Having retired from the live scene at the back end of 2016, Dave Hemingway has been keeping busy with guitarist and songwriter Phil Barton putting together a new band with new songs and a new album called Cool To Be Kind.

The type of music Sunbirds make takes onboard all the artists the band has loved over the years. It chiefly blends the musical instruments of rural America with an occasional twist of grungy guitars and sets them against lyrics that remain very much at home in the towns and cities of England.

“Although a lot of the songs have an Americana feel” says Dave, “they’re still about life in England. You’re going to feel a bit daft singing about pick-up trucks and low down honky-tonks when you live in Yorkshire.”

Produced by cult producer Teo Miller, who was responsible for Daisy Chainsaw’s breakthrough single ‘Love Your Money’ and subsequently worked with The Pretenders, Placebo and Robert Plant, the album captures truthful, open-hearted, funny and sometimes painfully honest songs, turning the page to a new chapter for Dave Hemingway and The Beautiful South story.

The formation of Sunbirds also sees the introduction of new discovery Laura Wilcockson on vocals and violin. Laura comes from a classical/orchestral, as well as folk background. If you’re lucky, you might spot her busking around Mansfield. Completing the line-up is legendary UK session drummer, Marc Parnell, who has toured with Joan Armatrading, The Blockheads and Jethro Tull to name but three.  Marc can be heard on recordings by Girls Aloud, Pet Shop Boys and Gabriella Cilmi’s hit single ‘Sweet About Me’. 

Cool To Be Kind is the result of a few transitional years in Dave and Phil’s individual personal worlds. It tells tales that cover contemporary themes as well as age-old matters of the heart and soul – all viewed through the bottom of a recently drained pint glass.  “There’s no exact science here,” says Phil. “We’re just enjoying ourselves and expressing whatever we want, whether it’s about love, greed, social isolation or Gary Lineker’s crisp adverts”.

Sunbirds will be coming to a town near you as soon as it is possible to do so. In the meantime, by subscribing to our mailing list we’ll send you one of the new songs entitled “Hatred Lies In The Ruins Of Love” a song that speaks of an unspoken universal truth that maybe we’d all own up to if we could.;) We hope you enjoy it!

This band is genuinely a self-financed labour of love for us all, we’ve thrown our lives into this and we’d love you to join us on the journey.

See you as soon as it is possible xx