The Green Room in Stockton is a little gem of the north-east of England. Tucked away behind its big brother, The Georgian Theatre, it holds around 100 people but has a stage big enough to accommodate most band sizes, which means it will make for a deliciously intimate gig with great sound. The walls are adorned with paintings, photos, curious, and signed memorabilia from all over the world which just adds to the friendly relaxed atmosphere.
All of that makes it easier to part with money to see gigs there, but even more so when the likes of Son Of Dave play there. I was eager to see this guy play his unique blend of percussion blues, especially supported by brand new Teesside supergroup, Dark Passenger.
Dark Passenger is made up of Stu and Glen, two members of recently defunct alt-rock group The Purnells, along with multi-band drummer extraordinaire Paul. As a frontman, Stu was rarely matched in his level of performing and keeping the attention of all who saw The Purnells, and this Dark Passenger venture is no different. His smooth but commanding vocals along with his skilled harmonica and acoustic guitar playing brought each new song to life. Glen and Paul don’t so much as accompany Stu with their effortless skill but more so make the band one awesome-sounding unit, with Glen able to pick up various types of guitar and play them like he was born to do it and Paul able to make most drummers green with envy as he mastered complex techniques in the songs.
Dark Passenger take the very best bits of dirty blues, bluegrass, goth, and rock’n’roll and deliver them perfectly. In fact, don’t take my word for it; at the end of one song a cry of “YYESSS!!” came from Son Of Dave listening backstage, summing up what we all thought – a hugely impressive debut gig from Dark Passenger.
After a short break to cool down, the buzzing crowd jostled back into position to welcome Son Of Dave onstage. This beat-boxing, multi-percussion playing Canadian seemed right at home as he sat on a stool surrounded by the latest loop-pedal tech and old suitcases. Although common sense would tell you the opposite, every song he played seemed off-the-cuff as he picked up and put down harmonicas, bells, and anything else he could lay his hands or lips on. It was a real privilege to see such a skilled artiste at work. Most songs were from his latest album, Music From Cop Shows, although he treated us by inserting verses from classic pop songs now and then. He likes his props too; he put his own set of disco lights at the front of the stage so that “y’all know what I have to put up with” and set out a table and chair front of stage complete with a blow-up skeleton, and also offered from his suitcase “thirty fake Yankee dollars to anyone who gets a conga going in this next song!” All of which added to an already brilliant evening of watching the highest level of musical skills performed in a great venue.
At the time of writing this, Son Of Dave is halfway through a UK tour with Manchester, Sheffield, Stowmarket, Norwich, Nottingham, Reading, Brighton, and London still to come. You’d be missing out in a huge way if you didn’t grab a ticket quickly.
You can get more details of his tour and latest album by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/theoriginalsonofdave/
and make sure you don’t miss Dark Passenger’s next gig by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/darkpassengermusic2017/