Official Showaddywaddy Web Site Dave Bartram

Dave Bartram - Vocals and Guitars - 1973 to December 2011

Dave Bartram 2017 (Andrew Ball)
Dave Bartram is perhaps the most familiar face of Showaddywaddy and was one of the founding members of the band upon its inception in 1973. Dave was just 19 when Showaddywaddy first went on the road, but had already spent a number of his formative years in other bands, including Buttercup Jelly (1967-1969) and Choise (1972-1973). After leaving school he juggled a day job as a trainee telephone engineer with late evenings on stage.

In August 1973, Showaddywaddy turned "pro", and Dave and the rest of the guys gave up their regular jobs and so began a 38 year career in an exceptionally busy and chart-topping band.

A strong work ethic was the order of the day, with hundreds of shows a year - often 7 nights on the trot in cabaret clubs - not to mention over 300 TV appearances, was well as writing and recording, and later managing the band's affairs, a role which he commenced in 1984 and continues to do today.

Born in Lutterworth and brought up in Syston in Leicester (not born in Santa Ana, California as some early tour programmes claimed!), Dave's first stage appearance was under the age of 10 in a local Cub Scout group show, and it was from this moment on he knew he wanted a career in entertainment. He taught himself to play piano and guitar, and was already writing songs in his early teenage years. He joined Choise in 1972 after the original singer Don Collins left, and it was early in 1973 that Choise hooked up with another local band (Golden Hammers) at the Fosseway pub in Leicestershire. Both bands jammed rock 'n' roll songs together, and it quickly became obvious to the guys that the collaboration was going down better with the audience than the individual bands. Some time was spent taking Choise and Golden Hammers out on the road as support acts to Showaddywaddy, and after some initial reluctance but knowing that "Showaddywaddy" was onto a winner, the guys took out the 8 piece band as an act in its own right.

Dave, last gig, Ilkley 3rd Dec 2011 (Julie Green)
Choise had written and performed original material, with songwriting being undertaken by Dave, as well as Trevor Oakes and Geoff Betts (aka Al James), and it was the opportunity to continue recording original material that appealed to Dave and others when signing a contract with Bell Records. Showaddywaddy may have a reputation as a covers band, but much of the band's recorded material was from their own hand. Whilst original songwriting was credited to all eight members, it was primarily Dave and Trevor that wrote songs, either in their own right or in collaboration.

Dave has written many songs over the years - too many to mention indvidually - but classic SWW tracks such as, You Will Lose Your Love Tomorrow, Cutie, Sweet Music, Smiling Eyes, Heavenly, Paint Your Picture, In Above Your Head, Swansong, Lost, Then Came You, You Always Stand Me Up and I Want You To Be My Girl. Not only did Dave write these songs, but played guitar, piano, and even harmonica on them too!

After 38 years fronting Showaddywaddy, Dave Bartram decided to step down in 2011, performing his last gig in Ilkley, West Yorkshire on 3rd December. Despite no longer leading the band on stage, Dave still manages the band's affairs, and has even made the occasional stage appearance since stepping down.

He has also spent some time writing books, two non-fiction works - "The Boys Of Summer" and "All Mapped Out" - with a fictional book "Killer Line" due to be released next.

Dave has been the driving force behind Showaddywaddy for over 40 years, a drive and determination that still continues today.

Above: Buttercup Jelly at the Peartree Inn, Woodhouse Eaves (1968)