“Not the Heart” followed in 1983 and began life as a Mad Professor backing track. A lazy reggae number, with pedal steel played over the top of a killer horn line - country reggae was born. “Single of the Week” status was again granted by NME and the record was featured by Music Week. With media attention ranging from the Guardian to Record Mirror - and what seemed like everything in between - major record labels began to take note. Doug and his partners in Drum Records however, were determined to hold out for a label distribution deal rather than sign up individual acts.
Radio sessions followed – for John Peel, Andy Kershaw on the BBC, and Charlie Gillett on Capital Radio. Doug also guested on Stuart Colman’s “Echoes” on Radio London and Ian Anderson’s County Sound.
With a nine piece band now including Martin Bell on fiddle and Chris Hall on accordion, Doug played at various venues in and around London. The band appeared regularly at The Wag Club, The Fridge, The Mean Fiddler, Donmar Warehouse, Gaz’s Rocking Blues and at the ICA. Live performances were treated as enthusiastically in the media as Doug’s vinyl offerings. Without major label backing, gigs outside the capital were limited with a large band. However, in 1984, the band gave a triumphant performance in Doug’s native Scotland. The show at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh was broadcast live by Radio Forth who gained a Sony Award for the live recording of the concert.
Between 1983 and 1985 three more recordings were released. “One Black Night”, a four track EP, was followed by “Margarita”, a mariachi-flavoured single that had proved popular at live shows. Doug’s last vinyl offering, “Jumping Into Love”, available initially in the UK as a Jamaican import, was licensed by Making Waves for a UK release. This was another country reggae number which borrowed the brass riff from Marcia Griffiths “Feel Like Jumping” – acknowledged in the writing credits. Sadly, the record was denied chart success when Making Waves went into liquidation.
In 1984 Doug started the Discafrique label with Owen Elias. Most famously, the label introduced the Bhundu Boys from Zimbabwe to UK audiences and released their first two hugely successful albums “Shabini” and “Tsvimbodsemoto”. As the label became increasingly busy, Doug’s own career went on hold. Poor health culminated in a prolonged stay in Guys Hospital during 1987 after which he returned to Edinburgh. In 1989, Doug released a compilation album, “The Original”, which included all the singles plus tracks from radio sessions.
This album featured all of Doug’s musical influences, from Country, Reggae, Mariachi, Western Swing, Cajun through to the High Life guitar music of Ghana. The album gained much media attention from the press. Despite renewed interest, Doug remained a virtual recluse and could not be persuaded to perform live.
However, in the summer of 2014, Doug replied to a Facebook post from Pete Lawrence (Making Waves) regarding “Reeling” – an album of Scottish dance music that Doug had released with Martin Bell. This led to a discussion on the prospect of playing a live gig. After a gap of some thirty years and largely due to the efforts of Martin in sourcing a truly all-star band, in February 2015, Champion Doug Veitch made a “triumphant and joyous” return at the 100 Club in London.
Coventry Arches April 13th 2016
London 100 Club April 14th 2016
Tickets are available from:
Theticketsellers.co.uk For Coventry Arches...
For the London 100 Club
At the Coventry arches and the 100 Club we are pleased to announce that Honky Tonk Rose are supporting us on both nights...
And for one night only at the 100 club we will also be joined by yet another old member of the Champion Doug Veitch ensemble, George Hinchcliffe, who went on to found
"The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain...