Dirty Mavis has launched their “Oak Tree Lament” on behalf of the StopHS2 campaign in the hope to have a No 1 hit for Christmas. It can be downloaded from the HMV website and from iTunes. For further details go to http://www.oaktreelament.org.uk.
Dirty Mavis is a band from Buckinghamshire who’ve been playing together for over 10 years. They all have ‘day jobs’, but meet religiously every Monday night to play their favourite music and have a laugh. They gig around 6-10 times a year usually at private parties, fundraisers and local pubs.
Martin Davis – Lead Vocal & Guitar
Mike Hannon – Lead guitar
Kay Fisher – Keys, Sax & Violin
David Brown – Rhythm guitar and Backing Vocals
Steve Vinden – Bass and Vocals
Martin Hill – Drums and Backing Vocals
Their infectious fun loving attitude never fails to rub off on the audience, and they always get people up dancing and having fun, and they love that.
Then, one day in the summer of 2011, their lead singer Martin Davis (a bit of a closet tunesmith) bumped in to one of the organisers of the anti HS2 protest on a dog walk and offered to write a song. And this is it – ‘The Oak Tree Lament’ – they knocked up a quick demo, and it was so well received they were asked to debut the song at the Speen Festival.
So far all quite normal – just them playing in a pub. But in the audience that day was Joe Rukin – leader of the official National Stop HS2 Group, and a few days later he sent them an email with a rather ridiculous idea: “How about we release it as a single, and try to get it to Christmas Number 1?”
Of course, they thought he was barking mad (the jury is still out by the way), but after about the third or fourth email, they realised he was serious, and he had a pretty credible plan – and of course hundreds of thousands of people very much against the HS2 to call upon… This could raise money and, critially, awareness for the Stop HS2 campaign.
So they realised they had to give it a shot. They needed to get a decent recording done very rapidly, so they went ‘in house’ and recorded and mixed the song in their drummer Martin’s garage studio. They sent the final mix for mastering to someone who knew what he was doing – James Thomson from sound designers Sonicouture (many thanks James), and found the web site dittomusic .com to release and distribute the song digitally to all the well known online stores. So within a couple of weeks, and with no budget, Dirty Mavis had released their first single.