.

The young Dave had been taught to play drums the hard way - by a gargantuan Scotsman who taped a sixpence to the drum skin and smacked the pupil across the back of the head if his stick ever missed the target. By a coincidence, Dave had also attended some of the Saturday morning jazz classes run by Graham Coxon's father. Before he joined the other lads, he worked as a computer programmer after studying for a HND in Computer Science at Thames Polytechnic.

Dave had also played with Graham in various shabby groups in Colchester, the most worthy of which was Idle Vice. Other bands that he played in were The Curious Band and Hazel Dean And The Carp Enters From Hell. Just like Graham, he became a protest vegetarian for a while, but failed due to malnutrition. For a couple of months, he lived in London as a punk with a mohawk and played at various squat gigs. After that, he moved to France and made a meagre living busking and playing in small-time clubs.

In autumn 1988, Damon Albarn asked Dave to join the band Circus. Later, when Graham and Alex James had joined the band, they changed their name to Seymour.

Dave has divorced with his Canadian wife Paula and is currently in relationship with Michelle de Vries. In the spare time, he flies around in his aeroplane and plays with computers. Thanks to Dave and his techie pal Ant Cauchi, Blur were one of the first bands in the world to have a website as early as in 1995.


Besides Blur
 

Law and politics

In 2009, Dave Rowntree graduated as a lawyer from BPP Law School in Waterloo. Three years later, he qualified as a solicitor from the same school. Dave is also a Labour Party activist and stood as the party's candidate in 2007, 2008 and 2010.


Film soundtracks

Recently, Dave has become more interested in composing film scores and has already co-written scores for 2016's White Island and Mo Farah: No Easy Mile. In 2008, his drumming talents were featured on the Easy Virtue soundtrack.


DJing

Dave is currently interested in DJing and has to date performed around fifty DJ sets mainly in the UK and Italy. In 2014 and 2015, he presented his weekly show on XFM where he played his favourite music.


Animation

In 1999, Dave founded his now-defunct animation company Nanomation, where he did, for example, an animation for the Beagle 2 project. Around the same time he also made animations for MTV, The South Bank Show and The 11 O'Clock Show.

The world's first interactive animation series Empire Sq is directed by Dave. The BAFTA nominated series made its TV debut in 2005 and has been released on DVD afterwards.


Miscellaneous

  • In the mid-2000s, Dave was the drummer in the band called The Ailerons, which also featured the long-time Blur concert musician Mike Smith. The band has been largely inactive since 2007 due to its members' other commitments.
     
  • Dave is a committee in The Featured Artists' Coalition (FAC) and one of the founders of the digital development label Transistor Project (apparently non-functioning as of 2017).
     
  • Recently, Dave has organised Star Boot Sale, a celebrity memorabilia auction raising funds for refugee health clinics in Jordan.
     
  • He played drums for Fat Les and on a Gary Numan tribute album on a track called "We Have A Technical". He also played drums in Graham's live band in the summer of 2000.
     

For more details about Dave's musical appearances outside Blur, see
Dave Rowntree Discography.


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