RACHEL O’CONNOR catches up with the Dunwells as they prepare to release their first album.

Things are moving on a pace for local band The Dunwells with the UK launch of their single I Could Be A King in London later this month and a string of appearances at Christmas lights switch-ons.

The band have recently changed their name from The Dunwell Brothers Band to the shortened The Dunwells on the advice of their American record label Playing In Traffic Records.

The label will be releasing the Dunwells’ first album in February and there will be an exclusive preview launch at the BBC Radio Club in central London on January 17.

Before that, however, the boys will be very busy starting this weekend with the switch-on of the Christmas lights in Barnoldswick. They then move on to London to perform at the switch-on of the Marylebone Christmas Lights.

A more significant Christmas Lights switch-on for them, however, is the one on home soil tomorrow, when they will be appearing at the Pudsey event to be filmed for Children In Need.

The band will be back in London on Monday, November 21, for the UK launch of their single I Could Be A King at The Waterline in Hoxton.

This year will end in style with a gig at The Cockpit in Leeds on December 23 when they will be supporting Scars On 45 – another local band who had to go the States to gain full recognition of their talents. The Leeds/ Bradford based Scars On 45 are hot favourites in the USA having just completed a nationwide tour, reaching third spot in the US charts and having one of their songs picked as a theme tune for TV programme CSI.

The Dunwells have had an amazing year, recording their first album in Austin, Texas, at the studios of Willie Nelson. This was their second trip to the USA having appeared in the Folk Alliance in Memphis in February, which is where their phenomenal talent was recognised by a host of record industry figures and they were voted the best of the 100 artistes performing there.

The band is made up of the Pudsey trio of David and Joseph Dunwell and Dave Hanson along with cousins Jonny Lamb and Rob Clayton from Yeadon.

The actual Dunwell brothers, David and Joseph, were pupils at St Mary's School, Menston, along with Rob while Jonny attended Intake School of Performing Arts and Dave Fulneck School, Pudsey.

The band have made rapid strides after first coming together as a five-piece with their debut gig at the Station Hotel in Guiseley.

This was quickly followed by a performance at the Station Music Festival.

At that time guitarists Dave and Joseph Dunwell, lead guitarist Dave Hanson and drummer Jonny were accompanied on bass by Lee Dawson who has since been replaced by former Knee Deep In The Dead bassist Rob Clayton.

It was something of a reunion for him because as a young teenager Rob performed in the band Draco with Jonny and Dave Dunwell.

All five band members have years of experience playing the local circuit both as solo and band performers. They never cease to amaze with the level of performance and have gathered a vast following throughout the country. Last year they completed a 40-date tour of the UK after being selected as the Caffe Nero artist of the month. They played at Caffe Neros from Glasgow to London taking in their home city of Leeds as well as Belfast.

They have regularly perfomed at the legendary London music venue The Bedford as well as The Distillers and they performed with Mumford and Sons at Triumph Live and Bob Dylan at the Hop Farm Festival in Kent.