Dennis sings to beat the drones

A protest singer from Kilburn has launched a blistering attack against the use of drones in the Afghanistan war.

Singer-songwriter Dennis Derby - aka 60-year-old Dennis Sleigh - wrote Killing Machines which will be released on iTunes, Amazon and cdbaby on July 9.

Dennis said: “We need drones - they protect our soldiers. But they are guided by remote control - why can’t they aim things a bit better? It’s not a game of darts. You have civillians being killed.

“We shouldn’t be in Afghanistan. It’s fighting for fighting’s sake.”

Most recently he has written Big Society Bull as a counterblast to the Tory plan of shifting social care from the public sector to voluntary organisations.

Dennis said: “I am in full agreement with the Archbishop of Canterbury when he says that David Cameron’s Big Society is aspirational waffle and the state is avoiding it’s responsibilities to the most vulnerable in our society.”

Dennis first picked up the guitar in his early teens, after hearing blues legend Big Bill Broonzy, and sang in rock’n’roll and close harmony groups throughout the Sixties.

He started writing original songs with a couple of friends and one of his former bands - The Skyliners - played Ripley’s Regal Ballroom the week after Cliff Richards and the Drifters appeared.

During the Seventies, Dennis toured. He said: “Times were bad and on the working man’s club circuit the audience had not come to see the act, as bingo was always top of the bill!”

A true rock and roll survivor, Dennis says he paid his dues on the road and “earned every single one of all those T-shirts the hard way.”

Major health problems derailed Dennis’ musical plans in the early nineties and he underwent open-heart surgery in 2008.

To get over it all, Dennis dusted off his guitar and went into the studio to put his thoughts down to music and his life began again as a licensed street busker, entertainer and performance poet.

Since then he has supported many famous acts, film and TV stars and appeared at the `Quad’ in Derby performing original songs and poetry.

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