Snake Davis: the sax ace on playing with the M People and his Clitheroe gig
Snake Davis is back in town with some more classic saxophone solos.
“Clitheroe has such a special place in my heart, I’ve always enjoyed a good time there,” said Snake, who returns to one of his favourite haunts at the Grand Theatre on Saturday, February 23rd.
“I used to play at the Rolling Thunder Club, based at the Swan and Royal, Clitheroe, many moons ago.
“I’ve warm memories of that time in my life when I was just starting out as a young musician and some of those people became my friends.”
Since then, Snake has slithered his way up the greasy pop ladder, rubbing shoulders with musical icons Sir Paul McCartney, Tina Turner, The Pet Shop Boys, and the late Ray Charles.
He also played sax for M People on their famous chart hit Moving on Up.
And Snake calls his beloved saxophone the golden beastie.
“I’m one of those lucky people who found their dream through music, and the beastie has been kind to me,” added Snake.
“Up until my late teens music was a hobby, just a bit of fun with my pals.
“I played guitar, piano and I crooned a bit.
“I learnt some James Taylor and Joni Mitchell songs, played in folk clubs and then went off to university.
“I was 19 when I discovered the sax, and within two months of owning the golden beastie my life changed.
“I knew then that was what I wanted to do.”
Snake has starred as one of the headliners at the Ribble Valley International Jazz Festival, which this year runs from May 2nd-6th.
He added: “The most exciting and meaningful thing I do in my musical life is to play to audiences.
“It’s all very well performing in front of 50,000 in Japan, which is amazing, but I’d rather be playing to 250 people in Clitheroe.”
Snake’s concert showcases classic pop tunes on the sax – from Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street to George Michael’s Careless Whisper.
“I’ll also be talking about the song’s history, with plenty of anecdotes about the artists and the history behind the song,” he said.
“For example, what is the individual ingredient to make that song extra special?
“And how do the players produce that magic – and what makes it a classic?
“It is my own project, a very demanding show musically, but also a great technical challenge to put my own spin on those great tunes.”
Snake remains in demand across the world and later this year he will be touring the Far East with eighties pop act Swing Out Sister.
“I look back to those very special days with M-People as they hit the big time with anthems Moving on Up and Search for the Hero - and the career door swung open for me.
“My first love was northern and sixties soul, music flows through me. I’m very lucky.”
Snake Davis Band, Classic Sax Solos, The Grand, Clitheroe, February 23rd.