The David Sinclair Four: paying tribute to the patron saint of rock bands

Alternative rock group The David Sinclair Four play The Brunswick in Hove on February 22, on the back of a new album.

David Sinclair
David Sinclair

As a writer and columnist for The Times of London, Rolling Stone and Billboard, David has seen the rock ‘n’ roll years unfold at close quarters and lived to tell the tale. Now on his fifth album as a recording artist in his own right, he brings a storyteller’s craft to bear on the witty, bluesy, alt-rock narratives of Sweet Georgina.

“We are still working to promote it,” says David (vocals/guitar) who is joined by Geoff Peel (guitar/vocals), Jos Mendoza (bass/vocals) and Rory Mendoza (drums), “It was a fifth album in 12 years.

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“The group was something that grew over the years. It was a trio to begin with and it became DS4 in 2014 which was when Geoff Peel, the lead guitarist, joined, and it made a big difference. I was doing all the guitar playing which was fair enough, but Geoff is a guitar-player of a higher order really, and that’s when it took off.

“I had been a music journalist for a long time. I was a musician and I became a music journalist, but it has always been my primary activity, but it just happened that my work on the journalism side was what took off, though in recent years it has swung back in the other direction.”

Whether the two sides complement each other is open to debate. David cites the view that to be a good TV critic, you have got to have no ambitions to be on TV yourself: “Once you have got those ambitions of maybe wanting to work in production or TV, you become hobbled. Your critique is no longer fully independent of the medium you are writing in. In terms of writing a book, authors are expected to be critics as well. But in music journalism, it can be a bit conflicted if you like. If you are writing, say, a review which is not entirely flattering, then you might find that your own efforts as a musician are not taken quite so seriously. You have got to manage the whole situation... but I do less journalism now.”

As for the Sweet Georgina album: “Georgina is really the muse. She is my muse. I have written a song about what keeps musicians going. It is quite a hard existence. You need a certain degree of motivation to do it. There is no lack of reasons to stop. But Georgina is the muse. She is the patron saint of bands. That’s my take on it!”

“She is the figure that all song-writers recognise as someone that inspires you, the reason you do it, that you love the music and really want to reach out to people and make it the way you way to do it. You are trying to extend what you are writing about. Sweet Georgina comes to the fore at that point...”

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