Meet Cumbria's youngest band - Dawes to open at EskFest 2017


THE many music festivals that are popping up across Cumbria are breeding grounds for up-and-coming artists - and this year, EskFest has taken talent-spotting to the next level.

One of the less familiar names on the bill for this July's big event in the Eskdale Valley is, we think, the county's youngest band by some distance.

Dawes are Josh, aged eight, and Jake, seven - and although this is their first proper festival appearance, they've pretty much been a band from the start.

Their dad, Jon Dawes, is one half of well-known Furness duo Paper Cranes, and although he's never forced the boys to pursue musical stardom, it's clear that his influence is rubbing off on them.

He says: "I suppose with me playing, writing and recording a lot around the house and gigs, it's something they've been familiar with since they were born.

"They started playing about with instruments pretty much since they could crawl with whatever I left lying round the house.

"I've never pushed them into playing, it's just something they picked up and I guess the band formed when they asked to write a Christmas song with me for their grandparents a couple of years ago."

Younger brother Jake plays ukulele and piano so far, while Josh takes after his dad, and has started out on drums - with them both sharing vocal duties.

Paper Cranes are also on the line-up for EskFest - a lot higher up the bill, of course - but Jon is most excited to see how the lads fare earlier in the day.

 Dawes are Jake, 7, and Josh, 8

Dawes are Jake, 7, and Josh, 8

"Nothing really compares to that feeling you get when your boys are on stage doing something they love, and something I love as well.

"I'm very proud of how they act and present themselves and how well they take everything on.

"I'm generally more nervous than them. EskFest is going to be great for us. The festival itself is in a stunning location with so much attention to detail gone into the planning.

"It's one of the main festivals I do where I get to spend the time with my family, and to have them play it is a huge plus."

With a handful of gigs under their tiny belts already, elder brother Josh exudes confidence. He's already living out his dream, and can't wait to get up on stage at his first festival.

He says: "I'm super duper excited. I'm not nervous at all, and I can't wait to play drums.

"My dad said I might be able to play my electric drums.

"The best thing about being in a band with my brother is encouraging each other on stage."

Jake adds: "I'm nervous about it, but I'm really excited. The first time we played to a crowd I was kind of nervous then, but it was a great gig."

And do they both see themselves forging a career in music?

"Definitely!" shouts Jake, with his brother adding: "I can't wait to become a famous singer just like my dad."

Dawes and Paper Cranes both appear at EskFest, which takes place on Friday July 7 and Saturday 8. Tickets are available from

Monday, June 26, 2017 at 8:59AM
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