Dan Shears & The Velveteen Orkestra
Gig Seeker Pro

Dan Shears & The Velveteen Orkestra


Band Folk Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Live review: Exquisite Noise Festival"

Dan Shears has the voice of an angel but he didn’t need wings or anything to hide behind on Thursday as he captivated the crowd on the merit of his stunning voice and thoughtful guitar-playing alone. Starting the Exquisite Noise proceedings, the artist (whose voice is of the essence of Matt Bellamy) hopped, skipped and jumped between notes, in his incredible vocal range.

Between folk/indie songs with heartfelt lyrics, he amused with his wit and during songs his performance was truly spine-tingling. Check out ‘Lily’ which was his final song. To find Dan, in his own words, it’s: “Shears as in the sheep trimming device.” - Brighton Noise

"EP Review"

Formed in 2009, Dan Shears and the Velveteen Orkestra came about when the South London born Shears joined up with drummer and producer Andrea Adriano with the view to assembling their orchestra.

The result? Their huge sounding and ambitious six track debut “The Eternal Mystery Of The Human Heart”. Deeply moving, dark and passionate, songs about hurt, murder and love are all complimented by a suitably dramatic backdrop.

Lyrically the songs here are like creepy lullabies from a time long since passed. The melodies flow whilst the musicianship is delicate, tasteful and intricate. Indeed they succeed in making the songs subtly powerful enough to ensure they will haunt the memory long after the first listen.

Imagine a concoction of Jeff Buckley, Morrissey and Rufus Wainwright thrown in with a more than generous splash of Russian and Eastern European folk music and you’d come almost close to nailing the Velveteen Orkestra’s sound. However it would do them an injustice to waste too much time comparing them to someone else. Theirs is a unique sound. And I haven’t even mentioned Dan Shears’ voice yet….

Shears gives it absolutely everything. It is impossible to think that he does not mean every last word that he is singing. It is also difficult to not be impressed by the range he boasts too.

“The Eternal Mystery…” is an enchanting listen from a young man – along with his ten piece orchestra – who is clearly going places.

Paul Lane. - unplugthejukebox.com

"Live review: Strongroom Bar solo show"

I arrived at the venue to see super handsome boy singer, Dan Shears, at 8.30pm, however, he was not due to start until 10pm. This made me sad, I could not wait to see him!!! Then I felt a brilliant aura behind me and, of course, it was him, DAN SHEARS!!! LOVE!!! He came from the entrance with his guitar, greeted me and asked,

"Have you come to listen to my music? Wow, thank you so much".

For this gig he played guitar and sung solo, his live performance was so sweet. His voice was like an angel with a beautiful falsetto a bit like Thom Yorke from Radiohead and it filled the room like someone had lit a sweet aloma candle. I was knocked out by his romantic and sentimental music... and his looks!!! - Junon Magazine (Japan)

"Live review: The Great Escape 2010 gig at Audio"

Competing with music industry chitter-chatter is never easy but there were times, albeit briefly, when Dan Shears and his Velveteens managed to reduce the bar above Audio to near-silence.

This wasn't the case from the start though, when their opening track, One Dry Eye In The House Of God, was elevated above the venue's kerfuffle with the help of some brisk brush work on the drums. Vocally Shears recalled Matt Bellamy's slower and more ponderous tones but the Muse similarities ended there; this band nurture melodies instead of wielding them like an axe.

Saying that, a stand-out was the slow-burner The Rest Is Silence, which was introduced as being about “bashing someone to death with a hatchet”. It developed from a lonesome acoustic prefix into a dark and cloudy gem – reflecting the emotions one might feel after such an ordeal. Let's hope he's not speaking from experience.

The only off-putting moment was a braying conversation taking place behind me. I wasn’t the only one more interested in the band; The Futureheads paid a fleeting visit following their secret show earlier in the day. Playing in front of the right A&R person, Dan Shears and band could be mixing with more celebrities sooner than they think. - The Argus

"EP reivew in XYZ"

The Eternal Mystery of the Human Heart...

This hugely talented young singer/songwriter has been working on this album for some time now, and boy was it worth the wait. His lyrics pluck at your heartstrings as if casting a lovesick spell and his sweet falsetto vocals have the power to reduce any audience to stunned silence. An impressive debut.

