The last 16 months has been a real roller coaster ride for Dave.
His daughter, Talia and husband Haig, left the UK to try their luck in New Zealand in February 2017. Although Dave and his wife, Janine, were very proud of Talia and Haig for following their dreams, it goes without saying that this was a very upsetting and unsettling time for them being so far away from their daughter and not knowing when they would see each other again.
Sister Madly was starting to get quite busy around this time and it certainly helped Dave deal with his sadness by concentrating on the band and what was needed from him as their bass player.
The gigs, rehearsals and the time spent recording in Wolverhampton in April 2017 all helped Dave deal with that initial period of badly missing his daughter. There was a lot to learn, especially as many of the songs Ian and the girls came up with, were unknown to Dave and took him outside his comfort zone. Challenging but very beneficial in many ways.
As Dave and Janine were slowly trying to wind down on the work front, they wanted to do some travelling together. Janine put together a great itinerary of train travel through Italy and off they went for 3 weeks in June 2017 for an absolutely brilliant time.
In October 2017, Dave and Janine heard the news from Talia that she was pregnant. Their initial excitement was tempered a bit by wondering if this now meant Talia and Haig would settle permanently in New Zealand. However, it became increasingly apparent from the skype sessions that Talia was extremely homesick and wanted to have her baby in the UK. Dave and Janine were really missing her so decided to go to New Zealand anyway in January 2018 to spend time there with them and discuss how to best get them back to the UK, especially as Haig would need a visa (Haig is a New Zealander). They got to meet Haig’s family who made them very welcome and had a fantastic month in what Dave now regards as his second home.
It was while in New Zealand that Dave came to the decision that he no longer wished to gig as often as Sister Madly required. He had gigged 53 times in the previous year and the current year was shaping up to be just as busy. After much soul-searching, he discussed his options with Ian and it was agreed that Dave would leave the band at the end of May 2018.
This was all done on a completely amicable basis and Dave will never forget the friendship, kindness, love and fun times Sister Madly gave him during his 3 year journey with them. He feels privileged to have got to know what he regards as his incredible bandmates, their equally incredible administrator, Nicola Stirk, Jo’s husband Carl and of course, the children, Molly Surgenor,Riley Stirk and Louie. He is also sorry he did not get to play more often with the new boy in Sister Madly, the very gifted and ‘energetic’ Steve Mosby.
Talia and Haig returned to the UK in March 2018 and you can imagine how Janine and Dave felt about that. They are currently living with mum and Dad and await the arrival of Talia’s baby, the first grandchild for Janine and Dave.
Saving the best to the last, Sister Madly came up trumps for Dave for his penultimate gig by appearing at the Cavern in Liverpool. It was a dream come true for this child of the Sixties and the experience will forever be etched on his memory. An experience filled with such joy and energy as the band all came together as one for an amazing gig and an amazing day. Backstage, the band presented him with some beautiful mementos of his time with them and moved him to tears.
Dave is, understandably, concentrating on his own family for now. The Sister Madly family has given him so much and he looks forward to watching them achieve even greater success. Where Dave goes from now on the music front? Who knows. He is over......but not quite out.