There are times in life when you’re forced to make a choice. Tonight it’s between attending to a car with smoke billowing from the bonnet, or missing that start of David Ford’s set. For anyone who’s ever seen the loop-pedaling legend in action, you’ll understand why in reality there really isn’t a choice at all. David is by far one of the most underrated musicians of the modern age, forever tagged with the history of his Easyworld years. Tonight once again reconfirms that he deserves more acclaim, more prestige and a heck of a lot more radio play than the likes of Bastille.
Back with his new album Charge he opens with Pour A Little Poison, a number which opens itself up for audience participation. Though he claims he’s “just a whiny little English boy singing the blues” it’s anything but his signature angst, moving instead towards a twangy American sound. Elsewhere Every Time and The Ballad of Miss Lily also make an airing, and though devoted fans will recognise them from the Austerity Measures EP, their album versions have been given a new lease of life on the album with subtle re-workings. Nevertheless, as ever, it’s live that the songs come into a world of their own and as David hisses and spits his way through Every Time it becomes clear that it’s when he’s cynical and bitter that his song writing really shines.
Elsewhere State of the Union showcases exactly what David is capable of when armed with a plethora of instruments and a loop pedal and though it might be 8 years since it’s release it seems only to grow in relevance. Likewise Requiem becomes one of the highlights of the ‘golden oldies’ section and further showcases his jaded nature. Nevertheless it’s not all doom and gloom, and as he sits at the piano for my personal favourite Song For The Road he brings his own style of romance to the set. Likewise the new song he wrote especially to sing with support act and band member Emily Grove is a heartfelt number which benefits from the harmonies on the vocals.
Whilst I later discover the car was thankfully not on fire, David is. Tonight is shorter and less thunderous than some of his previous shows but in comparison to other bands, he brings the bleak walls of the Academy to life. The sad thing is, it also confirms that’s he’ll probably never get the fame or acclaim he deserves, because in many senses his work is too refined, and too poetic to rub shoulders with the throwaway pop which dominates the radio waves.
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