We’re not sure what’s more intriguing about George Swan: that his press release tells us he was ‘born in an unspecified swamp and raised by alligators’ or that his musical pseudonym is Big Dik Blak. The legend of British Columbia’s ‘swamp rock’ music is swathed in half truths and mystery.
What is known is that he moved to the small town of Steveston in British Columbia, Canada, at the age of 18. He found, gainful employment on the docks, unloading fishing boats, his childhood affinity with water-based life clearly proving to be to his benefit. By 1997, the entire Canadian west coast fishing industry had collapsed. Swan picked himself up and carved a new career path in the form of music.
His first foray into the music scene of Steveston, BC, was with The Rash. After recording their self-titled effort, the outfit disbanded after a whopping 11 years together. Swan tried again forming Patsy Decline comprising of members of The Rash and UVA. The band found success in Steveston and became the house band of the local venue, Valhalla. They remained a band until 2004, splitting to pursue other interests.
George Swan took this as an opportunity to go solo and be known as BDB (Big Dik Blak). BDB isn’t for the faint-hearted, the multi-instrumentalist brings his passion to swamp rock. He takes a more psychedelic approach transporting you to an astral plane of emotion. BDB is an enigma to music as he’ll have you in a trance with EDM hit ‘I have a Boyfriend’ taken from Tales from Wreck Deck to welling up with emotion on the keyboard-fuelled ‘Smelly Fish’ from ‘The Truth is Hard’.
George Swan has released an impressive 13 albums so far in his lifetime with three impressive solo albums, ‘Live at Valhalla’, ‘The Truth is Hard’, and ‘Tales from Wreck Deck’. Dig in to his impressive talents on Soundcloud, Spotify, and YouTube.
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Words: Tom Guilfoyle & Lisa Henderson