Son of Dave
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Son of Dave


Band Blues Alternative


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"FACT Magazine"

"Hollering one-man blues sensation Son Of Dave is so refreshing, he should be employed by designer water companies across the globe to lend aural dynamic to their advertising campaigns." - FACT Magazine


"Rodé à l'école des musiciens de rue, ce freluquet roux impose en concert une dynamique capable de mêler le souffle abrasif d'un harmoniciste comme Little Walter au groove salement funky de James Brown." - LE MONDE

"An enigma wrapped inside a mystery"

There are times, listening to this album, you start to feel guilty– surely, if music
sounds this good, it must be bad for you. But it’s OK, give yourself permission to indulge in
Son of Dave’s sensuous symphony of sin.
Son of Dave looks as if he has stepped out of a black-and-white 1940s B-movie, in
which he plays one of those Pinkerton private eyes who take pictures of suspected adulterers
and their paramours as they slip out of back-street hotels. Still wearing the same suit and
trilby, he sits on stage with a huge microphone in one hand, a harmonica in the other, and a
box of tricks on the floor which he steps on as he starts to play. He hits the pedal twice more
and the room is filled with a rhythmic loop of harmonica breaths, over which he proceeds to
sing and talk, suck and blow, mutter and mumble.
Drawn in by the mystery – what is he doing, how does he do it? – the listener is
fascinated, captivated but disturbed. What might have been a novelty act is much darker and
sometimes uncomfortable. Is there madness in his method?
Twice before, Son of Dave recorded albums that were respectful of his live show but
disappointingly missed the point. Third time out, he and producer Alex McGowan have not
only nailed the live act, they’ve gone further, creating a monster that could be a challenge to
replicate onstage. Exactly what is different, I can’t figure out, but it’s to do with the sound.
Although there isn’t much going on, with plenty of gaps between each vocal line and not
many instruments, the whole thing sounds both huge and full of space. The record works
equally well when it’s barely audible or if you turn the volume up full.
‘Ain’t going to Nike Town’, declares the singer, defiant but measured, ‘ain’t going to
Vegas’. Then he gets seriously demented as he screams, ‘you can take me, shake me, but you
can’t make me.’ He could be a six-year-old child, screaming at its mother, or an anti-war
protester struggling as she’s bundled into the back of a police van. Whatever your cause,
here’s your anthem.
Each couplet in ‘Lover not a Fighter’ could stand on its own, but the one that catches
my attention every time is: ‘that’s why I’m up there on this riser, yeah, selling records for the
Kaiser’. Not the kind of lyric you run across every day. But before you have time to absorb it,
the infectious chorus returns to pull you into its inscrutable chant: ‘give it up, if you wanna be
a lover, put your toys away’.
Just as you start wondering, when was the last time a major pop music act featured
harmonica, Son of Dave answers the question by doing ‘Low Rider’, a hit back in 1975 for
War. In some ways, the album feels like a throw-back to an even earlier time, to Chicago
blues clubs in the mid-1950s, when Little Walter blew counterpoint melodies to Muddy
Waters’ lead vocals and Jimmy Reed played both guitar and mouth harp, using a contraption
strapped around his neck.
But if the album sometimes feels like a blast from the past, it also gives a glimpse
into the future, when technology has been reclaimed from the technicians and is once again a
do-it-yourself tool for people with something to say. Son of Dave has plenty to say, and this is
his convincing, triumphant manifesto.
CG - Observer Music Monthly

"O3 NME"

Just who does Benjamin Darvill think he is? On this third album even he isn't sure, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Combining blues, funk and soul stylings with beatboxing and strings, Darvill somehow produces a madcap mashup of Curtis Mayfield, Tom Waits, Chromeo and Rahzel, once again proving he's a musical chameleon of great dexterity. - NME

"The Guardian"

"Benjamin Darvill aka Son of Dave's third album finds him somewhere between the White Stripes, early Beck and a 1930s bluesman who was supposed to be at the crossroads but got waylaid in the pub. Presenting old-time twangs within a modern, urban production, Darvill can grunt like Tom Waits, falsetto like Mavin Gaye and play better harmonica than Bob Dylan. A wonderfully minimal, funky version of War's Low Rider and his own songs, such as Roller Boogie, suggest a man with hedonism, not blues, weighing upon his soul. But the lack of emotional wallop is made up for by a sense of fun. During Hellhound, Darvill even starts panting and slobbering like a dog - not something often said about Robert Johnson." - Dave Simpson, The Guardian

"Dazed and Confused"

"Son Of Dave is a force of nature. Touring the globe with just a harmonica, a microphone and a stack of 45s for company, this one man band has become one of the most entertaining live performers in the world. Mixing up blues, hip hop and dance into a dizzying brew, it's nigh on impossible to resist the temptation to shake a leg when he's on the mic. There's no doubt he'll go from strength to strength" - Tim Noakes (music editor) Dazed & Confused


Feb 2005 - "O2" album
April 2007 - "O3" album



Son of Dave makes a formidable racket. He brings the Blues kicking and howling into the 21st Century without thievery or pretension, creating funky ass Devil music with just his bear lips and hands.

It starts with a beat box amplified by an old Astatic microphone, the harmonica follows slow n’ sexy and with a stomp of the foot a husky loop is captured. As the loop grinds away his vocal starts low and almost spoken whilst the harmonica sings and a groaning bass-line drops.

Son of Dave has toured the world as a solo act playing hundreds of shows at the worlds best festivals, concert stages and nightclubs including; Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, Bestival, The Big Chill, Eurockeenes, Montreux Jazz, Montreal Jazz and Big Day Out to name a few. He has supported huge acts, such as Grace Jones and Supergrass, appeared on major television programs and had chart success in several countries. You can read about his exploits in his very own gonzo style column for the Stool Pigeon magazine.

Self-tailored to his own thrifty standard, Son Of Dave dresses in impeccable gentleman’s fashion from the 1950's. Seen alongside the modern day businessman, one wonders how things became so bland. His three-piece suits and wide brim Fedora set him aloft the crowd with an air of bygone dignity.

Son Of Dave’s critically acclaimed new album “O3” is a more polished affair then it’s critically acclaimed predecessor “O2”. The instrument palette has been expanded from the staple hamonica, beat-box and foot stomp to include guitar, piano, organ, a plucked cello and backing vocals.

The songs are typically themed around women, drinking, fighting, and the dangers and lures of crass consumerism for the working man. The album includes a triumphant cover of War’s classic “Low Rider”. Artwork was created by Le Gun illustrator Chris Bianchi capturing an action snap shot of the alter ego of this 21st Century bluesman mid performance…

Son Of Dave aka Benjamin Darvill’s home is in London. He was born in Winnipeg, Canada. He has made his living in the music buisiness for 22 years including being a member of Crash Test Dummies who sold more than 8 million records and toured relentlessly for 12 years.