Dave Bainbridge

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Dave Bainbridge
Dave Bainbridge.jpg
Dave Bainbridge performing with Iona (2010)
Background information
Born Darlington, England
Genres Progressive rock, folk rock, classical
Occupation(s)Musician, Composer, Producer, Arranger
Instruments Guitar, keyboards, bouzouki
Associated acts Iona, Celestial Fire, Lifesigns, Strawbs, Dave Bainbridge & Sally Minnear
Website www.opensky121.wix.com/davebainbridge

Dave Bainbridge is an English guitarist and keyboard player who has played with The Strawbs since 2015. With Dave Fitzgerald, Dave co-founded the Christian progressive and Celtic folk themed band Iona. [1]



Born in Darlington, England from a musical family. Dave had piano lessons from the age of eight and learnt guitar from thirteen. He joined his first band 'Exodus' at fourteen.

Dave went to Leeds College of Music, gaining the "BBC Radio 2 Best Jazz Soloist Award" whilst there. Whilst at college Dave, met singer and songwriter Adrian Snell. The result was a working partnership spanning eight years and through which he would first meet Joanne Hogg and David Fitzgerald. This partnership went on to be the founding force behind the group Iona.

Dave toured the world with Iona between 1989 and 2015, releasing 13 critically acclaimed albums. Dave’s multi-faceted career as a solo artist, keyboardist, guitarist, bouzouki player, composer, improviser, producer, arranger, teacher and sound mixer has led him into many musical genres and work with numerous artists including: Strawbs (current keyboardist), Jack Bruce, Buddy Guy, Troy Donockley (Nightwish), Nick Beggs, Gloria Gaynor, Moya Brennan, Robert Fripp, Mae McKenna, Phil Keaggy, Paul Jones, Damian Wilson, Nick Fletcher, ‘Snake’ Davis, Adrian Snell, PP Arnold, Mollie Marriott, Lifesigns (with John Young), Norman Beaker, Fred T Baker, Dave Brons, Paul Bielatowicz and many others.

Winner of the BBC Radio 2 Best Jazz soloist award (piano) and the Sam Hood Rosebowl for Outstanding Performance during his time at Leeds Music College (where he graduated with first class honours and a distinction in arranging), Dave has composed soundtracks for numerous short films, TV and multimedia productions and has co-written a guitar concerto with Classic FM favourite Nick Fletcher, released on the album ‘Cathedral of Dreams’ (2009).

Dave has released three solo albums, ‘Veil of Gossamer’ (2004), ‘Celestial Fire’ (2014) and his first solo piano album ‘The Remembering’ (2016). The ‘Celestial Fire’ album led to the formation of the band of the same name in 2015 and the Celestial Fire band ’Live in the UK’ DVD/2 cd album was released in April 2017.

Dave has also released two collaborative albums with Troy Donockley and two with Iona's David Fitzgerald.

Current live projects include his new band Celestial Fire, Strawbs, the Dave Bainbridge & Sally Minnear duo, Lifesigns, and occasional solo concerts. Dave was arranger & musical director for Adrian Snell’s sell out live performances in The Netherlands of his works ‘The Passion’, ‘Light of the World’ and 'Alpha and Omega', all of which feature a full band of top Dutch session musicians, vocal soloists and a 60 piece choir.

"Dave Bainbridge is a genius of immeasurable proportions….working with artists as varied as Buddy Guy, Jack Bruce and IONA. If you are unfamiliar with him it's time to make amends. Trust me." Nick Beggs (Kajagoogoo / Steve Wilson / Steve Hackett etc., etc.)[ citation needed ]

"I've been listening to 'Celestial Fire' and I love it! Wow… That's some amazing stuff man! Really one of the best albums I've heard in a while." Neal Morse (Spock's Beard / Transatlantic / Flying Colors)[ citation needed ]

“Dave is both a solo artist and a major driving force behind the band Iona. His fluid, emotional guitar playing, epic keyboard work and expansive compositions combine into one of this generation’s most powerful and original musical voices.” John Kellogg (producer for Britney Spears, Chicago, Foreigner, Black Crows, Deep Purple, ELP)[ citation needed ]

“Bainbridge's guitar playing is superb; his electric solos conjure Eric Johnson and Allan Holdsworth, while his acoustic technique dazzles, thanks to a remarkable dexterity and the use of unusual tunings.…” www.progressiveworld.net[ citation needed ]

“Celestial Fire is absolute sonic brilliance!” Chris MacIntosh 88.1fm WCWP New York[ citation needed ]

“Soaring guitar passages, stunning keyboard work, and inspirational waves of orchestral prog.” Bert Saraco [2]

Musical description

A multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Bainbridge's solo material continues in the style established in Iona, fusing progressive rock, Celtic folk, classical and improvisational elements in a unique way.

A number of members of Iona have recorded solo albums, or co-operated on each others.


Iona's and Dave's solo & collaboration are albums available from www.iona.uk.com/store.


Celestial Fire Band

With Iona

see Iona for a list of their recordings

With Dave Fitzgerald

With Troy Donockley

With Strawbs

With Lifesigns

Other collaborations

Related Research Articles

Iona (band)

Iona was a progressive Celtic rock band from the United Kingdom, which was formed in the late 1980s by lead vocalist Joanne Hogg and multi-instrumentalists David Fitzgerald and Dave Bainbridge. Troy Donockley joined later, playing the uilleann pipes, low whistles, and other instruments.

