Son of Dave - The Borderline, London
The former Crash Test Dummies member returns to his adoptive London home in the guise of his beatboxing blues man alter ego Son of Dave to what is a criminally under-attended, but nevertheless energetic Sunday evening.
With support from the excellent Leisure Tank and the powerful and unplugged Blues of King Size Slim, the headliner takes to the stage clad in sunglasses and fedora hat - all of which seem to impede his vision in the low light of The Borderline. Promoting album number seven, Music For Cop Shows, Dave Jr. (aka Benjamin Darvill) launches into a mixture of tracks from his latest release, and a healthy mix of cover songs imprinted with Darvill’s rough and ready delivery, harmonica, rudimentary percussion, and loop pedal layering.
The audience is pretty muted at first, much to Darvill’s ire, as there’s plenty of toe-tapping and appreciative whooping but not much else. This seems to spur Darvill on as all of a sudden the gig starts to shift up a gear with new track ‘Pow Pow’, quickly followed by a prize of fake $40,000 to the first person who starts a conga line in the next song, a cover of ‘Soul Finger’, which the audience delight in complying with. From that point each track is met with increasing amounts of adulation, including covers of Daft Punk, ‘Pump Up The Jam’, and ‘Black Betty’, all before closing the gig with an encore of the superb ‘Daddy was a Wolf Man’ and AC/DC ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’.
Son of Dave combines the traditions of blues, vaudeville humour and storytelling, audience participation and beatboxing to create a thoroughly entertaining show by a thoroughly entertaining showman.