Gabriel’s Dawn is a band from the Midlands (Leicester and Newcastle Under Lyme), brought together through a shared love of melodic pop, jangly guitars and classic songwriting. Featuring Gudg (vocals), Fran Feely (Bass), Leon Jones (Guitar) and Stuart Gray (keys). Their self titled debut album was recorded and mixed by band member Leon Jones at his own studio in Stoke on Trent throughout 2021. The band have all known each other socially for years. Gudg and Fran had some songs and they asked Leon if he fancied adding some guitar and soon after Stuart jumped on board and Gabriel’s Dawn were officially born in 2020. After three singles (two of which as The Gabriels), in 2021, the album was recorded throughout Lockdown with the band rarely being in the studio at the same time, however, slowly it came together. The album also features guest backing vocals from Robyn Gibson, formerly of The Junipers and currently Hot Toddy, and Phil Mason who was band mates with Leon in Alfa 9.
The album was recorded and mixed by band member Leon Jones at his own studio in Stoke on Trent. Leon explains “There was temptation to farm out the mixing to someone else. However as we were recording during Lockdown and we had no real deadline I felt I wanted to have a crack at it. The obvious bonus is it was cheap but in addition it was good to have total control. I’ve had input from the rest of the band and we’re all very on point to the sound we wanted”. Lyrically the album covers various themes. Escapism, lost love, Fran explains “I prefer people to listen to the lyric’s and interpret it the way it relates to them. It’s no secret that Loose Canyon for example is about yearning for a different time and place but I wouldn’t necessarily say it was written with Lockdown in mind. It was more a general feeling I have. But other songs cover love, loss and even peoples attitude to creating music. For me lyrics are very important to a song. Usually, when I am writing a song I have a melody and some lyrics straight away. The core of the LP Is positive, but there is definitely a lot of bite too. Like a lot of writers, I much prefer the listener to interpret their own meanings” .
What They Say: Fran “Our aim from the start was to make a classic album. Something we’d be proud of and something we hope will stand the test of time. So we didn’t want to rush anything. With no option of gigs during Lockdown and no real anticipation towards us in terms of releases, there was no pressure on us, so we took our time to get the sound we wanted”.
Stuart “We had our hearts set on a Spring/Summer release and the romantic notion of the album blasting out of car stereos up and down the Sunset Strip with their windows open – I appreciate its more likely to be on the M1 pissing it down but you gotta dream! Anyway, when things got delayed and a Summer 2021 release slipped out our grasp, we thought we might as well take our time and get it out for Summer 2022.”.
Fran “We are all massive fans of 60s culture, music, films, art and fashion. That’s not to say we are stuck in that time period but I’d certainly love a Time Machine for day or two to go back there and experience it. Although we are all fans of UK 60s bands, The Beatles, Stones, Pretty Things, Kinks and the UK psych and freakbeat scenes, we all agree that US bands of that time appeal to us more. The Byrds, Love, Buffalo Springfield being the obvious ones but also bands like The Merry Go Round, The Beau Brummels and Penny Arkade. We also love The Monkees. However we follow that stem of music through the late 60s/early 70s country rock scene, right into the 80s Paisley Underground bands, into the late 1980s/early 90s melodic UK bands like The La’s, the Stone Roses, Teenage Fanclub, The Field Mice and The House of Love…and into the 2000’s with bands like The Coral, El Goodo and The Stands. We love music!”
Fran: “It was good fun, but me & Gudg spent a while back and forth changing our selection..we eventually got there albeit with a lot of changes.“
Michael Nesmith – Joanne
Just a great song with touching lyrics and a beautiful melody.
Dolly Parton – Dumb Blonde
I think it really speaks for itself. But the message is never to judge a book etc…
Broadcast – Come On Let’s Go
A real fave band of ours. (Fran)I was lucky enough to see them live and they were great. Sadly missed.
Ryan Adams – Anybody Wanna Take Me Home
Leon can be thanked for this fantastic LP
The Sundays – Summertime
Me and Gudg’s song…always has been there throughout our 12 years together.
The Field Mice – Canada
We love the jangle and lyrics. It’s a painful breakup song. The best lyrics are disguised behind a nice melody.
Throwing Muses – Not Too Soon
Huge Tanya fans and by far the best Muses song.
Teenage Fanclub – Baby Lee
A real fave band for all our band. Just great songs and harmonies. Love ‘em!