WHILE he might now live in Liverpool, David McDonnell’s Wirral credentials are up there with best.

As a former member of Hoylake heroes The Coral, McDonnell lived on the Peninsular in West Kirby for many years and became well known to a generation of musicians through his job working in a Wallasey music shop

Throw in the fact David’s son Zak plays in New Brighton starlets The Dream Machine and he’s pretty much an honoury Wirralalian.

“I’ve been away from music a while raising my daughter and I wanted to have a break,” said David, whose ten-year-old album, All Through The Night with his group The Sand Band gets a vinyl reissue this month on the legendary Heavenly Records.

With an acoustic country, folk and gospel sound not unlike The Coral or Richard Hawley at his most velvety, its ten beautifully textured, melodic songs were all recorded in a home studio and should have seen David and The Sand Band become far better known beyond Merseyside’s tight-nit musical community.

“Heavenly are someone I trust and I have bought their records since I was young so I was well on board from the beginning when they contacted me about releasing it,” said David.

“Back when it first came out there were only a few hundred copies available so it entered mythical territory and people would only listen to it online. Now they can actually go and buy it and it’s been brilliant and positive.”

After playing together for a number of years, Dave formed The Sand Band in 2009 and they signed to Deltasonic Records alongside The Coral who he had joined previously in 2005 as a replacement for Bill Ryder-Jones.

“I was a guitar tech for them first and we got on,” he said. “When Bill decided he wanted a break from the band they asked me if I would fill in and it was an absolute pleasure.

“I got so much out of that experience and playing with musicians at that level that it led on to me going into the studio with them and having a recording credit on their album Roots and Echoes.

“After recording The Coral my brain was just full of ideas - as a bunch of players I don’t think people realise how varied their talents are. James Skelly is a producer in the truest sense of the word and on top of that you’ve got his voice.

“Their new album has brought them a lot of new and younger fans which is a great thing.”

After All Through The Night’s release a follow up album entitled Leave Some Light was supposed to see the light of the day but Sand Band fans were left wondering what exactly had happened to Dave and his group.

“I was single and looking for something,” he said. “I put all my energy into the music and the process seemed fast to me but then friends would say they hadn’t seen me for a year!

“It was a strange time because I had to stop promoting the album to go and play with Noel Gallagher.”

Ignoring your own release in order to play with one of your heroes is probably excusable and David, who has also played with The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft, looks back on his time as a High Flying Bird with the Oasis star fondly.

“I’m 45 so Oasis were a massive thing for and it was incredible,” he said. “It didn’t end how I hoped but I still regard it as a positive experience. Playing with Noel was amazing and it was a big influence on me. I went into The High Flying Birds as a fan of his music and I came out of them as a fan of his music. I’m grateful I got to do that.”

With All Through The Night putting him back on the musical map, David is gearing himself up for another crack at the musical merry-go-round - only this time there will be no distractions.

“After Noel I just wanted a break and wanted to do something else,” he added. “I tried different things and they didn’t work but I was always doing music in the background.

“Lockdown was a good time for artists and if you’re someone who works in music this slot of time just appeared in front of you that you never knew was coming.

“I think a lot of artists decided to do their thing in that gap so it was a brilliant period for me where I just picked up the music again and began to work on new things which will be released under The Sand Band name.

“It’s been a shock how many people are still into the band but I’m just going to get this album out and see what’s what afterwards.”

The Sand Band’s All Through The Night was released on September 4 as part of Love Record Stores 2021. The campaign originally launched in 2020 to raise awareness of the challenges faced by record stores during the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to shine a light on music retail here in the UK in 2021.

Over 220 UK independent stores participated. Go here for the full list: .loverecordstores.com/record-stores