Hand of Dimes – Saturday 11th November 2023
Hand of Dimes is the reunion of former SKIN singer and front man Neville MacDonald and keyboard player Neil Garland. Their friendship and song writing partnership goes back 30 years to the days when they were both part of the Welsh Rock Band KOOGA.
Their critically acclaimed Across The Water album was released in 1986 and was recently featured in Classic Rock Magazines list of 250 vinyl albums you must own. Sell out gigs at the legendary Marquee Club secured them a place at the Reading Rock Festival in 1987 alongside Alice Cooper and Status Quo. De-spite this initial rise, the band were unable to secure a major deal and after several line-up changes, the band split in 1989.
Having written songs with guitarist Robbie Blunt (The Robert Plant Band) following the split, Nev’s yearning was for more gutsy rock and roll, the invitation to form SKIN with guitarist Myke Gray was a no brainer…
Nev enjoyed success with SKIN in the mid 90’s following the release of their debut album. Produced in America by Keith Olsen the album reached No 9 in the charts and boasted two Top 20 singles which led to appearances on Top of the Pops.
Playing at the 94 Monsters of Rock Festival and support gigs in the UK and all across Europe with Bruce Dickinson, Whitesnake, and Thunder helped SKIN to become a band that people took notice of, their consistent live show performances becoming their trademark.
After Download appearances with SKIN in 2009/2010 which ended an eleven year break from the music business Nev was ready to rekindle his song writing partnership with Neil. Still armed with a ‘full set of pipes’ and a selection of rough ideas that he had accumulated over the years, he approached Neil to see if they could revive the working relationship they enjoyed so many years earlier.
Nev has gained the respect and admiration for his vocals from all areas within the music business and evidence of that comes in the many offers he has received over the years to front different musical projects. He has been lucky enough to perform alongside Robert Plant (with the Honeydrippers), Paul Rodgers and Brian May at the (Gibson 50th Anniversary Concert), Madeleine Bell (on Skin’s debut album), Bernie Marsden (Box Of Snakes).
Of course, Neil shares the 80’s acclaim of KOOGA with Nev. As co-writer of some of the best songs on the album, his song writing capabilities came to the fore just prior to its recording. His lyrical ideas began to make their mark with songs like ‘Lifeline ‘and the immense ‘Gabrielle’, and his ear for a good melody made the connection with Nev complete.
They wrote instinctively and HAND OF DIMES have picked up where they left off.
Their debut album “RAISE” is full of soulful melodic rock which packs a serious punch. With the powerful and emotional vocal drive which has become Nev’s unmistakable trademark the blend of electric and acoustic material has a wide range of influences.
Strong melodic songs with lyrical weight are underpinned with a more Blues Rock style than either SKIN or KOOGA and are complimented by their solid rhythm section in Mark Maybry (Bass), David Stephenson (Drums) and the subtle tones of Lead guitarist Colin Edwards.
“The new songs have come from the right place at a time of reconciliation, reflection, shared vision and trust in that song writing instinct”.
Supports with FM , Wishbone Ash and The Union plus appearances at festivals Such as The Steelhouse , Hard Rock Hell, and Planet Rock Festivals have seen an enthusiastic response from audiences all around the UK.
Two appearances with Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden over a weekend at The Steelhouse Festival in 2017 playing both their own material and a selection of Whitesnake tracks has put them firmly on the classic rock map.
With Special Guests Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters and Fugitive.