I first heard of Son of Dave
on Later... with Jools Holland (like so many other recent musical discoveries) where he was the weird new act. His combination of blues harp, beatboxing, percussion and singing using a digital loop and other effects which produced an incredible groove immediately pushed my musical buttons.
When I recently saw that he was playing at The Junction 2, I obviously had to go and see him. The ticket was only a tenner, too.
I got there at doors open at 7, picked up my ticket and waited for the venue to open. First, there was only one other guy. Various hipsters came in, looking lost and were told to go to the other Junction for Yann Tiersen. It was funny that you could exactly tell who people had come to see.
They finally let us in 10 to 8 and I got a seat in the front row, dead center. :) The venue actually filled up quite a bit but wasn't sold out so maybe about 100 people, maybe a few more.
Support was Gil Karpas
who was OK (vocals and guitar). Nothing special but not exactly bad, either.
After a short break, Son of Dave came on stage, wearing a thin red, patterned coat (see website) and a black and white striped shirt/trouser outfit, a bit like a classic comic prison's outfit but with a red heart stitched onto the breast pocket; two pairs of shades and a huge hat.
In front of his chair were two microphone stands (one for a vocal mic, one for percussion), there was a table with a selection of harmonicas and percussion instruments, a handheld mic for harp and beatboxing, one mic on the floor for recording the stomping and an effects/sampling/looping controller.
He would start a song by creating a beat and background (either vocally or with the harp), recording and looping it and then singing and playing harp and percussion (various shakers or tambourines) over it, sometimes recording and looping parts of that as well or replacing the previous loop, creating several layers of sound in the process. His main influences are Blues but also other areas of music. It's really difficult to describe. Have a listen on myspace
or find some videos on YouTube.
ETA: Oh, Alabama 3 would fit into this category as well with the difference that they're a full band.
One side I hadn't known from his albums is that he's a really funny guy, either in his interaction with the audience or telling little stories (like the one about his great-great-grandfather who invented the encore).
After a few songs, he randomly picked a couple from the audience, took them backstage and came back with a set of seats and a table for them, told them to sit down and then took a pack of Kettlechips, a bottle of wine, two glasses and some fruit out of his suitcase for them. He even turned one of his monitors so they could hear better. In return they had to join in during a few songs playing percussion (wine bottle and tambourine). It was hilarious and the two while clearly a bit overwhelmed (especially the girl) also had the time of their lives.
The gig was a lot of fun and the music very infective, I certainly couldn't sit and was constantly moving, stomping, clapping or clicking my fingers. Shame it was a seated gig, really.
During the grand finale he handed me a huge, inflatable banana which I had to blow up and which was then thrown around the audience. Very random.
I'm still buzzing, not from the volume because that was nicely understated but from the sheer energy of this one man on the stage creating such fantastic music. Another great gig this year.
No photos because I stupidly left my G10 at home when I rushed out of the house this morning. It would have been tricky, anyway. There was generally enough light but his face would have been mostly in shadow. Also, I was just having too much fun and grooving too much for taking photos.
Next gig: Bellowhead on the 25th.