An Interview with Lee Rasdall Dove
After his set for the Coffee House Sessions earlier this month, I was able to catch up with Bournemouth-based singer/songwriter Lee Rasdall Dove and find out all about his new EP ‘Head in the Clouds’, his feelings about playing covers, and what his ideal festival line up would be.
How have the Coffee House Sessions been so far?
It’s going really well, lots of driving! I do about 8-10 a week, which is quite a lot but when I’m playing I’m having fun.
Do you think it’s a good opportunity for new artists?
It’s a great platform and I’m really enjoying being able to play my stuff in front of new people, I’ve never really branched out of Bournemouth before.
Have you found there are a lot of opportunities for new artists at the moment?
Yeah, well open mics are really good for getting out to new places and being able to play in front of different people.
So you recently released your debut EP ‘Head in the Clouds’ last month, how was it making that?
Yeah, October the 20th that came out. It’s on all the major platforms like iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and it’s the first time I’ve been on them so I’m pretty happy about that. It was about a two-month process making it, so there was quite a big build up. It was mainly the launch that we were focusing on; I got four local support acts to come along and play their stuff, people that I really enjoy on the open mic scene, and I played my stuff at the end. We actually managed to get about 80 people down there at the end, which was really good.
You’ve been compared to people like Ed Sheeran and Passenger, are they influences on your work?
Passenger is a really big influence on me. When I first came across acoustic music, because I had started with electric guitar really, I just fell in love with the story-telling and the finger-picking guitar sound.
There is definitely a story-telling element to your songs. Is that how you set out writing your lyrics?
I like to write lyrics so that people can interpret them to their own liking, so I don’t actually have a fixed story behind my lyrics it’s just whatever people take out of the song.
Do you enjoy playing covers as part of your set at events like CHS?
I love doing covers. They’re great because you can be original with them and play around with them a bit. My full time job is literally just gigging, doing events and functions, so now I’m just used to being in the background playing around with different songs whilst people eat their dinner and stuff.
What would your ideal festival line-up be?
Erm, I don’t really know. I don’t get to go to a lot of festivals money-wise. My favourite kind of thing would probably be starting off with the quiet stuff like Newton Faulkner and Passenger, I think. You know I still haven’t seen Passenger and I’ve been covering his stuff for years!
Are there any other big influences on your work?
Band-wise I like everything from rock to reggae to metal. Reggae-wise I really love Gentlemen’s Dub Club, they’re great! I love a bit of Biffy Clyro and metal-wise it would be Thrice.
So if we got an album from you would it be a spectrum of different sounds?
I think so, that’s what I tried to do on this EP definitely. I do want to release something that’s a lot more acoustic next though, I’ve got a lot of them kind of songs that I play live but nothing that has been recorded and put out there. At the moment we’re kind of just focusing on band-orientated gigs for next year, that’s a new thing for me. The first time I played original music with my band was the EP launch and it got a really good response, we actually got a couple of bookings for next year already.
Do you prefer playing with a band?
I honestly just love performing, so as long as I’m playing music in front of people I’m happy.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
Ooh! That’s a hard one! I don’t know, easy listening maybe but then there are some songs that aren’t as easy listening and you have to concentrate on. A bit of everything really, I think I’ll just sum it up with ‘broad’.