From busking in Winchester High Street to supporting Beyoncé - sisters in arms Daughters of Davis take on the world

Daughters of Davis

Daughters of Davis

First published in Winchester Andover Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A VAN, two sisters and one mission.

It may sound like a dodgy attempt at a Scooby Doo ghost-hunt, but for Fern and Adrienne Davis there is nothing more important.

In 2011 the duo ditched everything they knew to pursue a music career, even buying a camper van off eBay ready to globetrot and make a name for themselves.

They travelled the country, sleeping, eating and song-writing in their van, quickly attracting the attention of management.

The aptly-named Daughters of Davis have just returned from an 18-date European tour supporting American rockers Eels, and will release the follow up to debut album To The Water this month. Entitled British Soul, they say it is heavily influenced by their time on the road.

Former Peter Symonds College student, Fern, 26, said: “We live in the van – we have no fixed abode! We move around a lot and the house moves with us.

“The people we have met along the way have blown our minds, they have been so generous. The first single on the new album is about the generosity of British people.

“We have just seen the milk of human kindness and that helped us keep going.”

Andover Advertiser:

The sisters first started singing on the streets of Winchester – where they grew up – and say it gave them the confidence to continue.

Adrienne, 28, said: “We used to come here busking all the time. When we came we never thought we would have left everything, got a van and management, and done two European tours.” Winchester School of Art Fine Art graduate, Fern, said it also helped with stage fright.

“We learnt from the ground up,” she said.

“We have done it for so long. I think busking gets it out of you. If you have played to people in the street you have played to a cross section of the demographic.

“There’s no point trying to imagine what the audience wants, just be yourself, even if yourself is not that great.”

It seems the duo aren’t afraid of a little hard graft, and admitted they commonly showered in rivers and lived on 17p super-noodles.

Southampton University graduate and former Barton Peveril student Adrienne said: “We are massive about following your dreams. Even though we have had hard times it’s worth it because it is one of those things you have got to push through.”

Now they have found a unique way of securing their future, encouraging fans to sponsor them.

By donating anything from £1 to £35 a month in return for CDs, merchandise and even private live gigs, fans pay for a meal a month.

“It keeps the tour fuelled,” said Fern.

“The other day we had a friend gave us a pizza delivered to our van. We were parked up in the street and had to explain over the phone to this delivery guy about where to take it. He came and knocked on the window and looked so confused!”

Andover Advertiser:

The sponsorship will come in handy later this year as they embark on their British Soul tour in November.

No strangers to the stage, the pair have racked up an impressive CV of gigs, warming up Beyoncé fans at the LG Arena, supporting X-Factor star Rebecca Ferguson and opening for Alison Moyet at the London Royal Opera House.

Last year they were presented the Emerging Excellence Award from Help Musicians UK, and Best Documentary DVD at the annual CRE Exhibition for Where Do We Go. The sisters bought a hand-held video camera and decided to film life in the van – including the trauma of catching spiders, and it has proved a huge hit.

“We believe in being real,” said Adrienne.

And she isn’t joking – when they first decided to pool their money and take the plunge it took a summer of fundraising.

Fern said: “We got money together by holding car boot sales, putting salaries in, and sold a lot of stuff. I sold my car and decorated houses, painting everything white with my fine art degree – it killed me! It still hurts now thinking about it.

“It’s amazing getting to travel around and see different places and people.”

They don’t plan to stop any time soon. “We see long term we will always be doing music and touring. As long as people will have us we will keep going,” said Adrienne.

So what’s the ultimate dream?

“Playing on the moon!”

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree