David Ball (British musician)

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Dave Ball
Born (1959-05-03) 3 May 1959 (age 60)
OriginBlackpool, England
GenresSynthpop, new wave
InstrumentsKeyboards, synthesiser, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, vocals
Years active1977–present
LabelsSome Bizzare
Associated actsSoft Cell
The Grid
English Boy On The Loveranch
Other People

David James Ball (born 3 May 1959) is an English producer and electronic musician, who has played in bands such as Soft Cell and The Grid, and collaborated with other producers including Ingo Vauk and Chris Braide. He is usually called Dave Ball on record sleeves.

Life and career[edit]

Ball was born in Chester, England, later adopted and growing up in Blackpool.[1] He studied at Arnold School before studying art at Leeds Polytechnic, where he met Marc Almond;[2] they formed the synthpop duo Soft Cell in 1978, the band lasting until 1984.[3] In 1983, while with the group, he released a solo album, In Strict Tempo, which featured Gavin Friday, Genesis P-Orridge and Virginia Astley.[3][4] Later he collaborated with P-Orridge on soundtrack for West German film Decoder, which also featured other Some Bizarre artists.

After Soft Cell disband Ball formed new band Other People with his then-wife Gini Hewes[5] (who previously worked with Almond in Marc and the Mambas) and Andy Astle, but they released only one single "Have A Nice Day".[6] In late 80s he formed another short lived band English Boy On The Loveranch, with Nick Sanderson and Jamie Jones, releasing two Hi-NRG singles "The Man In Your Life" and "Sex Vigilante."[7] He also was part of Psychic TV, working on the compilation albums Jack the Tab and Tekno Acid Beat, where he met Richard Norris (they recorded the track "Meet Every Situation Head On" together as M.E.S.H.) and with whom he later formed another duo - The Grid (with peaking activity in 90s).

Ball reunited with Almond in Soft Cell in 2001, releasing new album Cruelty Without Beauty.[2][8] In 2010, he formed the band Nitewreckage with Celine Hispiche, Rick Mulhall and Terry Neale. Their debut album, Take Your Money and Run, was released on Alaska Sounds on 6 June 2011, with the single "Solarcoaster" preceding it. The album was co-produced and mixed by Martin Rushent. In 2016 Ball and classical pianist Jon Savage collaborated on experimental electronic album Photosynthesis.[9] In 2018 Soft Cell saw another reunion for final live show, celebrating 40th anniversary since duo was formed.[10]

Dave Ball also worked as a producer, with Vicious Pink Phenomena (who started as backing duo for early Soft Cell), The Virgin Prunes and Rose McDowall side-project Ornamental in the 80s,[4] and later with Kylie Minogue, Gavin Friday and Anni Hogan,[9][11] and a remixer for artists and bands such as David Bowie),[12], Vanessa-Mae and Erasure (many remixes were also made with Norris as The Grid). Ball also worked with Friday on a cover of Suicide's "Ghost Rider" for the Alan Vega 70th Birthday Limited Edition EP Series.

Ball lives in Kennington, south London.



  1. ^ Soho Radio - Back to the Phuture, interview with David Ball (September 12, 2018), Mixcloud
  2. ^ a b Rimmer, Dave (2003) New Romantics: The Look, Omnibus Press, ISBN 978-0-7119-9396-9, p. 110
  3. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William "Dave Ball Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-01-22
  4. ^ a b Neal, Charles (1987) Tape delay: confessions from the eighties underground, SAF, ISBN 978-0-946719-02-0
  5. ^ "Blue Pyramid" by Virginia, Bandcamp
  6. ^ Smash Hits, December 06, 1984, "Like Punk Never Happened - a Smash Hits archive" by Brian McCloskey, Flickr
  7. ^ English Boy On The Loveranch - Discography, Discogs
  8. ^ Flick, Larry (2002) "Almond's Joy", The Advocate, 29 October 2002, p. 64
  9. ^ a b Interview with David Ball about PHOTOSYNTHESIS, by By Bob Gourley, Chaos Control (November 13, 2016)
  10. ^ Soft Cell to reunite for last ever show, The Guardian (February 21, 2018)
  11. ^ "Anni Hogan: the super solo collaborationist," by Robert Gourley, PleaseKillMe.com (November 11, 2019)
  12. ^ Hoffman, Wayne (2002) "After Nearly 20 years, Soft Cell Returns With a New Set on SpinArt", Billboard, 12 October 2002, p. 13