Song and dance music from Downunda and beyond...
Brian Heywood has been living in England since the early 80's and has played around the country - and the world - in a number of successful bands.
Brian's current crop of bands includes , and (just click on the names to find out more). The band line-ups feature top talent from all around the globe and are flexible enough to handle a wide range of venues and events.
Bluetongue live at the Dispensary in Anandale, Sydney
Brian was born at a very early age in Sydney, and after dabbling with various musical instruments, he settled on 12 string and 6 string acoustic, electric and bass guitars. After playing in the requisite number of school rock bands he discovered folk music whilst listening to Chris Winters Room to Move radio programme on 2BL - Sydneys equivalent to Radio 4.
Soon after he was asked to join a new Australian bush band which eventually came to be known as Bluetongue. The band went onto become one of the most popular folk based ensembles in Sydney with residencies two nights a week in the inner suburbs and in the historic Rocks area overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The band were also at the forefront of the Bush Dance movement with regular gigs in Surrey Hills and at various other locations around New South Wales.
In 1979 Brian had an opportunity to move to England and almost immediately joined the folk rock Ceilidh outfit The Cluster of Nuts Band which was based in Guildford in Surrey. The band released one album called "Fridge in the fast lane" in 1983 which was generally well received and helped the Nuts to break into the festival and public dance circuit in the south of England. The band was described as "the best of a strong bunch" at the Bracknell Folk Festival and over the next couple of years played at folk festivals around the UK. These were exciting times in the UK folk music scene with new bands like Jumpleads, Tiger Moth and of course The Cluster of Nuts spearheading the Rogue Folk movement. Unfortunately, a couple of years down the road, the band split due to the various members going in different directions (geographically that is) meaning that the band was no longer viable.
After leaving the Nuts in 1985, Brian formed a new Ceilidh band called Nightwatch with his wife Alison, Ruth and Keith Whiddon and David Good. The band released an EP and a CD during its 15 years of existence as well as playing for dances at festivals, public dances and private functions around the South-east of England. As well playing with Nightwatch, he has played variously with Innocent Bystander (R'n'B), The Open Road (folk), TimeWarp (70s rock), Double Vision (folk/funk ceilidh), Carry the Can (Folk/Rock) and ad-hoc folk and ceilidh ensembles. He even played in a Jazz Big Band for a season and was musical director for an open air production of A Mid-summer Nights Dream at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin as well as co-writing Thinking about our lives... with poet Bob Harding-Jones and singer/songwriter Simon Smith.
Other past projects have included his celtic rock band enQ, an Australiana project with Brisbane singer Toni Wood called WoodworX as well as a sequel to "Thinking about our lives..." called "Thinking about our world..." with Bob Harding-Jones which mixed music and spoken word. For several years Brian also played bass with The Quirky which released one album - "Fresh Lies".
Since 2009 Brian has been collaborating with the amazingly talented singer / actress Dawn Moore as Heywood & Moore. They are now working with Thoroughbred Music on single releases and are due to release a full length album Goodbye Yesterday in September 2017.
Other current projects include a country rock outfit called the Hoedown Band as well as a bush/barn dance band going under the title of the Bluetongue Dance Band. Brian also performs his original music in the UK and Australia with his band Heroes.
http://www.musicsupportedhere.com "Brian's work with The Cluster of Nuts Band, Nightwatch and MoonDance has helped bring social set dance back into its proper social context without making any artistic compromises. The essence of the e-ceilidh movement is to make social dance both accessable and engaging, as appropriate to a festival audience as to a social gathering as a wedding or party." - Roger Watson (Director of TAPS).
Live performance is the 'real deal' for me and the recording is primarily a way of moving on to new material.
Prog rock like Yes, Pink Floyd and Gentle Giant, folk rock and roots music ranging from Ry Cooder to Steeleye Span, Jazz rock from Weather Report to Steely Dan.
My main squeeze is a PRS CE 24 through a Mesa Boogie Reverb Rocket and analogue Boss pedals and various acoustics.