Review: Dan Webster
One of Kathleen's sisters is a truly fanatical follower of Dean Freedman, a two-hit wonder from the 70's known for "Ariel" and "Lucky Stars". She persuaded us to go to a gig in a pub in York where he was playing. Freedman was a disappointment. He was drunk and/or stoned and/or tired and put on a poor show, but the support act was a surprise. Dan Webster. Truly a talented writer and musician, he is an almost unknown act. We bought a CD and listened to it repeatedly in the car. A few months later, I found another gig that he was doing, again in York and we decided to make a weekend of it, camp overnight and go to his gig. To say that it was intimate was an understatement, maybe a dozen or so in the audience. As the evening of great music went on, it slowly became apparent that we were the only people in the room that were NOT from his immediate circle of friends. When he found that we had travelled several hundred miles just to hear him, he was blown away.
Another year or so later our travel plans worked such that we could conveniently drop into another pub gig. This time playing a mix of his own work an covers. We sat quietly enjoying it without saying a word till he mentioned between numbers that whilst he he did covers, he didn't do requests, to which I immediately piped up: "What about Frank Dalton?" Surprised to hear the title of one of his own pieces, he smiled and replied that he was always happy to do requests for his own songs and performed it for us.
We did toy with having him to perform at our wedding but the logistics just didn't work that way.
A year or two ago, Kathleen and I were together in the car when an unfamiliar tune debuted on Radio 2. We looked at each other and agreed "That sounds like Dan Webster!" and sure enough he had a new single out to promote a new album. We heard it a few times, but assume that it wasn't a great commercial success because we never heard a followup.
He has two albums. The first is now available for free to promote the second. We strongly recommend a listen. You can find them here: http://www.danwebster.co.uk (note: the site plays music when you enter)