Del Thomas

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Del Thomas is the moniker of Scottish rock n’ roller Deryck Hope who settled in Wellington in the mid-90’s.

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Del Thomas has been playing guitar since he was a young kid, having watched the Beatles, Stones and Kinks on TV. In the early 70’s he was bitten by the singer songwriter bug and his record collection was filled with Cat Stevens, Sutherland Brothers and Richard Thompson albums. Then he heard Fleetwood Mac’s greatest hits and Eric Clapton’s 461 Ocean Boulevard album and he discovered the blues. From there, his interest in a wide range of styles expanded, ranging from The Eagles, Poco and Lynyrd Skynyrd to Bonnie Raitt and Ry Cooder but the roots of his interest remained in the blues and folk and alt-country.

Having played with a few covers bands in Scotland, when he moved to NZ in 1995 one of the first things he did after arriving in Wellington was to start a band which would allow him to develop his playing and song writing skills. Glass Onion was the name of the group and, for a band playing original pop/rock, they were reasonably successful, releasing a 4 track EP in 1997 (which got a fair amount of play on several Wellington radio stations as well as supporting acts such as Collective Soul, The Exponents, Midge Marsden and The Muttonbirds.

After ‘Glass Onion’ folded, Del spent some time working on more originals which sadly, never saw the light of day – but may do someday, as they remain good songs. In 2002, he put together a blues based covers band with John Barrett, a recent arrival from Adelaide. The Pukekos – with various lineups over the years – played extensively around Wellington and were a pretty good band, even getting a slot on TVNZ’s Good Morning programme in 2005. Then followed a 3 year stint with another covers band, SilverLine, and more recently Del put together Manalishi, a band paying tribute to the blues of early Fleetwood Mac and Peter Green. This band continues to gig occasionally around the blues clubs and summer festivals and always goes down well with any crowd. Once again, Del is playing the music that first inspired him to pick up a guitar.

Having sent a couple of demos of these songs to Roger Marbeck at Ode Records, he received enough positive feedback from Roger to back up the audience applause whenever he played the songs at gigs to convince him to do some serious recording and get the songs out to the world. So, in February 2013, Del, along with drummer, Mo Phillips, bassist, George Barris and keyboard player, Bob Smith, went into Del’s home studio and laid down the basic live tracks for the songs featured on ‘Driving Home Alone’. Del added a few extra guitar parts and backing vocals before polishing up the mixes. The end result of their efforts can be heard on Del’s debut ‘Driving Home Alone’.

NZ Musician review of Driving Home Alone.

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‘Shifting Sands’ followed in 2015. In Del’s word’s: This is my second solo album, featuring a mix of new and old songs that have been rediscovered and reinvented after several years of being forgotten. I’ve also found myself going more back to my roots of country rock and singer/songwriter styles of performing so while some of my blues roots show through on tracks like Jimmie’s Jive, Rocking Horse and It Ain’t Natural, The Best Version of Me and Finnen Haddie are very much in the style of the music I grew up listening to in my teenage years. But there’s still something for those of you who prefer a rockier sound…

NZ Musician review of Shifting Sands.

Cover images & Text courtesy of Amplifier & Bandcamp. Used with permission.

Last edited: 16.02.17

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