Interview by Sam Lambeth ©
Photography credit: Dan Moss Productions
With verve and swagger behind him, Dean Dovey is making music so melodic and majestic he is making Richard Ashcroft look like Richard Asshat. Sam Lambeth spoke to the Dove with the Love to find out more.
Across the West Midlands, people are cursing their words. Often a place only second to Chicago when it comes to windswept weather, many residents dream of radiance, of heat, of a slither of sunshine.
Now they’ve got it, they’re not so sure. The sun pounds down with relentless mercy. The local dogs lethargically amble from sofa to floor, tongue hanging limply from the unforgiving temperatures.
There’s only one cure for the summertime blues – a dash of Dean Dovey, to be taken through the ear in generous portions. Warning – side effects may include a heightened appreciation of melody, loss of appetite for auto tune and a severe case of earworm.
Dovey, a singer-songwriter from the Second City, has seen his music soar. His most recent song, Shout!, was built for summer. An upbeat juggernaut of jaunty guitars, an uplifting horn section and a chorus to die for, it’s a song that makes you feel the summer breeze, the sticky heat, the coldness of the can.
Now he has a new single, Borrowed Time, and like any artist worth their salt, he’s changed tack once again. A maudlin, majestic and epic ballad built around magnificent strings, it’s Dovey’s opus.
Comparisons to The Verve have been rife since the start, but here Dovey takes all of the barnstorming blueprints of Richard Ashcroft – the strings, the sorrow, the stateliness – and knocks them out of the park.
When Dovey is asked about Mad Richard and his merry band, his love for them is as infectious as it is unsurprising.
“If it weren’t for The Verve’s ‘Lucky Man’, I would probably have never picked up a guitar,” he beams. “I would say Ashcroft is my biggest influence, alongside Noel Gallagher, The Doors and film scores.”
Ah, yes, film scores – there’s another obvious one. For if you have heard Dovey’s songs, you will know that each one carries a cinematic sheen. Borrowed Time, for example – “a song about life, death, living for the moment and letting go of the bullshit” – has the bombast and beauty of a Bond anthem.
Alongside his solo antics, Dovey is also part of a covers band. Before that, he – as many solo stars do – dabbled in numerous bands that enjoyed airplay on BBC Introducing. Now, though, he’s Dean Dovey – troubadour and titan.
“I’m planning a new single, which will hopefully coincide with an EP,” he grins. “My songs have been received slowly at first, but I really feel my following is growing. I’m just chuffed that some people like my stuff. It’s a great thing.”
It’s that modesty that has propelled Dovey into the mainstream. The way he is going, he will not be on borrowed time for long.