The Hellfire Preachers

The Hellfire Preacher's Temple of Righteous Sounds




The Hellfire Preachers – The Story So Far.

The Preachers were formed in Preston, Lancashire in 2008 by Dave Gardner and Matt Wells.

Initially a three piece and then added drums to the mix and out popped a no nonsense Americana Country Rock band specializing in the music of Dylan, Gene Clark, Cash, Gram Parsons plus some choice original songs and a few Co-Written with Guitar Legend Michael Chapman.

Both Dave and Matt have an encyclopediac knowledge of all forms of music especially Pre-War Old Time Country and Folk Music. This is the music that came from England over the sea and right up into Appalachia. The mix of Blues and Gospel and a banjo and that’s where The Hellfire Preachers are at right now!

The vast gigging experience that Dave and Matt share – Matt has played countless gigs with all kinds of bands and musicians From Jazz to Blues Country and Rock. Dave has played with Kris Kristofferson, The Kinks. Steve Hackett. Charlie Wells on Double Bass provides a rock solid anchor.

The Hellfire Preachers play three different shows:

  • Gothic Americana
  • Dylan Tribute
  • The Music of The Beatles


Dave Gardner

  • The Preacher, Voice, Guitar, Harmonica, Jaw Harp, Occasional Washboard, Frequent Boot Tapping and Persistent Bickering.

Little is known of the formative years of the man they call The Preacher (Dave to his close friends) but myths circulate wildly of his adventures.

Some say he killed the Bartle Town Crier at the tender age of 4 years with one of the Kerplunk swords. Others say he merely inflicted a flesh wound. Either way, it was around this time that he first ran for Mayor of that sleepy town, taking on the role only two years later.

A powerful and focused man, The Preacher is known for his unflinching veracity, even in the face of defeat. It is said he scoured every single record shop, checking every single disc, in search for the original I Dig a Pony by Charles Hawtry and the Deaf Aids, despite “experts” warning him it could be in vain.

At some point in the early 90’s, a successful music career beckoned and the world was toured. The abridged highlights were made into a 49 part Granada documentary that never aired.

If you see him, don’t make eye contact.


Matt Wells

  • Banjo, Dobro, Mandolin, Guitar, Dulcimer, Ukulele, Awfully played Plucked Violin, Cigar Box Bassoon and a single note on the Low D Whistle (Not the D unfortunately).

Matt was not born so much as he was created in a secret laboratory, on a distant island in the Barents Sea, 200 miles off the coast of Novaya Zemlya, whilst genetic technicians searched for a life form immune to both pretentiousness and sarcasm. A genetic fusing, two parts Laptev Walrus, one part Bald Eagle and three parts lazy house cat, brought forth a being totally deaf to all sounds non musical.

When all the area’s inhabitants succumbed to the fallout from Tsar Bomba, the boy was shipped to a family in Lancashire. The first melody he remembers was an inaccurate reading of Good King Wenceslas, plucked on an ancient harp.

Drawing inspiration from Earl Scruggs, The Beatles, Ornette Coleman, Django Reinhardt and Kiss, a very twisted, often elaborately attired individual, made his stage debut at the Dog Inn in Whittle Le Woods.

It’s been down hill ever since.



  • Bass Player

Charlie was born a poor boy in Louisiana, later gaining fame for the invention of the traffic light, as well as recording several albums with the Bonzo Dog Dooh-Dah Band. Only in later life did Charlie’s passion for the low end come to fruition.

Originally a classical musician, he took up double bass when his Bluegrass band said they didn’t need a Cor Anglais. Original casting choice for Huggy Bear in hit television show ‘Starsky and Hutch’, Charlie’s passions don’t only lie in the musical field. When he’s at home, he likes to craft world landmarks out of cheese.

His most recent work, ‘Le Arc de Brie-omphe’, was labelled as ‘The most important thing to happen in the world of dairy since the Babybel’.

Charlie takes musical inspiration from The Beatles, Charles Mingus and Johnny Cash as well as from the calls of the many larks and finches from his aviary high in the mountains of Norway, where he now resides.