Dan Donnelly: Making music, and doing it well

PUBLISHED: 10:30 29 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:30 29 June 2017

Dan Donnelly.

Dan Donnelly.


Three musical friends with a rich pedigree will unite for a rare performance in Weston tonight (Thursday).

Dan Donnelly of The Wonderstuff, Levellers collaborator Rev Hammer and Nick Harper – son of legendary singer-songwriter Roy Harper – will play as 3 Headed Beast at Loves Café.

The Mercury caught up with Dan ahead of the gig to find out more about his love for Weston, and what fans can expect from tonight’s gig…

Can you tell us about your musical style and influences?

My style is greatly rooted in folk, country, punk and pop. My dad played me lots of Neil Young and the Beatles as a kid and then I went out into the world as a performer and played with all these great people like The Levellers and Rev Hammer, who in turn further influenced me.

It’s a few years since your last album release – is there a new record in the pipeline?

I am mid-album at the minute and playing some of the new songs live right now... people seem to like them. The album is quite a mixed bag of pessimism and optimism about the state of the world right now.

You’ve got an impressive list of touring support credits – what’s been your live highlight to-date?

Ian Dury was such a gent, he was lovely and it was only afterwards that I found out he discovered he had cancer during that tour. But he was still the life and soul of the party.

Simon le Bon was a bit of a trip, as he was so famous he didn’t interface with reality well at all.

You’ve been to Weston a few times now. What brought you here the first time?

I played a place called The Raglan and just hit it off with the crowd and the town and thought... I’m coming back here again. Then I discovered Loves and, well, it was just love.

…and what keeps enticing you back?

Loves. It’s such a great little place. I recommend it to all my musician mates such as Rev and Nick and The Levellers and The Wonder Stuff.

Have you had much opportunity to explore the area? What do you like about it?

It’s the people and the vibe for me. I’m not really a beach or scenery person but there’s some great people and good partying happens in Weston!

How did the 3 Headed Beast collaboration come about?

Rev and I are old friends and he’s just finished doing an album with Nick; Skald, it’s great!

Nick is a bonafide genius and I’m just happy to be able to play music with the two of them. It’s going to be special.

What can fans expect from your night at Loves?

The chat will be funny, the songs will be great and the vibe will be unique and rare. We are all so busy that two dates was all we could arrange. It may never happen again.

What does the future hold, for you as a solo performer, and for 3 Headed Beast as a trio?

I think for guys our age it’s just about making music and doing it well. We are under no pretence that we are going to ‘make it’ and to a certain extent are beyond ambition... which feels good.

Finally, where can people find out more about you and your music?

Come down to Loves tonight...

Tickets to see 3 Headed Beast at Loves cost £12.50. Visit www.lovesweston.co.uk to find out more.

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