Dave Clinch, a schoolteacher for almost three decades, taught Physical Education in the Inner London Borough of Lewisham for 20 years before moving to Ilfracombe Arts College in 2000 where he taught English for a year before becoming a permanent cover teacher. He retired from teaching in the summer of 2009. He was also Secretary of Devon National Union of Teachers for five years.
He started playing music in Irish ‘sessions’ in South London in the late 1980s. He played bodhrán and the bones on the Greenwich based 'The Rights of Man' band album in 1992. He also plays the uilleann pipes and whistles, including the low ‘D’ whistle. Since moving to North Devon he has also developed his singing repertoire. Dave is also part of a North Devon based musical collective called 'The Fire In Us Now'. They have recorded a CD 'The Ariel Sessions'. He has also recorded his own composition 'Caught in the Crossfire'.
In September 2006 Dave first performed the Percy Bysshe Shelley masterpiece 'The Mask of Anarchy' at the Plough Arts Centre in Torrington, North Devon accompanied by guitarist Chris Ayliffe. They have since made a recording and performed the poem in Dublin, Bristol, Tolpuddle, The School of Oriental and African Studies in London, Petroc College, Barnstaple and the Appledore Book Festival. Writer and poet, Colin Shaddick has written a one-person play 'The Weatherman' for Dave to perform.
During his teaching career Dave has performed at many school concerts and events. He has worked with students across the age range, taking assemblies, organising songwriting clubs and leading music workshops. He worked with Steve Knightley of' Show of Hands' on songwriting and performance projects at Ilfracombe College. He also worked closely with author Beverley Naidoo on the 'Young Voices for Change' project, which resulted in a videoconference with Thandokhulu High School in Cape Town, South Africa and the Tamer Institute in Ramallah, Palestine and a DVD produced by students at Ilfracombe Arts College.
Dave taught himself to juggle and organised school juggling clubs for many years, both in London and Devon.