DAVID FORD’S CHARGE (RELEASED 2013) WAS A COLLECTION OF RAKISH UPBEAT TALES AND HEARTFELT BALLADRY.
The Kent-born songwriter’s fourth album confirmed that a succession of hard graft and occasional tough luck so exceptionally documented in 2011 memoir I CHOOSE THIS: HOW TO NEARLY MAKE IT IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY (“There was a time when people swore I’d be the next big thing… It took ten years of hard work and dedication but I finally proved them wrong”) had done little to diminish his appetite for his calling, nor his exceptional gift for writing emotionally resonant broad-appeal material.
‘Troubador’. A concept tiresomely shed of meaning in an age when the word is thrown at a couple of 20-year olds with big bucks record company PR campaigns and hermetically sealed high-life tour-buses parked at the back. Thankfully, it’s sometimes also reclaimed by those to whom it authentically belongs. Both Ford and Andy White have chiselled out earthy tomes from lower down the sheer cliff face, both of which lay bare the open mind and long fuse required for extended time travelling rocky industry B-roads.
Ford – as grittily detailed across the pages of I CHOOSE THIS – has staked his claim to the word, the life, the right way. That’s to say, what has sometimes been the toughest way… A series of pride-swallowing sieges and hard won low-key epiphanies since his time as frontman of Easyworld (a handful of years across the turn of the century) means that truth and look-yourself-in-the-eye dignity have remained within easy reach for his songwriting. Never more so than on CHARGE.
Mournful and resigned ISN’T IT STRANGE? could well be one of the finest songs Dartford’s prodigal son has written. It’s certainly one of the most affecting, with its run-its-course relationship pathos: “…it creeps up upon you / like the lines on your face”. Ford has exactly the right voice for this kind of hollowed-out heartache: a dented bell of an instrument, ringing off like a rusted Southern Springsteen.
In our new and exclusive live video session (playlist, right) Ford plays ISN’T IT STRANGE? and, during The Mouthcast, reveals that it actually reflects on his relationship with the music industry. He also performs the as-yet-unreleased ballad ONE OF THESE DAYS and a cover version of Al Wilson’s Northern Soul classic THE SNAKE…
Ford plays Songwriter Splash 2014 at Holmfirth Picturedrome – with I Am Kloot’s John Bramwell and Kathryn Williams – on Saturday 2nd August (tickets here). Buy Ford’s latest EP FOURTRACKS here and album CHARGE here. Memoir I CHOOSE THIS: HOW TO NEARLY MAKE IT IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY is available for Kindle here.