Those of you who heard the finger snapping jitterbug jive of the recent God Is In The TV Track Of The Day that was Son Of Dave‘s brilliant ‘Daddy Was A Wolfman‘ could be forgiven for presuming that Music For Cop Shows would be some sort of paean to Tom Waits. It certainly fooled me, but it really isn’t. Like the inimitable Californian pioneer though, the erstwhile Benjamin Darvill has, at least, sent you an invitation to the blues. Happily, it is also tremendous, sparkling fun.
We’re not far into the glorious opening track, ‘Get A Strut On‘ before the realisation dawns that Son Of Dave would have been a shoe in for The Old Grey Whistle Test, had it still been on air. It’s not a million miles away from the swampy Mississippi blues favoured by the likes of Alabama 3, yet somehow hawking the sounds of the early seventies in the coolest of 21st century overcoats.
Darvill has also unwittingly tapped into my own personal weakness, for there’s something about whistling in songs that pleases me rather more than it perhaps should. I mean, come on, Otis Redding‘s ‘Sittin’ (On The Dock Of The Bay)‘, Madness‘s ‘Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day)‘, Lennon‘s ‘Jealous Guy‘, classics the lot of them, and on Music For Cop Shows, we have TWO of the blighters, and, might I say, equally effective, giving you a spring in your step and a groovy remedy to what used to be your two left feet. The first of these is the sprightly feelgood anthem ‘Pow Pow‘, while the album closes with the aptly titled ‘Marching & Whistling‘, which sounds rather like it could have been the theme tune to practically any war film of the late 50s or early 60s. In a parallel world, this is being used, somewhere, as a successful leftist rallying call to come together and overthrow the pompous tyrant pig Napoleon in Orwell’s Animal Farm.
‘Caledonian Street‘, meanwhile, is a spoken word piece that evokes memories of the beat poets if you’re old enough to remember them, at the same time feeling like a late night stroll under the neon lights of downtown San Francisco. Allen Ginsberg as Sam Spade, perhaps? Further down we have ‘Mojo Wawa‘, which really drives home how much of an impact the blues has had on Darvill over the years, basing its premise upon Muddy Waters‘ classic reading of ‘Got My Mojo Working‘ and slinking mischievously amongst some impressive beatboxing (I think).
2017 has already been a stellar year for new album releases, but if it’s sheer entertainment you’re after, Son Of Dave’s latest album should not be overlooked. It really is terrific fun. If this guy throws a party, I suspect it would be a must…
Music For Cop Shows is out now on Goddamn Records.