The Dunwell Brothers Band are a band potentially on the cusp of some very big things. The Yorkshire five-piece are releasing their debut single “Elizabeth” today, and are using only their wits, an ever-increasing fanbase, and some deft usage of a social networking tool to get their song into the UK Top 40 this weekend.
The band financed the recording of the single entirely by themselves, without any kind of support from a record label. They’re also responsible for promoting its release, and inspired by the Rage Against The Machine Facebook campaign that made headlines over Christmas, they’re similarly using that site as a way to drum-up interest in their own, slightly more modest campaign… and it appears to be working. Within just one week, more than 2000 fans had signed up to the Facebook group, and the sales figure that the band are aiming for – a six-day tally of 4000 – appears to be tantalisingly within their grasp.
“We formed in October of last year,” explains guitarist David Dunwell, who took a quick break from recording the band’s debut album at the Analogue Studios in West Yorkshire. “There has been a lot of local support, but I’d say that the Facebook thing is quite an important part to it. Hopefully not only will it do well to actually get the single in the charts, its actually built our following up as well.”
How confident are they about meeting their sales target? “Quietly confident, ” says David. “Not arrogantly confident, because it is still a big thing to achieve for a new band. But I’d say that we were all quietly confident.”
Defining their sound isn’t easy, and the band have absolutely no interest in pigeonholing themselves. One of the truly unique things about them – that they all sing, and frequently perform five-part harmonies together – gives their music a bewitching, otherworldly air that doesn’t bear easy comparison with anything. Their press release points out that this hasn’t really been done since the heyday of the Eagles, but The Dunwell Brothers’ sound is far from antiquated.
“The songs are great anyway, we love the songs. But for the band personally, we believe that the harmonies are the strongest part of our sound. Its the one thing that makes us stand apart.”
The band aren’t merely standing back and pinning everything on Facebook either; they’re gigging constantly, and are about to embark upon an entirely different set of very special shows, to coincide with their debut single’s first week of release. A nationwide busking tour, taking place on the streets of five different cities (including York today and London on Friday) will keep them busy, and their minds focused, until the start of this crucial upcoming weekend. Full details of the busking mini-tour are available on the band’s website.
“We’re really trying to achieve a new model in the industry,” continues David’s brother and fellow guitarist Joe. “The record companies aren’t signing new artists very often, so what we’re trying to do is launch the band ourselves, fund it ourselves, and prove that the new model for the music industry might not involve major record labels.”
Help support the The Dunwell Brothers Band in their bid to win the Band Battle and support British legends The Stranglers and rising stars Mumford & Sons at this year’s Triumph Live 2010. Click on this link and vote for them now
You can hear the track in full on the band’s website thedunwellbrothersband.co.uk, and as well as being able to buy “Elizabeth” from zavvi.com.