Writing and performing under the name Cloudland Blue Quartet since 1996, David started making music around 1974, playing euphonium baritone in his school’s brass band. He began to experiment on his own music in the Autumn of 1977, double tracking back and forth between two of his dad’s old mono portable cassette recorders.
From the outset, David has always worked on both songs and soundscapes.
Initially influenced by Fripp & Eno’s “No Pussyfooting”, he would spend hours creating “The Drone Effect”, by sellotaping down specific notes on his dad’s old Bontempi Organ.
Meanwhile, the purchase of an ancient electric guitar and fuzzbox from a local junk shop, along with the influence of The Velvet Underground’s debut album “The Velvet Underground & Nico” and a Beatles songbook, led him to start writing his own songs. He also owned a bass guitar to which was added his elder sister’s nylon string acoustic. For percussion he used his mother’s knitting needles and Tupperware boxes. His first live appearances were to the neighbourhood’s children, accompanied by his younger sister, Pam in their back garden during the summer holidays.
David’s label went nameless until December 1980, when, with the advent of his first recordings as Sombre Reptiles, it was re-launched as David 14 Cassettes, the name referencing the call sign for the President’s plane in the John Carpenter movie “Escape from New York”.
In September 1991, Reptile Records was formed, based at the Edinburgh record shop of the same name. The Reptile imprint was operated from the shop and via Mail Order.
In May 1996, David’s recording projects, the song-based Sombre Reptiles and soundscape-based Heavenly Music Corporation, were merged into Cloudland Blue Quartet.
Reptile Records became Crispycat Recordings in May 1998 publishing CD-Rs based on private orders placed on a word of mouth basis and from the extensive mailing list built up via Reptile.
The launch of the Crispycat website in July 2002 saw the long awaited resurgence of the label, with the first world-wide release of several CDs recorded post Reptile.
After five years away from live performance, David started gigging again in 2003 but now very rarely performs, concentrating instead on recorded output, so, catching him live remains a rarity.
Since 2013, his releases have been available exclusively via Bandcamp, initially as both CD and download but, now, download only. Each new release is available to stream for free, while downloaders can purchase recordings on a “name your price basis”, with each download bundle containing a wide range of bonus material relating to the release in question.
He has been involved in almost 300 releases since 1977, contributing variously as singer, guitarist, bassist, synth-ist, soundscaper, drummer or producer.
David also maintains one of the world’s longest running web-based daily diaries, Cloudland Blue.