The joy, personally for me is to hear these quintessentially British beats through a system
Falcon and Castle
October 23rd, 2022
Dave’s in good voice tonight. And he looks good, too, trim and fit, his mournful face breaking into a bright smile every time the audience sing along with a tune. Which is most of the time.
Murkage Dave’s performance is deliberate, apparently, an attempt to maximise the communal nature of a show, for the audience, which is tonight largely a crowd of working class twenty-somethings happy to bellow out choruses and, particularly, references to weed in the lyrics which are, as often, tinged with sadness or melancholy that belies the skipping shuffle beats of the UK Garage that lies as a foundation to the musical arrangements.
The joy, personally for me is to hear these quintessentially British beats through a system, even though the sound is distorting the vocals, the bass super-present. And to hear the singing, although it’s incredibly disappointing to also hear a recorded track sitting underneath the live voice. It’s a karaoke show, dependent on Dave’s impressive charisma alone to impress. Behind him, a hapless DJ (‘Smithy’) starts and stops the tracks, occasionally fading them out so there is no doubt that this is from the clubs and for the clubs, a weird experience in what is a typical looking pub venue. The coloured lights flicker on and off and there is an occasional blast of dry ice in what appears to be an attempt by the venue tech to liven things up.
Eventually, after about 35 minutes I get bored and decide to leave. I watched Dave, I watched the crowd but, overall, I’d rather listen at home for the same reason I walked out of Scottish pubs as soon as someone got up to murder Ed Sheeran, again.
If I had the money or the persuasive powers, Murkage Dave would have the kind of record deal that would allow him to afford a couple of musicians to tour with and allow people to see the possibilities of his cracked take on club life. As it is, personally speaking, he might be better off with a guitarist who can press play at least as well as Smithy. But that would just make this old man happy and I doubt his crowd would care, one way or the other.
If you knew that Al Green was doing a singalong set to a backing track somewhere local you’d go, right? But you might not stay to the end.