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Dr A

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Dr. A (David R. Astell)

Son of Victoria Elliott, Principal Soprano with The Sadlers Wells Opera from mid 50s to 60s. He "studied" (very loose terminology) piano from the age of 11 until he was chucked out of a local Chapel for playing boogie woogie 9 months later.
In 1965 was asked to form The Circle with Ramfis Trujillo on guitar and Kaveh Golaston on bass. Learnt to play drums damn quickly for 1st recording at Pye, under Circle Records, six months later. Other bands around this time included: RSV, People Like Us, William Guppy's Blues Band, & The Peter White Arrangement. He went on to drum for The Austin Hippy Blues Band (Glastonbury), notable members included Harry Williamson & Rick McPhail. Played Glastonbury (Town Hall!!!) with champion Jack Dupree in late "sixties.

The 1st Blues Consortium was formed in Ealing around 1968 with Dan Tester & Brian Allen on guitars, George Mariniak on bass, Malcolm Mellersh on vocals and David on drums. Around this time he started to play about on guitar & piano, more of a note here and a note next week, but the start of the path to the present day Blues Consortium.

From 1968 to 1973 he played drums for various Blues, Jazz, Prog Rock and Show Bands until giving it all up in '74 and "settling down"!!!! (big mistake, don't do it). He moved to Peterborough in '76, wrote a bit, in fact wrote a lot but all put on ice. David unsettled down and remarried in '94 to Miranda, love, support, masses of encouragement and "someone to throw her knickers at" lead to the willingness and enthusiasm to learn bass guitar (new instrument), for Montage a local Heavy Metal covers band. 3 hours a day, 7 days a week for 3 months to 1st gig. Stayed with them for 18 months before being unceremoniously dumped by "The Management". The track "How They Turn" was penned in honour the event, which went on to be a regular part of the Tamer set listing.
After Montage, David teamed up with Chris Howard, Neil Johns (Blues Consortium), Edward Holland, to form The Lion Tamers, later shortened to Tamer on bass & Keyboards. This was a covers/originals band, who released through Circle Records the single CD "Hey Gondalay".

Played bass guitar for The Mary Hinge Experience & occasional drums for the Willingham Jazz All Stars.
From April 2004 to September 2006 David was the regular drummer for King Rollo’s Rhythm & Blues Band. The most memorable gigs with Rollo’s band were as part of a mini tour to support the reformation of the legendary Country Joe Band which included 4/5ths of the original Fish. Other highlights include depping on Bass at 3 days notice for Cumbrian based Texas Blues Band "The Cahonies" in Aug 2004. Much thanks to Ade & Kevin for their patience.

Currently (since November 2006) David is teamed with King Rollo as Dr. A & King Rollo (two old gits play the blues).  Tours the country from Cumbria to Kernow, with the occasional forays into Cymru.  www.two-old-gits.com  Highlights include: Headlining at Colne, Ecofest and Small World festivals.  Full stage shows for Rotherham Open Arts Festivals, 2007 and 2008 finales in the famous Speigaltent.

Musical Influences:

  • Drums:

    • Aynsley Dunbar
    • Ginger Baker
    • Bev Bevan
    • Joe Morello
    • Mick Fleetwood.

     

  • Keyboards:

    • Jacques Loussier
    • John Mayall
    • Christine Perfect
    • Roy Ayers
    • Jools Holland

     

  • Bass:

     

  • Guitars:

    • Peter Green
    • Kim Simmonds
    • JJ Cale
    • Pat Metheny
    • King Rollo

     

  • Vocals: 

    • Peter Green
    • John Mayall
    • Chris Youlden
    • JJ Cale

Musical Ambitions:

To keep playing "live", have a good time and play The Jools Holland Show one day.

Favourite Position:

Pint in left hand, right hand on the black 'n' whites with leg(s) in the air.

EPs

  • The Circle - Instant Party - Circle Records/Pye - 1966

Singles

  • RSV - Don't Think of Me - Pye 1967
  • David Astell - Blues For The World - Circle Records - 1999
  • Tamer - Hey Gondalay - Circle Records - 1999

Albums

  • Montage - The Class of '98 - Circle Records - 1999
  • Alex Orange - Ethereal and Beyond - Circle Records - 2000
  • Various Artists - Covers and Origs - Circle Records - 2001
  • David Astell - No Boundaries II - Circle Records - 2002
  • Dr.A's Blues Consortium - Blues Consortium "Live" - Circle Records - 2002
  • Dr.A's Blues Consortium - 18 Months On And Still Barking - Circle Records - 2003
  • Dr.A's Blues Consortium - Live at Blues and Jazz by The Green - Circle Records - 2003
  • King Rollo’s Upfoot Blues Band – Live at Blues and Jazz by The Green – Circle Records – 2004
  • King Rollo’s Rhythm & Blues Band – Live at The Feathers – Circle Records – 2004
  • King Rollo’s Rhythm & Blues Band – Live at The Leopard – Circle Records - 2005
  • Two Old Gits – Blues for Night People – Circle Records - 2006
  • Dr. A’s Blues Consortium – It Used to Work Once –Circle Records – 2006
  • King Rollo – Jook Joint – Live Arts – 2007
  • King Rollo and The Band of Brothers – John Doe, A Story of The Blues (sound track from the stage show) – Live Arts 2007
  • Dr. A & King Rollo – Chillin’ – Circle Records – 2008

DVD

  • King Rollo and The Band of Brothers – John Doe, A Story of The Blues – Live Arts - 2007

 

 

 

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