“He is becoming unmissable,” says The Guardian. And for a growing crowd of fans – including me – David Ford gigs are becoming a downright religious experience. None are more unmissable than his charity-focused Milk and Cookies nights every year, where lucky punters get treated to 2 hours of David singing his songs, other people’s songs, songs the audience pick and any god damn song he pleases. Oh, and all the money goes to charity, which warms our charity-based cockles…
On Friday night, Michelle and I picked up Shaun and Elli and managed to rock up at Jac’s house in Putney for 7pm, despite the London traffic. From there, we braved the freezing weather to the 220 bus, boarded it and sat down, eagerly anticipating the night ahead.
Now, I’d been looking forward to this gig for a good few months, and I didn’t want to miss a moment. However, the Dalmatian of Time was drooling impatiently at our heels – it was 7.35, the performance started at 8.15 – and we still had a 15 minute bus ride and 15 minutes of walking to do. I was a little on edge, and everyone could sense it. “Oooh, must be a good twenty minutes yet,” Jac smiled as I regularly asked how long it would be to the next stop. He wasn’t helping.
However, that was nothing compared to the next few minutes. We drew up to one stop, and all of a sudden the bus driver turned off the engine. “That can’t be good,” I mentioned, perhaps a little too loudly. And indeed it wasn’t – it turned out that a woman had got on the bus through “the wrong doors”, and the bus driver – a shining example of productivity and Christmas cheer – decided to go on his own little mini-strike. Which of course, threw me into all sorts of trouble. As the woman and the driver trading verbal blows, I buried myself in the newspaper while things quietly exploded in my head. We’re bound to be late now, I said quietly to myself.
As it turned out, we weren’t, thanks to a low amount of traffic and a very fast walk to the venue. And then… and then. We were in Bush Hall, a little corner of festive cheer in amongst London’s busy rush and toil, and David Ford was going to be playing for 2 hours. What more could we want? The place was decked out in Christmas lights, and by the time we’d bought our beer and wine it was full of Ford fans. I was eager for Shaun and Elli to enjoy their first Ford experience, and as he got on the stage and started belting out the wonder song State Of The Union, I knew my mission was complete.
For the next two hours, we were treated to an incredible spectacle – David Ford’s own songs intertwined with other classics – and other *not-so-classics* like Toxic, In The Air Tonight and many others (there are loads of videos here). It was sensational, and Shaun and Elli are now firm fans.
This year’s event was a more simple affair than last years – there was just David and one other band member, and this time no celebrities turned up – but it was just as enthralling. Christmas will always have to have a little bit of David Ford attached from now on – roll on Milk and Cookies 2008!