Dai’s Reportage : Drawing bands & varied musicians

I’ve always loved bands since I went by bus to see Mo and The Mystics, The Anglesey Strangers, and Dens Dimensions at the Anglesey Beat Club.  That was in the mists of time, but I carried on liking the buzz of live Rock …and Reggae, Ska, Punk and Goan Trance.

Nowadays, I can combine this love with drawing – but I think it probably needs to evolve its own style to try to capture the music, and the excitement in the air and the pulsing floor.  I haven’t even begun to do this yet, but I have tried to draw some of what I saw and felt.

This first one was such a cool character, and provided the music at an event in the waiting room of the  expectant mothers clinic at The Liverpool Women’s Hospital.


                                    Musician at Wellbeing project, Liverpool

The first year of Chester Rocks had some great bands in the line-up.  I tried to draw Iggy Pop and The Australian Pink Floyd by standing in the crowd close up to the stage; this moved like the sea, in waves, and I could barely hold my balance.

Iggy Pop 2 test - Chester Rocks                                                                  Iggy Pop


Australian Pink Floyd - Chester Rocks

                     Australian Pink Floyd


I went with friends to Womad, the World Music Festival.  Here, I did try some drawings of the varied bands playing.

Dennis Bovell Dub Band 2- Womad


          Dennis Bovell Dub Band

Sarah Savy & the Francadians 2 - Womad

Sarah Savy and the Francadians

The next one begins to explore different ways to catch the scene, beyond the traditional line up – Nneka had a magic in her stage presence….

Nneka 2 - WomadNneka and her band…. below one of the guitarists….

Nneka guitarist 1 - Womad

A total change of scene now – I was drawing at the Dinner that marked the opening of the 1st Manchester Childrens’ Book Festival.  I sat having a sandwich with the band that were providing the dance music.  They were superb and a different line-up to draw.

Frambuesas Tango Band s - Gala Dinner

Frambuesas Tango Band


I took a bus over to Theatre Clwyd for The Absurd Music Festival – The Absurd put on poetry events as well, and had a good scene going.  There was a mix of Welsh Bands, individual musicians, and a poet backed by guitar; I just drew non-stop while there.

Yucatan - Absurd Festival


Stephanie Finegan - Absurd Festival

                                      Stephanie Finigan


With Meilir (below) I tried a different approach , by drawing him in 3 positions overlapping.  He was a very interesting act, at times providing backing sounds by moving his foot back and forth in a box of gravel (see back of drawing).

Meilir - Absurd Festival                        Meilir

…and here’s the poet, Rhys Trimble, with feather Boa and guitarist and harmonica player…..and great poems declaimed with style.

Rhys Trimble poet - Absurd Festival

Rhys Trimble


I did some drawing at Liverpool’s Brouhaha Festival – costumes, carnival, world music and yes…a punk bank.  A girl whose boyfriend was in the band asked for a copy of the sketch.

The Amnesiacs - Bouhaha Festival

                                     The Amnesiacs


Here’s a band well known on the Folk scene and Chester based; they play dance music from different periods in history, hence the name.

The Time Bandits - St. John's

The Time Bandits


When the National Eisteddfod was in Wrecsam a few years back, Welsh Bands played nightly at the club – Central Station. The one below is more traditional than rock, but I’ve always loved his music.

Tecwyn Ifan & Band - at Central Station

Tecwyn Ifan Band – (that’s him at the back)


Lastly, 2 bands drawn at a Mathew Street Festival in Liverpool.  Firstly, one I did a small project with for The Liverpool Echo – Fly with Vampires.  This drawing was constructed from different photos to meet a deadline.

Fly with Vampires - Mathew Street Festival

                       Fly with Vampires

Here are a band who, I believe, are quite big now on the Liverpool scene.  I caught them on the local bands stage….

Tea Street Band - Mathew Street Festival

Tea Street Band


One more thing, I’m keen to draw more bands locally, and hopefully to experiment with getting the drawings to capture the action in new and more dramatic ways.

Feel free to get in touch if you are interested – leave a note and contact details in the comment box.





4 thoughts on “Dai’s Reportage : Drawing bands & varied musicians

  1. Hello Dai,it’s Mark Henderson and I’ve been looking at your drawings,really good to see and i recognise some of the characters.anyway it would be great if you were up for it,to capture with your drawing some of the characters that play in the Cherry orchard in Boughton.Myself and Thor Brown host a music night every Friday starting at 9pm,there’s a good spot with a table that you could get comfortable and be close to the players.be good to see you.


    1. Hi MArk, that would be great. I can’t do it in the next few Fridays for a variety of reasons – but I’d like to in October, hope that’s ok. I’ll put a sticker on my calendar! I mostly draw stranding up and moving about, but I think in a music night a seat near the front would be good. Is there any way I could let you know I’m coming so you could put a ‘reserved’ ticket on the seat?


  2. Dai, not only beautifully drawn; so full of life and artfully casual, but you also write so well. Its magic how you capture the essence of the person out of seeming chaos (Iggy Pop for example – those legs…)


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