INTERVIEW: Buxton music chairman only found his talent later in life

Club acoustic chairman Dave Purchase with their new CDClub acoustic chairman Dave Purchase with their new CD
Club acoustic chairman Dave Purchase with their new CD
'A harmonica was cheaper than a car for a midlife crisis,' jokes Buxton-based Club Acoustic chairman Dave Purchase when asked about his involvement with music.

It may surprise you to hear that Dave only discovered his musical talents in later life.

The 65-year-old picked up his first instrument, a harmonica, in his 50s. He still plays it, as well as the guitar, and he also sings as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Before settling in Buxton 24 years ago, Dave attended university before serving as a police officer for six years. He then returned to university in Leeds as a mature student.

Club acoustic chairman Dave PurchaseClub acoustic chairman Dave Purchase
Club acoustic chairman Dave Purchase

He then began a career in environmental protection, regulating landfill sites and trying to catch fly-tippers. His work took home around the North West, with his base either in Manchester or The Wirral.

He said: “There were some hairy moments when I was trying to talk to people who clearly had no regard for the environment.

“But with my police training, I was able to talk to people in a way that didn’t get their backs up and try and resolve the situation.”

Hide Ad

Dave, who lives on Hall Bank, said moving to Buxton was the first move he and wife Rachel had carried out because they had wanted to, not simply because of work commitments.

Hide Ad
Club acoustic chairman Dave PurchaseClub acoustic chairman Dave Purchase
Club acoustic chairman Dave Purchase

The father-of-two enjoys travelling, and over the years has visited Peru, Argentina and China.

He said: “We like big holidays and go for about three or four weeks so we can really explore the country and the culture.

“Now my youngest daughter has grown up, last year Rachel and I toured New Zealand in a camper van for two months. Living in such close quarters with someone while you travel really proved how strong out relationship is.”

Hide Ad

Dave grew up listening to a wide range of music and was influenced by the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Martin Simpson.

He said: “I always enjoyed listening to music, but never thought I had any talent.”
Dave, who is now involved with the Buxton Studio Choir, thinks there are many benefits to being musical.

Hide Ad

He added: “It relaxes you and makes you feel more positive about life.”

A fond farewell after four years

Dave has been the chairman of Club Acoustic for four years, but will be stepping down from the role next year.

Hide Ad

He said: “When I joined, the club was having a bit of a dip, but now we are thriving and welcome new members alongside regular performers.

“It wouldn’t be right for me to stay at the helm as things could become stagnant. We constantly need new ideas and new people in charge to keep the group fresh and relevant.”
Recalling his first time performing with the club, Dave admitted: “I was awful. I tried to sing and I hadn’t had any training and it was really bad.

“The great thing about Buxton is the diversity of talent in the area and there are so many ways to get involved.

“With Club Acoustic we are not really a club and we are not very acoustic either!”

On Tuesday December 7, Club Acoustic will be launching its seventh CD at the Old Club House in Buxton, from 8.30pm.