Dan Hawcroft was born July 1979 in Hull, East Yorkshire or Humberside as it was randomly called at that time. A once booming North Eastern fishing town that had experienced severe pounding in World War Two followed by huge economic decline and loss of industry during the 1970’s which had left it’s streets looking broken, tired and unloved but providing an urban playground of abandoned docks, bridges and factories many kids these days can only dream of.
It is often said that poverty and depravation incubate passion, humour and good art and this is definitely true of Hull. Known for cultivating artists of all genres, from Mick Ronson to The Housemartins, Everything But The Girl to the Fine Young Cannibals Hull has produced many international touring acts over the years, with the majority cutting their teeth at the now legendary Hull Adelphi. It was at the Adelphi that Dan experienced one of the three defining moments that were the seeds that germinated into a passion for loud music. Seeing Oasis in a small sweaty Adelphi in 1994, Motörhead on The Young Ones and his Uncle Gary giving him his vinyl collection.
Upon leaving school in 1995 Dan started playing in bands and promoting Punk & Ska shows, often with his friends Mike Barnes, also a fellow terrible skateboarder, and Stew Baxter, one of those sorts of loveable bastards that can pick up any instrument and within 20 minutes play it like he’s been playing it for 20 years. With the trio lying about their ages (Sorry Paul!) to get their bands shows with the touring bands they wanted to play with they put on gigs for the likes of Against All Authority, The Queers, Lightyear, MU330, and many more bands you probably have never heard of but one show would change all that.
In 1998 whilst secretly living in his band’s rehearsal room (Sorry Sean!) Dan promoted a show for UK band Capdown at the Adelphi. After the show the band suggested that he should come on tour with them as they were really gaining momentum nationally and needed help with driving and looking after the stage. So, after packing a bag that night that’s exactly what he did. With Capdown Dan got his first taste of live music production and prolific touring throughout Europe working his way from Driver to Tour Manager within a few months. When Capdown finally slowed down their touring schedule due to family commitments Dan decided to branch out into working for other bands.
From 2003 Dan worked for many different bands in various capacities as either Tour Manager, Guitar Tech or Stage Manager for the likes of Biffy Clyro, Kasabian, Hundred Reasons, Modest Mouse and Hell is For Heroes and in 2005 he received a call from Evil Dave, an old mate asking if he could jump on a tour with Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age, as he had double booked. It turned out that tour was Nick’s band Mondo Generator supporting Motörhead out in mainland Europe. During that tour Dan was asked if he would be keen to join the Motörhead roadcrew, of course, this was an offer only a total clown shoes would say no to. From 2005 to 2012 Dan worked as Road Manager and Personal Assistant to Lemmy Kilmister and was with the artist 24 hours a day, 11 months of the year experiencing global travel and the ups and downs that come with that lifestyle.
In 2012 Dan decided to leave working in the industry full time due to the birth of his daughter Maisey and return to education. Although he still did occasional tours with as Guitar Technician for Adam D from Killswitch Engage touring was no longer a life priority as he didn’t want to miss out on a second of his Daughter growing up. From 2014 whilst studying an honours degree and working for The Subways as their Guitar Technician Dan set up a DIY music venue called ‘The Owl Sanctuary’ in Norwich, UK. The venue was voted DIY Venue of the Year in 2015 and hosted several large acts in its small 150 capacity venue including Agnostic Front, Parma Violets, PWEI, Every Time I Die, Biohazard, Mooseblood, Basement and the first ever sold out show for the UK band Slaves.
After selling the Owl Sanctuary in 2017, along with his family, Dan decided to continue his post graduate studies in Australia which he fell in love with when touring there in 2012. Now residing in Canberra, the Australian Capital, Dan now finally has the time to write up the tour diary notes he kept on old flyers, smoke packets and tatty old note books over his many years touring the world.
Currently Dan is busy working on finalising and promoting his first book ‘Gods P.A’ about his 7-year experience working as Personal Assistant to Lemmy Kilmister of Rock & Roll institution Motörhead due to be completed in 2019.