David Ford is perhaps best understood in context of his mid set banter. ‘Some people believe in God’ he says ‘but he doesn’t return my calls, so I stopped calling him’. It’s this outspoken wit, mixed with cynicism that marks David apart from his contemporaries. Ex-Easyworld front man is not afraid to speak his mind, nor mix it up with some unabashed humour, which allows him to create lyrics riddled with darkness, without tipping the balance too far towards the realm of depressing.
Tonight, opening up his Koko set with Panic, it’s clear to see gusto and conviction are also retained. He sings with such force and passion his face literally contorts on stage, as if singing though his life depends upon it. Within the first 15 minutes of his set, David and his band (who he jokes ‘can’t play for shit but they’re my best friends’) morph from punchy folk, to mellow acoustic and then anthem style rock. Whilst recorded, there’s a requirement to pay careful attention to hear the variation in tracks, live there is no choice but to sit up and take note. On no song is this more apparent than Requiem, which is fuelled by what can only be described as full belly burning guitar riffs. Whilst St Peter, marked apart by its trombone accompaniment, carries a similar weight.
David takes nothing for granted though, ensuring his loop pedal is put to good use in State Of The Union, building up the sound throughout the song, culminating it in a wall of sound. Suffice to say, whilst David might have only played three dates, which he has aptly termed a ‘tourette’ (for a variety of obvious reasons), he has not compromised quality for quantity. With spine chilling renditions of Stephen during which he cradles his trademark hat to his chest and Song For The Road, which sees him duet the vocals with Hannah Peel, he transfixes the audience into quiet awe. Meanwhile the multi dimensional Surfin’ Guantanamo Bay, see him jump around the stage, whilst his band run amok with instruments.
Whilst he delights the audience with the closing Cheer Up (You Miserable Fuck) his pinnacle comes in the short yet satisfying predecessor Nothing At All, taken from his recent release Let The Hard Times Roll. It’s fair to say David packs his set with variety and vitality, both musically and lyrically. Shuffling up tempo rock filled numbers between low key acoustic ballads and sandwiching heartfelt words amidst expletives.