Davey’s Backyard Skiffle Band (Christchurch based)
Davey’s Backyard Skiffle Band (Christchurch based)

Davey’s Backyard Skiffle Band (Christchurch based)

A bit about Davey and Davey’s Backyard Skiffle Band

David Thorpe started Backyard Music in the UK in 1998 and has been based in Christchurch since 2003. Keeping things in the ‘backyard’ means keeping it local, focused on community and local talent.

He is a multi-instrumentalist and his most popular workshops are around harmonica for beginners or intermediate students, song writing for beginners or intermediate students and making and jamming with quirky instruments.

What is Davey’s Backyard Skiffle Band?

The main philosophy of 'Skiffle' was to use improvised instruments using just about anything the players had to hand... As well as Davey’s show having a historical element, it has a very current philosophy about 'repurposing', 'upcycling' and recycling. He prefers to use odd bits and bobs of “junk” saving it from landfills. With waste reduction very on topic for this current generation. Not only does it open children’s eyes to a bit of environmental impact but also makes them aware of a little bit of the history of instruments (particularly in post War Britain), where Skiffle started.

The Backyard skiffle show has been run successfully at a number of public festivals in recent times including Mackenzie Country A&P Show, Oamaru Heritage Festival, Geraldine Arts & Plants Show, Nostalgia Festival and the Christchurch Buskers Festival. 

Often, Davey runs workshop sessions at Primary schools alongside these public show performances. This means the children from the schools will also be encouraged to participate at this show with a chance for family and friends to check them out – which is a great way to extend children’s confidence in public performance. 

Musical Workshop & Performance Example with Davey’s Backyard Skiffle Band

Without Skiffle, John Lennon wouldn’t have met Paul McCartney! imagine a world without The Beatles!

It's time to take a nostalgic journey back to the 1950's ‘Skiffle boom’ in England when the kids turned everyday household items into great music and went on to make rock history.

This interactive show features lots of quirky old-time instruments and a hideous amount of crashing, banging and chaos. Let’s call it a music and history lesson rolled into one… with a touch of mayhem and a big dollop of good humour. The show teaches kids the history of Skiffle music in 1950’s England and the impact it had on modern rock music.

Davey often runs workshops to small groups of 10-15 musically inclined children, at a duration or 55 minutes. The workshop would be to learn a basic song, playing the instruments used in the show with the aim to record the song on an iPad.

At the end of the workshop, students will perform what they learnt during the class to the wider school. Alternatives such as livestreaming are also an option. Davey will also take time to explain to the children about making your own instruments from household objects.

Skiffle gets the kids playing music and having fun doing it, learning social history along the way. David firmly believes that every child has natural rhythm and musical ability, and they are often completely unaware of this. A band can even be formed ‘on the fly’ from members of the audience. The results are incredible, seeing is believing!

Find out more:

See David Thorpe’s upcoming events and when he might be in your region. Contact us to find out more about Davey’s Backyard Skiffle Band visiting your school.


Backyard Skiffle Band | backyard music 2020

homemade instruments | backyard music 2020

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