David has been performing for over 30 years working with bands such as Rich Spirit, Vinyl Play, and Rock bassist Chris Glen to name a few..
It all started at the age of 4 when his parents David and Heather bought him a toy keyboard for his Christmas purely as a ‘stocking filler’ but it didn’t take them long to realize that it wasn’t the demos that were playing on the keyboard..it was David!
From there he began playing in his primary school for their assemblies, playing in his local church, and then went to piano lessons under the private tuition of Daniel Letham to try and learn to read music.
David reached Grade 5 doing examinations through the London College of Music but then decided to stop as he felt he was learning faster by ear than reading the music itself and also felt he was struggling to read music.
During his time under Daniel Letham - David also performed at the prestigious Glasgow Music Festival 5 years running playing in the Jazz and Rhythm & Blues classes - and every year earned an honours grade - the highest mark given to any individual in its 140 year history..
At the age of 15, David joined his first band Rich Spirit and it was here that he developed his skills in songwriting, recording, and live performance.
This band had various incarnations going from Rich Spirit, to The Vandelles, to finally Vinyl Play.
When the band became Vinyl Play they recorded their first EP - RUNAWAY which was released in 2008 followed by their debut album UNDER THE FLIGHTPATH which was released in 2010.
In 2011 after over 10 years within this project David decided to leave the band to pursue other projects.
David still has regular contact with his former band mates - doing recording sessions on occasion for drummer Jamie Henry and vocalist Ryan McGavin’ with their country project Gravel Tracks as well as a recording project with Jamie called
''The Rhythm Unit'' which involves writing Funk & Dance music and bring in guest vocalists for each track.
He also performs with Vinyl Play bassist Simon Phillips with his wedding band The Jets periodically as a session musician.
After leaving Vinyl Play, David joined the JPhunk Quintet - a 5 piece Jazz/Funk outfit playing complex music by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Oz Noy, & Dave Weckl which helped rapidly increase his knowledge of playing at the highest level and working with some of the finest musicians in the country. The band consisted of:
Sam Firth (The Nimmo Brothers) on Bass
Gary Montgomery (Ray Harris) on Drums
Ian Thomson (Bay City Rollers) on Guitar
and Tony Courtney (Baz Gordon & The Tomorrow Band) on Saxophone.
The band performed mainly in the Edinburgh Circuit and after a few years with the band - David left to join
THE BLUES COMPANY.
The Blues Company were purely a pub covers band initially but they were a band he really enjoyed playing in as the music was great and the musicians were also of a high standard.
From 2003-2006 David also attended North Glasgow College and qualified In both NQ, and HND level for
Music Performance & Business under the guidance of experienced lecturers - but mostly with
Ted McKenna who was better known as a professional rock drummer throughout the 70's & 80's and performed with bands such as:
The Michael Schenker Group
but mainly with THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND.
Ted was a major influence in David's career during his time at North Glasgow College where he gained valuable knowledge of being a professional musician as well as the in's and out's of the Music Industry - but most importantly - Ted introduced him to The Sensational Alex Harvey Band (SAHB for short) which changed his life forever.
David was blown away with SAHB and loved their unique sound & image the band had as well as their professional attitude both on and off stage. During this time - around 2004 - SAHB had reformed with vocalist Max Maxwell as original vocalist
Alex Harvey had passed away in 1982 and were currently on a UK Tour promoting their live album ''Zalvation'' and Ted offered him two tickets for their show in Glasgow & David went along with his dad to see them first hand and from that night...he became a SAHB fanatic!
Skip to 2013 and by this point - David was beginning to establish himself as a hard working musician and in this year - he got the opportunity to travel to Marrakech, Morocco to play for 6 weeks in a 5 star hotel - The Sofitel Imperial.
The musicians involved came from all over the world from Canada, USA, France & Australia. He travelled with former band mate William McGonagle who he worked with in numerous projects over the years.
This was a great education for David and for his career CV - it was a big stepping stone in performing in a different part of the world which he had never experienced until this point.
In 2014, David collectively formed SAHB Tribute The SAHB Experience with members of The Resonators.
Also in 2014, David got the opportunity to work with SAHB bassist Chris Glen with his band The Outfit.
Working with Chris at the time was a big deal for David as he was now working with one of his heroes and performing SAHB songs on an almost regular basis. However, in 2016, he quickly realized that in parallel with doing CHRIS GLEN & SAHE - that along with the lack of gigs further a field with Chris - this led David to make the decision to leave ''The Outfit'' and concentrate on SAHE and other projects that came along..
This would all change the following year because in 2017 - David was approached by another SAHB legend to collaborate on his latest project..
Guitarist Zal Cleminson contacted David after being retired for almost 10 years after leaving SAHB in 2008 - and asked if he'd be interested in co-writing material he had been working on while living in Cyprus and of course David was delighted as this was going to be something ''New'' and ''Original''.
The original concept was that David would perform on an album Zal was releasing himself as a solo artist - but shortly after working on the material - the pair soon realized that it was sounding fantastic and that it would sound great within a ''band'' situation.
Zal knew David was part of a SAHB Tribute band back in Glasgow as he had attended several shows over the years and thought the musicians were great and performed the songs well. David suggested to Zal that they invite SAHE to try out the songs and see if it worked.
Zal agreed to come to Glasgow to try it out and after the first rehearsal - they both agreed it was working - however with the SAHE Vocalist & Drummer unable to do the project due to job commitments - Zal decided he'd be the frontman which was something he'd never done before and David then approached Scott Cowie who was a drummer, lecturer and friend from North Glasgow College - knew was an amazing musician and also the fact he was taught by Ted would make the perfect candidate for being the drummer and from there the band was complete - ZAL CLEMINSON'S SIN DOGS were born and the line up was:
Zal Cleminson - Lead Vocals / Guitar
David Cowan - Keyboards / Backing Vocals
Nelson McFarlane - Bass Guitar
Scott Cowie - Drums
and William McGonagle (who was playing ''ZAL'' in SAHE) would complete the line-up as the 2nd guitarist.
The interest levels for Sin Dogs was simply astounding - with die hard SAHB fans delighted with Zal's return and with a new and exciting band - the immediate plan was to hit the ground running - get a set of songs together and get into the studio to record an introductory EP and get a small debut UK Tour booked. The band's first two shows were The Green Hotel in Kinross, and then SAHBROCK where both shows were a knock out and really got audiences mouth's watering and demanding more...
The EP simply titled ''SIN DOGS'' was released towards the end of 2017 and was well received - and shortly after - recorded a studio album which was titled ''VOL.1''.
Once again the album was well received but although the overall ''mix'' of the album was not to the band's satisfaction - the album was still loved from the legions of fans and from there the band grew - performed bigger shows and festivals such as SWEDEN ROCK, A NEW DAY FESTIVAL, & WINTERSTORM as well as more shows throughout the UK which included their biggest Scottish date...The Barrowlands opening for Rock Legends MOTT THE HOOPLE. There was no stopping them...or so we thought...
In September 2019, Zal decided to call it a day with Sin Dogs and from that moment - the adventure was over and to the shock of the fans as well as some of it's members.
During the band's time together there were only 2 changes to the line up and that being the drummer. In 2018 Scott announced he was leaving the band due to work commitments and was replaced by Louie Malvessi (Complete Stone Roses). Louie was part of the band for a short spell of shows and was replaced by Venezuelan drummer Carlos Marin.
David took a few months off to come to terms with the break up of the band as he felt they were at a point where they were going to leap into the ''BIG TIME'' and perform bigger shows and tours but it wasn't to be - so in January 2020 he decided after years of joining bands that he'd have a stab at forming his own..so he put together his first project.. THE MEISSNER EFFECT which Sin Dogs bassist Nelson McFarlane happily offered his services as bass guitarist.
Meissner Effect is an outfit that feature once again incredible musicianship who write their own material and are currently working towards a studio album titled ''INVISIBLE MUSIC'' which is scheduled for release sometime in early 2022.
The band have just completed their debut single ''SOBER'' which will be released around October with an official Music Video for the single to be released alongside it.
