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Live Review: Son of Dave – 23rd November 2013 – The Borderline, London, UK

3 min read

Blues has always been regarded as one of the key roots of modern music, and has so been interpreted by many artists who put their own unique twist on the dark and spiritual genre – but few can claim to have given it such a pure, and yet creative, manifestation as Son of Dave – known in part for his work in Crash Test Dummies.

Son of Dave was opened for by not one but two singer songwriters in the dark depths of the Borderline in London, only a stone’s throw from the main buzz of Soho. The first, K.C McKanzie, I missed due to some tube complications (sorry about that K.C, thanks very much Transport for London.) The second was Jerry Joseph, who opted for a Bob Dylan-esque performance style – with the message behind his lyrics being more central than the actual musical side of things – although his singing and guitar playing were more than adequate.

By the time Son of Dave was due on stage, the audience was packed tighter than a can of sardines against the stage, meaning no one but those at the very back of the crowd noticed the shade in a grey suit and matching hat slip past and into a backstage door before slinking up onto the stage. The crowd cheered as he grumbled and began setting up the gear from his suitcase, him silently grumbling away to himself silently until an audience member shouted “shut up” about the general chatter that was going on – even then he only said “it’s fine, carry on your conversations” – and was met with an audience wide laugh. This sort of behaviour continued throughout the night, including an occasion where he dragged two audience members on stage – treated them to a few drinks, and then treated them with a vague kind of disinterest (unless to get them to play tambourine or shakers.)

The whole night gave you exactly what you would expect from a Son of Dave gig: with tight blues grooves combined with his classic clever use of loop pedals, effects pedals and vocal manipulation that all combined into something that you can’t really pin straight into one genre.

Near the end of the night Son of Dave (or SOD, if you make bad choices about what to turn into acronyms) told us a touching story of how his great great great great.etc. grandfather had invented the encore in Canada. This had apparently come about through him throat singing to his children then leaving the igloo, and being asked to come back in for more singing. It was a charming – and almost certainly made up – story that basically said “ask me back on stage for an encore.” The subtlety of this message was counteracted when he straight up said that we should cheer and clap so he’ll come back on stage, or else he’ll “hurt [myself] or something.” Of course he was invited back on stage, and would have been, threat or not.

Once Son of Dave had finished his set, and his encore that he himself had requested, a few people stuck around – waiting to see if there was truth in the rumour that he was sticking around to sign things and meet his fans. The rest filed out, making their way back to wherever it was they called home – talking about the truly awesome musical spectacle that they had been witnesses to.

Set List:

  1. Leave Without Runnin’
  2. High With You
  3. Shake Your Hips
  4. Devil Take My Soul
  5. Hell Hound
  6. San Fransisco
  7. Shake a Bone
  8. She Just Danced
  9. Titty Shake
  10. We’re Going Out
  11. Miss Katalin
  12. Rollin’ Tumblin’Encore:
  13. Double Barrel
  14. Black Betty