Dave Charles

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Dave Charles
Birth name David Charles
Genres Rock, country rock, blues
Occupation(s) Musician, recording engineer, record producer
Instruments Drums
Years active 1967–present
Associated acts Help Yourself, Dave Edmunds, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, Airwaves

Dave Charles, also known as David Charles is a British drummer, recording engineer & record producer. He often appears under both names on the same album, e.g. Help Yourself's The Return of Ken Whaley, where Dave Charles is credited with drums and vocals[1] and David Charles as producer.[2]


Charles'joined Walthamstow blues-rock band Sam Apple Pie, appearing on their eponymous first album in 1969, and then playing with Help Yourself at the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970.[3] As well as a drummer, he was also interested in electronics, and recorded the Brinsley Schwarz Hype at the Fillmore East[4]

Malcolm Morley left Sam Apple Pie and invited Charles to join his new band Help Yourself, for whom he drummed on all 6 of their albums, and played an early synthesiser.[5] Whilst with Help Yourself Charles also drummed on the eponymous album by Ernie Graham (ex Eire Apparent), and Deke Leonard's album Iceburg.[3] After the breakup of Help Yourself in 1973, Charles recorded Unusual with Roger Ruskin Spear, Fish for Barry Melton and rejoined Tim Rose for Magician. He drummed for, and recorded albums with, several Welsh bands, including Geraint Watkins, The Neutrons, Deke Leonard and Clive John.[1]

Most of these albums were recorded at Rockfield Studios, where Charles tried using the recording desk, because "someone had to do it, and it all looked fairly simple really." He knew Rockfield boss Kingsley Ward from Monmouth, as well as the studio, and Kingsley offered to train him as a recording engineer.[6] He became resident engineer at Rockfield between 1975 and 1977, engineering albums for Hawkwind (Warrior on the Edge of Time; Quark, Strangeness and Charm and PXR5),[7] Dr. Feelgood (Down by the Jetty), Dave Edmunds (Get It), Judas Priest and Graham Parker

In 1978 Charles joined Airwaves as drummer, staying for the albums New Day and Next Stop and the minor hit "So Hard Livin' Without You". In 1981 he had a long stint with Dave Edmunds including D.E. 7th, Information, Riff Raff and I Hear You Rockin'. He also drummed on albums by Bryn Haworth (Pass It On) and Sheila Walsh (Future Eyes), before joining Latin Quarter[2] and playing with Andy Fairweather-Low and Hugh Masekela.

By 1985 he was undertaking more engineering, including albums by Jeff Beck (Flash), The Fabulous Thunderbirds (Hot Number), Nick Lowe (Pinker and Prouder than Previous and Party of One) the Stray Cats and Nelson Rangell.[2] Having become known as an engineer, he recorded The La's album The La's, and worked with The Charlatans where his role changed from initially being the engineer, on The Charlatans, to becoming the producer on Tellin' Stories and numerous Charlatans singles.[8]

In the 2000s he has produced albums for Man, Paul Chapman and Dr. Feelgood.[1]


  • NB – Allmusic use different artist ID numbers for "Dave" Charles and "David" Charles. The two associated credit lists partially overlap.
  1. ^ a b c Allmusic credits for Dave Charles Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Allmusic credits for David Charles Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  3. ^ a b Sleevenotes by Nigel Cross to CD re-release of Ernie Graham his eponymous 1971 album (Hux 032)
  4. ^ Birch, Will (2003). No Sleep Till Canvey Island – The Great Pub Rock Revolution (1st ed.). London: Virgin Books Ltd. pp. 73–74. ISBN 0-7535-0740-4. 
  5. ^ Senzatempo biography of Help Yourself Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 25 March 2009
  6. ^ Manband archive report of recording at Rockield in 2000 Retrieved 25 March 2009
  7. ^ The Drums of Chaos – Starfarer.net Retrieved 25 March 2009
  8. ^ Sleevenotes to Melting Pot the Charlatans 1998 singles compilation