Born in Darlington in the north east of England, and from a musical family, Dave began piano lessons at the age of 8 and guitar lessons from his dad at 13.
Dave went to the Leeds College of Music, into one of the only courses at the time to offer studies in jazz, and popular music. During his time at Leeds Music College, Dave gained two performance awards - The Sam Hood Rosebowl for Outstanding Performance and The BBC Radio 2 Best Jazz Soloist Award (for piano). At college he also developed a deep interest in recording and synthesisers, particularly through work with college bands 'The Leeds Synthonia' and the 'Hyperspace Rock Orchestra'.
After college Dave played in various jazz-rock, classical-rock, soul & blues bands throughout the '80's (including extensive work with singer-songwriter Adrian Snell, and also work with Snake Davis, Gary Boyle, Jack Bruce and even Gloria Gaynor (of 'I will Survive' fame!) and did a lot of session work, producing and writing music for advertising companies etc. Then in 1989 David Fitzgerald and he formed Iona.