Dave Cooper


Hi. I’m Dave Cooper, and I’ve been on this Pale Blue Dot for around 40 years now. To some, I’m better known by my nickname of “HippyDave”, a moniker I acquired towards the end of my time at high school, due to my slight resemblance to the character Neil from “The Young Ones” (both in appearance and outlook), and the fact that there were multiple Daves in my group of friends. In 2013 I confused everyone, myself included, by cutting off my trademark long hair.

I became a music fan early in life, being still knee-high to a garden gnome when first Kate Bush and then Pink Floyd entered into my awareness in 1979: Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” single was the first record I ever bought. My love affair with Bush and Floyd continues to this day, as does my deep, abiding affection for All About Eve, who were the first band I went to see live, back in 1987. I was raised on a diet of The Beatles and Abba, so I’m a fairly omnivorous listener who finds a lot to love in every musical genre, although if I’m honest, my heart lies in rock and metal.

I’m a Management Systems Administrator for a local college by day, and I live in a fairly sleepy town in Worcestershire, with my wife Christine, our neurotic cat Maya (named for the song by The Church) and a record collection that is steadily taking over all the available storage. My other hobbies include reading (don’t get me started on sci-fi, I’ll talk your ears off), coding (having had a lifelong fascination with computers generally), amateur astronomy, amateur palaeontology, Indian food and anything remotely connected with ‘The X Files’, which remains my favourite TV show. I’ve also been known to write fiction, and in my practically non-existent free time I’ve been working to get my first novel done. I’m still nowhere near finished and I’ve been at it for bloody years, though, so it might be a good idea not to hold your breath!

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hippydave

My infrequently updated blog: hippydave.wordpress.com

Articles by Dave Cooper

Silas & Saski – Power of Three

An intriguing and entrancing record, this EP is an involving first chapter, the first bold step on what will undoubtedly be a joyous technicolour journey into outer – and perhaps inner – space.

Emily Magpie – Let’s Talk About The Weather

The unaffected nature of her words, the highly creative way she uses her voice, and the deceptively complex but uncluttered sound worlds she creates all combine to make an affecting and deeply involving – even haunting – record. An unexpected, and unalloyed, joy.

The Orb – Abolition Of The Royal Familia

As suited to the dancefloor as the chill-out room, as funny as they are moving, as pointed as they are irreverent, The Orb are still charting the far reaches of space. In these strange and worrying times, perhaps we need them more than ever.

Gong – The Universe Also Collapses

The Universe Also Collapses effortlessly manages to both forge a new path for the band and reinforce the very things that made Gong such a beloved institution in the first place. Bold, colourful, atmospheric and truly absorbing, it’s a 40-minute psychedelic voyage that compares favourably with the band’s best work.

Abul Mogard – And We Are Passing Through Silently

Abul Mogard brings five disparate tracks by different artists together into a new, cohesive narrative; a hushed, richly atmospheric musical journey that is never content to rely on the clichés of the genre.

Cellar Darling – The Spell

Their best work to date, The Spell is as mesmerising as its title suggests, a compelling modern-day fable loaded with meaning and melody that is surely a future classic in the making.

Dream Theater – Distance Over Time

As with all of the band’s best work, the album successfully straddles the worlds of metal and progressive rock, drawing inspiration from them both without sacrificing the strengths of either. Distance Over Time is, self-evidently, the band’s best record for some time.

Piroshka – Brickbat

This is truly a melding of musical worlds, creating something new and vital, yet with elements of familiarity.

Ed Wynne – Shimmer Into Nature

This music is not so much written as grown, possessed of the anything-goes spirit of improvisation that the Ozrics have been synonymous with since their early days, yet refined into an irresistible, purposeful collection of music imbued with a strange sense of peace.

Jo Quail – Exsolve

Exsolve is a stunningly evocative and atmospheric record. With this album, Quail has taken a confident step towards a more unfettered means of expression; hopefully this charismatic, powerfully atmospheric and boldly exploratory record is indicative of even more potent music to come.

Iamthemorning – Ocean Sounds

Ocean Sounds, then, is everything that fans might have hoped for, and whole lot more besides. It seems only fitting that Iamthemorning eschew sweaty clubs or grandiose halls and find a location so suited to their sonic universe. A stunning showcase for some of the band’s best material to date, it’s also richly atmospheric, surprisingly involving, and a visual feast in its own right. Quite simply, a sensational piece of work.

The Orb – No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds

This is a compelling, hugely imaginative and strangely addictive record. A balm for the senses, a holiday from the modern world, ‘No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds’ is the perfect soundtrack to the summer of 2018 and beyond.

Interview with Silas Neptune

Silas Neptune talks to Dave Cooper about his debut album ‘The Scales Of Tahuti’, what it’s like to grow up around the Ozric Tentacles and his “odd mix” of influences.

Silas Neptune – The Scales Of Tahuti

The Gates Of Tahuti is a richly atmospheric and very welcome addition to the ever-expanding and suspiciously aromatic cloud of Ozric Tentacles-related releases, but it’s also a hugely enjoyable demonstration of Silas Neptune’s prodigious talents.

Midas Fall – Evaporate

Evaporate marks a new high water mark for the band. Quite simply, it is their best work to date: it feels more mature, and yet at the same time more adventurous, more ambitious. Emotionally draining, sonically dramatic, Evaporate is the sound of a band who have truly come of age.

Awooga – Condit

Visceral, memorable and satisfyingly dense, ‘Conduit’ is one of 2018s truly essential rock albums, a delight for riff lovers and prog fans alike.

Auri – Auri

This is a record that’s best approached without the weight of preconceptions. ‘Auri’ is softly spoken and understated almost to a fault. This record has a big heart, and its message is simple. All you have to do is listen.

Blues Pills – Lady In Gold: Live In Paris

An almost perfect showcase for their existing catalogue: either perfect consolation for missing out on seeing the band on tour or the perfect souvenir.

Godsticks – Faced With Rage

‘Faced With Rage’ is comfortably Godsticks’ most uncompromising, confident and ambitious record. Powerful, involving and emotionally satisfying, it builds on the established Godsticks sound and pushes it in new and intriguing directions.

The Pineapple Thief – Where We Stood

It’s hard to imagine how The Pineapple Thief could have made this set any more comprehensive. For now, at least, it is the last word as a record of the band’s impressive live performances, and marks the closing of another chapter in The Pineapple Thief’s biography. A great summing up of everything that is so enjoyable and cathartic about their back catalogue, ‘Where We Stood’ is a live document that serves newcomers to the band as well as it does established fans.

Mariusz Duda from Lunatic Soul

Lunatic Soul’s new album ‘Fractured’ deals with our disintegrating relationships with ourselves and each other. Dave Cooper caught up with Lunatic Soul’s lynchpin to talk about hope in the face of darkness.

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