David Ford “The One Man Full Band Show” 7th/May/2015 at The Caves, Edinburgh. Brought by Fake Frown Acoustic Sessions.
Performing as a solo artist for around ten years, Eastbourne’s multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter David Ford returned to one of my favourite Edinburgh venues for one night only, I didn’t make it last year when he and Jarrod Dickenson were in town, smugly I have now corrected both wrongs. We arrived to neat rows of occupied golden seats, positioned centre stage between two pretty elaborate gothic candelabras and surrounded by a feast of instruments stood proudly the man himself David Ford.
Like ourselves many of the audience had probably cast their votes for the general election on the way, naturally this fearless and pretty funny Englishman charmed his mostly Scottish audience from the get-go, unusually I wasn’t the oldest person in the room nor was Stephen the youngest either, attracting such a diverse crowd is a testament to his appeal, some had travelled across from Glasgow for this show. With banter established quickly, David interacted and worked his way through the first half, occasionally swigging his beer telling us little stories some relevant and supported swiftly by song and others purely just for a chat and carry-on.
From the simple, raw and emotional “I Don’t Care What You Call Me”, I was pulled right in. I now had fallen under the spell of this ridiculously talented musician. Remembering the riots and singing of austerity, gradually this musical illusionist introduced the pedal allowing more instruments into his songs. Building and layering as he went along, creating a full band sound seamlessly and never appearing to feel the pressure of so much going on at once. Mind-blowingly starting with acoustic guitar and using his pedal, introducing piano and now with 3 guitars on the go. Even from the back of the room I saw the veins in his neck bulge, his voice had a strong gravel like quality and a vocal velocity like that of Bruce Springsteen at times. “Don’t Tell Me” erupted with electric guitar and these caves were completely on fire. Another favourite “One Of These Days”, “Let It Burn” and “O’Sullivans Bar” wrapped up the first half perfectly.
“Panic” performed live is going to be a tricky one to attempt to even describe, its my favourite of all David’s songs and has featured on many of my playlists. Although a seated event(we were standing) Stephen, Andy and I were spoilt with a perfectly uninterupted view of the stage. Winding his wooden ‘music box’ and creating a playful if not perhaps a tad sinister melody, the pedal gets to work as the piano is included, another beat added by tapping, guitar and lyrically stacked vocal. Slapping out flat chimes, David Ford incredibly continued to find more levels to raise this epic track, again with 3 guitars on the go, drums, tambourine. At times managing lengthy monologues this outrageous vocal seemed possible without ever breathing, this I wouldn’t believe possible had I not witnessed firsthand, every hair on my body was standing on end and I was experiencing nothing short of a rush(what ever that is), resulting in me needing peeled off the wall.
Other instruments featured include a harmonica and maraccias or a shaker of some description. The crowd were proper going for it throughout the second half, he seemed to sing everyones personal favourites, covering topics including matters of the heart, the music industry and the general condition of the world. In various styles and via songs such as “Throwaway”, “Medicine Show”, “Waiting For The Storm”, “State Of The Union”, “To Hell With The World” and “Every Time” finishing with “Cheer Up, Ya Miserable Fuck” where somehow the instruments all seemed to say goodnight one by one, I know that sounds odd but you kinda had to be there. Seeing talent of this caliber perform doesn’t happen often, a man so humble yet confident in his own genius he isn’t even intimidating, he doesn’t need to be. Remaining undiluted, protecting and staying true to what he believes David Ford is a respected artist whose success isn’t measured from a ‘Smash Hits Poll’ or whatever the current equivalent may be, for him its doing exactly what he’s doing and nailing it nightly.
Get information on Tour Dates and tickets, the latest news, music, videos, social media and store, visit the Davis Ford website.