The Singer

DaveDavid Kenneth Barret .. Lead vocalist and front man .. Dick Smith Band ..

Where do we start with this man  .. I first saw Dave as a front man in a band in New Brighton before DSB started.. the band was crap but he looked the part totally… later when I got together with DSB I remembered how good he was…P.D had a song called Body Heat and Dave sang it with a determination and style that blew me away .. no rehearsing no “can we do that bit again” “can we change the key”  It just came out of him .. he used his voice like an instrument constantly experimenting .. on stage he developed a crazy on the edge unpredictable  mad style .. one gig I felt someone stick their head between my legs and up I went on his shoulders playing guitar.. P.D and Steve looked in horror .. every gig after that we all shuffled around trying to avoid take-off.. the shoulders went and it was just a grab and hope for the best.. Dave would aim blows at you missing by a few centimetres but always in all those times never made contact …

I turned around once and he was running across the stage wearing a car headrest , jumped from the top of the PA speakers , did a great pretend mime looking for his  mike in the dry ice… he did a “Pow Pow” and a “We mean It” and a “Dick – Smith – Band” would headbutt the mike a few times try not to laugh and start singing.  On top of all of this there is another side to Dave.. after DSB his song writing took off like a rocket … if you join us on this journey you will meet The Other Side.. In that band Dave wrote every song on keyboard.. he doesn’t know how to play keyboards doesn’t know what an “A” or Em is .. he just puts his fingers on the keys finds a sound and brings out the melody ..  so when you listen to Free Them or Disappearing World … or any of them … remember that.. because that my friend is talent and is really cool…

The Bass Man ..

SBSteve Barrett ..Bass player …Dick Smith Band
I don’t think anyone knew how good he was at the time..he certainly didn’t …but his bass playing style ..analysed by a few and copied by many remains the cornerstone and heartbeat of DSB…live he was ferocious and volatile but you knew what you would get with Steve ..one million percent commitment…his eyes would glaze over and for that sixty minutes he was someone else…driving..driving….like everything he did he wanted to “take it to the edge ” I got the feeling sometimes that his Rickenbacker bass had just about coped with the evenings performance and was somehow glad to be back in the safety of its flight case …..at some gigs he would plunge a butane gas canister into his mouth and blow flames for god sake ..this was no Gene Simmonds tribute ..this was done without any health and safety and certainly no emergency plan if it all went horribly wrong…..
After DSB Steve joined Dave and Paul Madden in forming The Other Side….his playing on tracks like Free Them and Disappearing world cementing his place among an all time list of great bass players….

Lead Guitar

PDPaul ” Dilly ” Downes …Dick Smith Band …..Lead and rhythm guitars
PD as we called him …lived round the corner from me and was regarded as one of the hippest dudes around …he’d lived in a temple in Switzerland someone had said ….I’d seen him around and thought he was too groovy to talk to me but one day in the post office we got talking about music and we started a band …PD knew Paul Madden and that’s how it all sort of got together ..PD wrote most of the very early DSB stuff and I think that’s what we played at our very first gig outside at Fort Perch Rock NewBrighton…great chords and mystical words…the audience loved it….I heard a very early demo of one of those songs the other day and apart from some very strange singing by me….the track musically at least I thought was brilliant…how we got from that to the super hard rock of DSB I’ve no idea…but as it got heavier so did the brilliant riffs PD would smash out….PD was a guitarist who like Paul” Frank ” Madden ” became ” Super Alive ” on stage….the riffs just kept on coming…..heavier and heavier …they would keep on coming…

PD didn’t wear shoes on stage…was adored by all female DSB fans …and formed  a formidable twin guitar partnership with Paul ” Frank ” Madden…..
PD had his own style ….was one of the first true vegetarians I ever met and in many ways he was way ahead of his time both in where he was at and in what he knew and believed in….

Rythmn Guitar

PMPaul ” Francis ” Madden .Dick Smith Band ….Lead …slide and rhythm guitars
Paul or ” Frank ” as he was known ….was the driving force behind DSB and to some extent sacrificed some of his own glory for the sake of the band …on the records he was sensational …but live he took it to a whole new level and it felt like a real privilege being on stage with him…I honestly always sort of knew that he had the talent to go anywhere and play with any of the great bands in the world and if an opportunity would have come up .. I would have told him to go for it….listen on the single ” Giving the Game Away ” to his slide playing ..it’s phenomenal …..I’ve listened to Motorway Madness quite a few times recently and to the intricacies of his rhythm guitar and he’s playing a completely different fucking tune ..I couldn’t get my head round it at first ..it sounds pretty complex….and he played that note for note live …but that’s the sign of true talent to make the difficult things look easy….
On stage Paul had the swagger and looks that all rock gods need…and perhaps out of all of us ..he should have made it ….he really should ….

Drummer No 1

DSB 8Steve Swift ….Dick Smith Band ….Drummer
Swifty as we use to call him arrived just in time for DSB ……we were taking our music pretty seriously and needed someone who could take us to the next level…we had a succession of would be DSB drummers round to 198 Seaview rd, to audition ..one promising candidate calling himself ” the human clock ” was discounted after being two hours late for his audition…but we’d heard about Swifty and went to see him at a gig he was doing ..I know nothing about drums or drumming but the rest of the band did and he was offered the job on the spot…..rehearsals took on a much more intense feel about them… Swifty wasn’t here to mess about ….the band’s rhythm section went from good to ” shit hot tight good “…I asked Paul the other day what Swifty had brought to DSB and Paul said ” he brought it all together ” ..simple as that ……one of my favourite DSB tracks live was the set ending ” funky jam ” were I would introduce each band member and they would do a solo…I can hear Swiftys in my head now…always and absolutely right on the money….power and precision ….I would even applaud it myself…sometimes you get lucky in life …we were with Swifty and he became an absolute major part of the DSB’s sound and its success…