Special Love existed for one year, 2005, as an Edinburgh-based duo of singer Johnny Dave and synth player Charlie George, founded on an original mix of synthpop and noise. The act quickly developed with romantic yet humorous songs of lust, longing and loneliness, the product of two emotionally disadvantaged men in their late twenties. Lyrics dealt with feelings of inadequacy in a world where normal people take relationships for granted, and the difficulties of embracing the outsider status of the sexual deviant. The stage act they created was unforgettable, featuring hilariously sinister costumes and audacious stripping. Clad in flasher mac and balaclava, Johnny Dave was never still, dancing all over the place and provoking the audience to much excitement and joy.
After a split due to leaving Edinburgh, Johnny Dave vowed to bring Special Love back after ten years. In the meantime he made the occasional amusing cameo appearance at assorted festivals and parties, even dancing with bands such as Catholic Boys In Heavy Leather and Monokrom. Towards the end of 2015 Johnny Dave was disappointed to find out that Charlie George, now a respectable family man, was not interested in a reunion. But as Johnny Dave had written most of the music he was able to recreate all the classic songs as karaoke versions, confident few people would miss his old keyboard pal. Ten years to the day of the last gig the fake reunion occurred in Edinburgh, in front of a busy cellar bar, and it was soon apparent that age had reduced none of Johnny Dave's energy.
By this point Johnny Dave was now living in London, and he soon set out to bring his thrilling spectacle to Southern crowds, playing triumphant gigs at events such as Dead and Buried, Dark Disco, Achtung Achtung and Flag Promotions. Appearing onstage as an ominous stalker figure in the trademark outfit, the audience immediately sense theyre in for something special! As hyperactive as ever, Johnny Dave really gets going as the performance proceeds, discarding his clothing as temperatures rise, and the lustful audience is treated to a glimpse of naked male flesh! Revamped favourites such as Voyeurism, Communal Showers and Watching You have never sounded stronger, while equally powerful new songs such as Man On A Train and Young Man have been eagerly received. Johnny Dave sings so sweetly of his desires and passions, of furtive glances and obsessive stares, the tension increasing until he explodes in a soaring soprano wail. Rumbling and crackling noises form a backdrop to infectious electropop beats, with tight basslines and sentimental melodies, while high end distorted synths stab aggressively at the listener. Special Love does not sound like any other band and the appeal is undeniable.
A new development came over the summer of 2016 when Johnny Dave decided to capitalise on the humorous lyrics and presentation of Special Love and took to the open mic comedy and variety scenes. Seated viewers more used to normal stand-ups just talking were stunned into outrageous laughter, whilst still enjoying those wonderful songs. This is clearly a versatile performer and a unique talent, also with quite a nice body (shame about the face).
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Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/speciallovejohnnydave