Live Review: David Ford

23 Jun

Komedia: Wednesday, June 22 2011

If this is what happens when the music industry sucks you in, chews you up and spits you back out, then maybe it does have something going for it after all.

David Ford was repeatedly told he’d be ‘the next big thing’ and, as the blurb to his book ‘I Choose This – How To Nearly Make It In The Music Industry’ states, he’s spent the past decade proving those people wrong.

In a show featuring readings from his book (“It’s not an autobiography, they’re for successful people”, he insists), casual chit-chat and selected pickings from his rich back catalogue, Ford spends two hours looking back on his career with a dry sense of humour, wit and theatrical panache.

He takes some well-aimed pot-shots at the music business for its vile extravagances and obsession with market forces, but he’s also happy to poke fun at himself.

Aside from admitting his naivety in believing his first band Easyworld would follow in the footsteps of label-mate Britney Spears to international superstardom, he also reveals he once had a celebrity phone-stalker. However, in keeping with a career that never quite went to plan, this wasn’t an A-list superstar, just a sloshed Bonehead from Oasis.

On the music front, Ford shows he’s come a long way from the sparkly “pop-punk-soul-funk” songs of the first Easyworld album. Nowadays he’s more of a rasping balladeer, either wearing his heart on his sleeve over issues of love, life and friendship or waxing lyrical about the madness of modern society and political absurdities.

Tonight, both ‘State of the Union’ and ‘Panic’ are given Ford’s trademark treatment where he records all of the instruments live on a loop until the layers and sounds build up to a crescendo.

On the flip side, ‘To Hell With The World’ and the final Easyworld single ‘How Did It Come To This’ are successfully re-worked with only an acoustic guitar and booming vocals, while Candi Staton’s ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ is stripped of its pomp, leaving a sparse, piano-based anthem in its place.

Minutes after the yearning lovesong ‘Song For The Road’ ends the set, Ford is on the merch stand, selling his wares and chatting to fans.

This might not have been the lifestyle he dreamed of a decade ago, but if you gave him the choice of once again subjecting himself to the machinations of the mainstream music industry, or continuing to have the freedom to do what he wants from the sidelines, he’d definitely choose this.

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