In 2020, David released his first solo album called ''OUT OF THE DARK'' which was inspired by movie compositions and scores by some of his favourite composers from the likes of JOHN CARPENTER, MIKE OLDFIELD, and DANNY ELFMAN to name a few. The album is mainly instrumental but certain tracks have spoken vocal parts within which feature SAHB Vocalist Max Maxwell, and good friend Mike Drew (Sir Henry Baskerville).
The album is available to buy via CD from David directly via his Official Facebook Page, or can be bought via the usual streaming and digital music platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer and more.
Out Of The Dark was written and performed by David himself, and produced by John Carson. Out Of The Dark is a 4 album concept series - with the second chapter - ''IDENTITY: Out Of The Dark Part II'' scheduled for release in November 2021.
David's Dad is also a musician and plays guitar. His dad has been writing songs and working with various projects for many years and at the moment they are both working together on original material and recording an album called REMEDY FROM NATURE which is scheduled to be released early 2022.
Other projects David is involved in include:
Band Of Friends - (A Celebration of the music of Rory Gallagher) formed by original Rory bassist Gerry McAvoy).
Paul Rose - ( Band Of Friends guitarist and solo artist)
The Swampborn Assassins - (Recording and selected live shows only)
Greig Taylor's Blues Combo - (Recording and live shows)
You'll find more on these side projects David is involved with in the ‘NEWS’ section of the site as well as his official Facebook Page.
Out with the music scene David spends his time with his wife of 8 years Joanne and their two son's Mason (7) and Jude (2).
David also enjoys socializing with his close friends and family and is a well known football fan supporting Glasgow Rangers which on occasion takes his son along to home fixtures.
David is also a keen photographer and enjoys going out with his camera to capture landscape shots as well as portrait photographs of friends & family, concerts, and more.
David cites his biggest influences are his Dad and his family and feels he wouldn’t be where he is now without their support and encouragement.
Below are a list of Bands and Artists that David enjoys listening to and who influence him in one way or another:
JOHN CARPENTER - (COMPOSER OF HALLOWEEN, THE FOG, THE THING) (MOVIE DIRECTOR)
HUGH MCKENNA - (SAHB)
TOMMY EYRE - (SAHB/IAN GILLAN)
JON LORD - (DEEP PURPLE)
JORDAN RUDESS - (DREAM THEATER)
DEREK SHENNIAN - (SONS OF APOLLO)
JOOLS HOLLAND (SQUEEZE / RHYTHM & BLUES ORCHESTRA)
DON AIREY (DEEP PURPLE / WHITESNAKE)
ALAN HOWARTH (COMPOSER - HALLOWEEN II,III,IV,V,AND STAR TREK)
HARRY MANFREDINI - (COMPOSER - FRIDAY THE 13TH PART I-VI)
DANNY ELFMAN - (COMPOSER - BATMAN, BATMAN RETURNS, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS)
MIKE OLDFIELD - (COMPOSER - TUBULAR BELLS (THE EXORCIST)
His Favourite bands are:
THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND
AVERAGE WHITE BAND
MSG (MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP)
and many more...
ROCK DRILL - (THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND)
SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE - (STEVIE WONDER)
TOTO IV - (TOTO)
ASSAULT ATTACK - (MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP)
FIRST STRUT IS THE DEEPEST - (BROTHER STRUT)
LIVE BY REQUEST - (EARTH WIND AND FIRE)
PARANOID - (BLACK SABBATH)
HEADLESS CROSS - (BLACK SABBATH)
HEAVEN & HELL - (BLACK SABBATH)
LIVE IN VERONA - (JAMIROQUAI)
SONG REMAINS THE SAME - (LED ZEPPELIN)
JOHN CARPENTER'S HALLOWEEN
HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021)
FRIDAY THE 13TH
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
ENTER THE DRAGON
THE EQUALIZER 1&2
JOHN WICK TRILOGY
EXPENDABLES 1 & 2
RAB C NESBITT
POWER (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME
ROBERT DE NIRO
JAMIE LEE CURTIS