8 out of 10 (James Watts, XYZ Magazine) - XYZ Magazine


Against a Sea of Troubles (EP) 2012
The Eternal Mystery of the Human Heart (EP) 2010



While weaving tales of love, heartache and fantasy in his intensely dark and mystical style, Dan Shears is proving himself to be one of London’s more interesting and captivating artists. Beautiful, flowing vocal melodies, with lyrics that bring to mind carnivalesque lullabies written by a much older soul, cascade over delicate and intricate guitar work and songs so immersed in passion and pathos that they’re sure to haunt the memory long after the first listen.

Dan Shears recalls Matt Bellamy’s slower and more resonant tones but the Muse similarities end there. With an incredibly wide vocal range and a gorgeous poetic quality, he has a sharp wit and cockney charm and a voice that evokes memories of artists as diverse as Nick Cave, Morrissey, Frankie Valli and Ray Davies amongst others.

Born in South East London in the mid-80s and living on the road where Bon Scott had died six years earlier, Dan Shears grew up surrounded by music. He would make his dad play Pink Floyd’s ‘On The Run’ continually because it ‘scared him’. He was intrigued by how certain music seemed intent on painting a moving picture and evolving a narrative, be it lyrically or sonically. He was introduced to blues and various forms of guitar based rock music and would make mix tapes and pretend to play them as a live set in front of the mirror. “The first band I can really remember getting into was Squeeze. My brother had a collection of all their music videos and I would watch them all the time”.

When Dan’s brother first played him ‘Creep’ by Radiohead, he was only seven years old but became instantly hooked and used his brother’s old guitar to play along to the record. “I would pluck the strings and move my hands up and down the neck convinced that I had learned the song. It was only when the CD was turned off that I realised I couldn’t actually play it”.

During his childhood, although he was popular with his friends, Dan spent much of his time playing alone. He would entertain himself by writing stories, watching videos or playing games that usually involved a ball and a wall to hit it against. “It wasn’t that I didn’t like anyone or saw myself as any better or worse than anyone else, there was just this private little world around me that I felt was so precious to me and wouldn’t seem as important to others. My brothers and their friends were all over eighteen and introduced me to music, films and comedy that probably shouldn’t have been experienced by a kid of my age. This equipped me with an understanding of more mature themes and aspects of life ahead of my peers”.

Dan would study things in meticulous detail, being able to recite chunks of dialogue from film and television, or statistics from football matches that happened before he was even born. Before his ambition to make music emerged during his teens, Dan’s obsession had been football. He would invent entire football clubs, name the players, design their emblems and strips and place them in leagues and tournaments where he would log all the scores. He had played competitive football since the age of six but despite trials with several London clubs his dream of becoming a professional footballer did not come to fruition. As a toddler Dan had been seriously ill with meningococcal meningitis, lost a large percentage of his body weight and hadn’t been expected to survive. “I still use it as an excuse for why I’m so thin now but I don’t know how much longer I can keep attributing the blame to something that happened when I was two” he jokes.

When Dan moved to a secondary school in Bromley he experienced the British class system for the first time and found it fascinating to meet people who seemingly had no knowledge or experience of the world he had known up to that point. He excelled academically, particularly in English and Drama. In one of his English lessons Dan delivered a presentation about the music of the 1970s which culminated in him singing a Black Sabbath song. As a result of that he was invited to be the vocalist in a covers band. Dan then began to teach himself guitar on borrowed instruments and developed his playing skills with his innate attention to detail. On his sixteenth birthday he was rewarded with a guitar of his own and started his own band. Named Coma as a reference to his childhood illness, the band entered and won a music industry competition. This encouraged Dan to push on further with his music and the gigs grew bigger but the band played their last show in the Spring of 2007.

Dan moved to Brighton and began to study for a music degree at Sussex University where he continued to write songs and perform under the name Petrushka, a favourite fairy tale character of Dan’s when he was a little boy. He was inspired by and empathised with the protagonist who displayed characteristics that might be associated with the archetypal villain. Dan’s love of the dark and fantastical writing of authors such as Angela Carter