They were tipped for the top – until they split. Now York duo have reunited for a gig in the city

Singer Al Goodwin
27 Nov 2016 @ 9.12 pm
| Community news, Entertainment

It feels like you know the music of Al Goodwin. And chances are, you probably do.

His songs, like the man himself, have a feeling of old familiarity about them. You find yourself humming along (you’ve heard them before haven’t you?). He sings of experiences you’ve had, places you’ve been, feelings you’ve felt. You’ve met him in the pub, had a pint, enjoyed a joke, and shared a story.

Well, now it’s time to reintroduce you to Al.

Al Goodwin and Dave Freeney

Basement, York

Mon Dec 5 @ 8pm


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Originally from York, Al Goodwin has been around the block a bit. He started by hitchhiking his way from York to Tanzania (the Nile route, in case you were wondering).

Returning to the UK in 1984, Al settled in Hammersmith, where he met Dave Freeney from Dublin. Both passionate Stones fans, both fanatical Who devotees, they clicked.

They formed Rough Mix. The gigs were sell outs, the labels were chasing them and they got a double page spread in “International Musician and Recording World”. They were tipped for great success.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, as it happens, everything. Al and Dave had a big falling out. The band split. The equipment was packed away. Al vowed never to play music with Dave again, moved to France, and got on with his life.

But he couldn’t quite let go of everything.

Started playing again

Al and Brigit
Al and Brigit

So, years later, after he moved back to London, he took the guitar out from under his bed and started playing again. And his sound, like the man himself, had matured.

Now a father of two, his album Birth Death, and in Between is a smart, honest and personal account of love, loss and life. Al met cellist and actress Brigit Forsyth (who many will remember from The Likely Lads and Playing The Field), and, as a duo, they began to gig.

Produced by Steve Belgrave (whose clients include U2, Rolling Stones and Beadey Eye), Al’s sound developed even further.

Then, one day back in York, Al bumped into a familiar face. Dave was back.

Together again: Al and Dave
Together again: Al and Dave

Together they took a trip to Croatia. They wrote, jammed and busked. Hatchets were buried, arguments settled, friendship rekindled. Steve Belgrave flew out to see them and together a collection of songs emerged.

And now they’re back!

Fresh from supporting Billy Bragg at the Barking Folk Festival, Al Goodwin and Dave Freeney are on the road with a collection of smart, honest, graceful and deeply personal acoustic songs that sing of lives lost, lessons learned and look to a hopeful future.

Their resilience has bought them wisdom. Maybe it’s not too late. Maybe this is the start of something special.

Al and Dave will be performing live at The Basement on December 5, for their Up Close And Personal show.