Kajagoogoo British new wave band

Kajagoogoo were a British comedy 'band' whose hit included their 1983 single "Too Shy", which reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart, and the Top 10 in numerous other countries.

Nick Beggs

Nicholas Beggs is an English musician, noted for playing the bass guitar and the chapman stick; he is a member of The Mute Gods and Kajagoogoo, formerly also a part of Iona and Ellis, Beggs, & Howard and plays in the band of Steven Wilson.

Strawbs English rock band

Strawbs are an English rock band founded in 1964 as the Strawberry Hill Boys. The band started out as a bluegrass group, but eventually moved on to other styles such as folk rock, progressive rock, and (briefly) glam rock.

Troy Donockley

Troy Donockley is an English composer and multi-instrumentalist most known for his playing of Uilleann pipes. Having performed with many artists as a session player, he is most notable as a member of Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, which he has performed with since 2007 and joined as a full-time member in 2013.

<i>Woven Cord</i> 1999 studio album by Iona with All Souls Orchestra

Woven Cord is a live progressive rock album by Iona with the All Souls Orchestra, released in 1999. It was recorded on 29 May 1999 at the Royal Festival Hall in London, when Iona joined with the All Souls Orchestra for a unique collaboration to celebrate the band's tenth anniversary. Additional recording was made at Visions of Albion, Yorkshire, in July and August 1999. The engineers were Nigel Palmer and Matt Parkin.

<i>Beyond These Shores</i> 1993 studio album by Iona

Beyond These Shores is a progressive rock album by Iona, released in 1993. Beyond These Shores is largely based on the story of St. Brendan's voyage. Brendan and a company of monks sailed from Ireland in a leather and wood boat in the sixth century to 'the promised land' which many believe to be America.

<i>The Book of Kells</i> (album) 1992 studio album by Iona

The Book of Kells is a progressive rock album by Iona. Released in 1992. The Book of Kells, an 8th-century manuscript filled with lush pictures illustrating the Gospels, possibly originating from the monastery at Iona, serves as the album's namesake.

<i>Iona</i> (album) 1990 studio album by Iona

Iona is a progressive rock album by Iona, released in 1990. This was the debut album from this group which progressed throughout occasional live appearances and an occasional appearance on record.

Joanne Hogg Northern Irish singer and songwriter

Joanne Hogg is a Northern Irish singer and songwriter, best known for her work as the lead singer and songwriter with the Celtic Christian progressive rock and pop band Iona.

<i>Veil of Gossamer</i> 2004 studio album by Dave Bainbridge

Veil of Gossamer is an album by Dave Bainbridge. Released in 2004.

<i>Timbrel</i> (album) 1999 studio album by Terl Bryant

Timbrel is an album by Terl Bryant. Released in 1999.

<i>Lux Aeterna</i> (Dave Fitzgerald album) 1997 studio album by Dave Fitzgerald

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<i>From Silence</i> 2005 studio album by Troy Donockley & Dave Bainbridge

From Silence is a progressive rock album by Troy Donockley and Dave Bainbridge. It is an improvised piece recorded in the setting of the Lincoln Cathedral and released in 2005.

<i>The Circling Hour</i> 2006 studio album by Iona

The Circling Hour is a progressive rock album by Iona, released in 2006. It marked a return to the studio for the band after a break of nearly six years to record a full album.

<i>Songs for Luca</i> 2003 studio album by Various artists

Songs for Luca is a Celtic music and progressive rock album by Dave Bainbridge, the guitarist, keyboard player and founding member of Iona, released in 2003.

John Young (British musician)

John Young is an English rock musician hailing from Liverpool. He is currently the keyboardist and singer for the progressive rock band Lifesigns.

"Lay Down" is a song by English band Strawbs featured on their 1973 album Bursting at the Seams. Their first hit single, it had peaked at No. 12 in the UK Singles Chart late the previous year.

Lifesigns is an English progressive rock band. As of 2014, the band's members were John Young on keyboards & vocals, Jon Poole on bass & vocals, Martin "Frosty" Beedle on drums, percussion & vocals and formerly Niko Tsonev on guitars & vocals. Niko departed the band in August 2016. Dave Bainbridge, replaced Niko on guitar and also plays additional keyboards. In 2020, Frosty Beedle left, and was replaced by Zoltán Csörsz. Steve Rispin is the band's fifth member.

Niko Tsonev

Niko Tsonev is a Bulgarian-born musician, producer, composer, mixing engineer, and arranger living in London, England. At age four, Tsonev played accordion; later he began playing guitar but only in his early teen years Tsonev began formally taking music theory and guitar lessons. Aged seventeen, he received a scholarship from Berklee College of Music, however, Tsonev moved to London, England to study Music Production at Lewisham College. At that time (1996) Tsonev also joined a musician session agency as a freelance guitarist.


  1. "Iona". christianitytoday.com. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  2. "Bainbridge, Dave - Celestial Fire (Saraco)". www.tollbooth.org. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2018.