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My First Country Music Club Experience

My oldest brother, Brian Davy, 11 years older than I, was always so proud of how I was going on the violin. I was nine at the time, I think.  On one Sunday afternoon he took me to the Glenfield Hall, to the 'North Shore Country Music Club meeting'  and he got me to play in front of everyone.  My knees were knocking, and I was so nervous.  I played "Home on the Range" and the second time through it, all the people started singing along.  Woah!!  so cool ... and then they all clapped and clapped, and ... there it is .. my first pubic performance.    

Takapuna Country Music Club

Years later, after seeing Cath Newhook, in Gentle Annie, playing an electric violin, I decided I'd like to try that out. So in the early 90's I used to go along to the Takapuna Country Music Club with my sister, Karen Davy, and friend Jim Morrogh.  They both encouraged me to play with a "country feel" (mmm - I had a lot to learn)

I remember the first few times, standing on stage with four other musos.  People from the club would come up on stage and say. "It's in G." and that was that!!  My first attempt at improvised 'jamming'.  I nearly had kittens when they turned around and said  "Fiddle solo!" or "Turnaround"   smiling and pointing at me.   Well those were horrifying yet challenging and exciting first days. People were so lovely and encouraging.  I met some really neat folk, including, the late Gary Cooke, the late Ricky Waters, Sally Burgess, Dave Reid, Ron and Meryl Nichols, and Jeannine Beatie, Noel Parlane, and Kylie Austin had just started singing on stage at the age of eight or nine.   

1992 - Beau  Luke and Duke - Cask and Cleaver

Myself, David Reid, and Pat Olsen played many a night at the Cask and Cleaver, as "Beau, Luke and Duke."  My very first 'paid' band work.  We decided to enter the Auckland Country Music Awards in 1993.  We asked Jeannine Beatie to join us, and that year, we one the Best Vocal Group, plus the Overall Runner-up with the Eagles song, "Seven Bridges Road"  - That was cool!!. 

I met some amazing people that year. Pivotal relationships formed.  People who've been good friends ever since. I even remember meeting Maria Scott for the first time in the toilets at the Auckland Town Hall.  She looked gorgeous, (as she always does) and was so friendly, she made me feel really good, as I was feeling very nervous.  She gave me a waistcoat to put on, and that was the day I walked down the road, a couple of hours before the actual awards began, and saw a hat in the shop window.  It was cool, because it wasn't a typical 'Country' hat.  It had a point of difference. I tried it on, bought it and pretty much haven't taken it off since, and that was the night that pretty much changed my life.

1992 I also met  Sel Nash. Who of course, later  became the Rhythm Guitarist and Lead Vocalist in our "Southern Cross Band." that went on to play together for 24 years.

1993 - The Boot Scootin' Boogie Band

The Line Up:  Dave Reid: Vocals and Rhythm Guitar, the late Ross Simms joined us on Electric bass.  Pat Olsen: Electric Lead Guitar and Vocalist. He left for family reasons, so Dave Reid changed our name to 'The Boot Scootin' Boogie Band'. and a new chapter began.
Line dancing and just begun to take off in New Zealand, and was becoming increasingly popular, so a 'line dancing' country band was just what the Auckland Country Music Scene needed.   

94.2 Country FM based in Albany, Auckland NZ, played all the latest American Country songs, and we'd cover them at our gigs.  Successful collaboration.  We Toured  throughout New Zealand.  Line dancing was sweeping the whole country in a huge way.  Even Paul Holmes of T.V. One, came up to the Cask and Cleaver and put us all on his "Holmes" programme. filming the two gentlemen who introduced line dancing to the Auckland scene.

1994 - 2017  The Southern Cross Band

Six piece band formed to play at a friends wedding, Clive Weir.  It was a 'one off' gig, and we ended up playing for the next 24  years..  
The Line Up:   Sel Nash:  Vocal and Rhythm Guitar, Rob Galley:  Electric Guitar, Malcolm: Drums,  Keith McIntyre: Electric Bass,  Jeannine Beatie: Lead Vocalist, Marian Burns: Vocal Harmony and Electric Fiddle.  The core of the band stayed together, Jeannine, Sel, Keith and myself, and over the years we had a few different drummers including:  John Scott, Mike Abbott, Bruce King, Malcolm...  and a few different Lead Guitarists including:  Rob Galley, Peter Bayliss, Reggie Thompson, 

The final Line up was:  Sel Nash: Vocal and Rhythm Guitar, Peter Bayliss: Electric Guitar, Bruce King: Drums, Keith McIntyre: Electric Bass, Jeannine Beatie: Lead Vocalist, Marian Burns: Harmony and Electric Fiddle

1995 - The McSweeney Brothers 

In 1995 Paddy Hallissey - A friend from our Catholic Days at Knock Na Gree,  rang me out of the blue.  He asked me if I'd like to be in an Irish Band.  I told him I didn't know ANYTHING about Irish music and didn't know any irish tunes, but that I was happy to learn and have a go. 23 years later, we're still playing together. There are still a zillion Irish tunes to be learnt, but I'm just loving the close friendships I've made.  St. Patrick's Days have been phenomenal, and the Irish scene in Auckland is a very happening scene. 

The 'Line Up' over the years:.
1995  -  Phill McSweeney: Vocals and Guitar, Paddy Hallissey:  Drums, Vocal and Guitar, Peter Williams:  Electric Bass,  & Marian Burns: Vocal and Fiddle -  then Phill left for London.
Eddie McIntyre: Vocals, Harmonica, Mandolin, Guitar,  Paddy Hallissey, Marian Burns: Vocals Fiddle and Percussion, Peter Williams: Electric Bass.  Pete left for Scotland
To date the band line up is:  Eddie McIntyre, Paddy Hallissey, Alastair Dougal:  Electric Bass, & Marian Burns and we're occasionally joined by Reggie Thompson on Lead Guitar.

2017  - The Delreyders

Sel Nash (formerly from The Southern Cross Band)  formed "The Delreyders"   I often join them at various clubs. 

The Line Up:  Sel Nash: Vocals and Rhythm Guitar, Peter Bayliss:  Vocals and Electric Lead Guitar,  Alastair Dougal: Electric Bass,  Bruce King:  Drums and Marian Burns: Vocals,  Electric Fiddle and Ukulele. Sometimes joined by Reggie Thompson:  Electric Lead Guitar and Vocals