When Dave Hastie attended a house party in the Sefton Park area in Liverpool in 2006 he was disappointed to find it populated by students dancing to house music in the front room and k-holing in the bathroom. He was just about to leave in disgust, when he stumbled across the box bedroom. Inside half a dozen long haired dope smokers were passing a guitar around. Also present was Dutch guitar wizard Isaac Tabor and the two boyos quickly discovered a shared love of Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Around this time Dave was also singing harmony with fellow geordie and housemate Ben Blance an already well established solo artist around the city. Soon it became obvious that Isaac’s guitar talents would also be an invaluable weapon in the arsenal of what was to become ‘Blance, Hastie and Tabor’. Now around that time Ben and Dave were living in an old pub in Liverpool – The Spekeland. On many occasion Isaac would arrive around for rehearsal and fellow housemate Johanna Hillebrand from Koln would lend her beautiful voice to the proceedings. Realising they were on to a good thing our heroes immediately booked a few gigs in Ireland planning to tour for about a fortnight.
‘Blance, Hastie and Tabor (and Hillebrand)’ were soon roughing and busking around Ireland, pitching their tents wherever they could, be that in a cemetery or in the corner of the local GAA field (to be awoken by the groundsman in the morning). It was while busking in Wexford they were asked to play a gig in local music pub ‘The Sky and the Ground’. The landlord couldn’t remember the mouthful of a name and advertised the group as ‘Jukebox Gypsy’ in reference to the Lindisfarne tracks they were busking at the time. The lads were soon to meet a group of musicians in the Athlone area which included Bean Dolan who turned out to be a bit of a maestro on the upright bass! The line up was now complete…
Jukebox Gypsy have since played regularly around Ireland and indeed Europe, playing many venues on their mammoth tours. Some of the highlights have been the many festivals – Electric Picnic, Body and Soul in Ireland – Rapalje Festival in Holland. The band now have two studio albums under their belt and a live album recorded at the Bog Lane Theatre in Ballymahon and are widely regarded as one of the most entertaining acts on the live circuit in Ireland.