Dave Mattacks, The Superb Rock & Folk Drummer

England is a country with a great music history. Among all those amazing musicians, Dave Mattacks is one of the drummers and legendary producers that stands out.

Dave Mattacks has been playing drums since the mid-1960s, and now he is known as one of the drummers that influenced rock and folk music in history. It is shown by his contributions to the English rock and folk music scene throughout the years as a session drummer or part of bands.

He is best known for his work with artists such as Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson, Paul McCartney, and Elton John. His drumming style is characterized by its use of powerful rhythms, syncopations, and metric changes.

However, before he started drumming, he was actually a trainee piano-turner. He also played with several bands before joining his most-known work with Fairport Convention.

Fairport Convention

Dave Mattacks
Dave Mattacks

Dave Mattacks joined Fairport Convention in August 1969 to replace the previous drummer, Martin Lamble, who passed away due to a road accident on May 12, 1969.

He replaced Martin Lamble, who had died on 12 May 1969 in a road accident on the M1 motorway, as the drummer for Fairport Convention.

With the band, he did recording seven LPs, including Liege & Lief and Rosie. Dave also had a busy tour schedule in the US, UK, Europe, Antipodes, and Japan. However, he departed from Fairport in 1974 because he wanted to focus on his freelance careers, such as recording, film work, and touring with other bands.

His last work before leaving in 1974 was Nine, but it didn’t finish. He left it halfway due to an argument with engineer Glyn Johns.

In 1985, when Fairport Convention re-formed after a six-year disbandment, Mattacks was hired again as the band’s drummer.

As he got other music projects other than with Fairport Convention, he decided to leave the band again. However, he has rejoined them on occasion, such as at Cropredy in 2019, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of Liege & Lief.

Music Career of Dave Mattacks

Dave Mattacks Drumming Solo

Even though his best-known project is with the influential folk-rock group Fairport Convention, he had an early career as Apprentice Piano Tuner. After that, he worked at London’s “Drum City” Music Shop by Johnnie Richardson.

Later that year, that experience led him to be the touring drummer for Richard Thompson and play on several of his studio albums.

His first professional work as a music player was with a provincial “Mecca” Big Band, which happened for a 3-year period.

Dave Mattacks had quite an adventurous career as he joined various projects with different artists, bands, and music producers. Besides being a drummer, he also got studio work as a producer. No wonder he got a reasonable amount of recording credits.

He also played with a range of bands in the UK, laying the groundwork for his long-term love for music.

Dave Mattacks Collaboration

Dave Mattacks Drumming Solo
Dave Mattacks Drumming Solo

As stated previously, Dave Mattacks got a lot of kinds of work in the music area. Whether as a drummer or producer in the recording studio. Thus, many great musicians invited him to do collaboration projects.

Some of the collaborations that Dave has done are Steve Ashley‘s “Stroll On” sessions, Morris On Project, Steeleye Span‘s debut album Hark! The Village Wait, Nick Drake‘s Bryter Layter, John Martyn‘s Solid Air, and Harvey Andrews’ album Writer of Songs.


Dave Mattacks is one of those drummers who takes his craft seriously and is great behind the scenes as well. His professional career with Fairport Convention, George Martin, Elton John, and Richard Thompson shows how deserved he is to be on his generation’s list of best drummers.

He’s surely a fantastic musician. If you’re a fan of good music, be sure to check out Dave’s works.

What do you think?

Avatar Of Andrea

Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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