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David Ford, or Newton Faulkner?

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As I sit here listening to Spotify in front of a pile of CD albums, I’m trying to write convincingly that music isn’t a big part of my life. Contrary to a lot of people – Michelle listens to music whenever she can, and my Sony-employed recent best man Jac has a musical knowledge that would give Jools Holland a run for his money – I can go for days without hearing any music at all. I can drive for an hour or two without the radio on, just taking in the surroundings. I think it’s something to do with my obsession for the future – recorded music sometimes just reminds me of all the exciting stuff that must have happened since the song was made.
Live music, however, grabs my attention. Friends and family will know I go to see David Ford whenever I get the opportunity (I even run his fan site…), and I’m a little worried that I’ve been spoiled by him – nothing can really get better than his raw and powerful talent and stage presence. Newton Faulkner‘s like that too – a talent that doesn’t totally come across on the screen or on the radio. He’s funny, engaging – and an incredibly skillful, little tyke with a guitar.
So, my dilemma is this – for my birthday, should I go and see David Ford or Newton Faulkner? Handy live videos below for the undecided…

Newton Faulkner (better version here on the BBC site):
(click here to scoot down to David Ford)

David Ford:

Which one?!

Linkblog – April 18th to June 9th

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Linkblog between April 18th and June 9th:

Just so you know, this is an automated recent overview of the Linkblog, a collection of interesting links I find on my travels. The archives are here: http://www.wibbler.com/category/linkblog/

Milk and Cookies 7 – Bush Hall

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David Ford - Milk and Cookie, Bush Hall, 2007“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!

“Let’s keep it melancholy.”

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Jac and I have been following the band Easyworld since we were young. Well, younger. When they split, we mourned a little. then David Ford, the lead singer, went solo, and we cheered up a little bit. He is a musical genius, able to play almost any instrument you can think of, and write lyrics that are painfully incisive. Here are some of Easyworld’s videos, and some of David’s own stuff (his own site is davidford.mu.
Anyway, that’s enough of the promotion, I want to boast. David’s been touring Australia and America, and was offering a one-night-only show in London. Tickets sold out before I’d even had the chance to log on and find them. Then he moved to a larger venue – again they were sold out before I got back from work that day. So, clutching at straws, I emailed Jac, who has made some usual friends while trying to get into the music industry. “Can you get some tickets?” I asked him, resigned to the fact there was almost certainly no chance.
And then, an email from Jac. “I am amazing,”, it started, which was no surprise – he’s become a One Man Publicity Machine of late. Yes, yes, I muttered, why this time? “I have got tickets for David Ford tonight.”
As I entered The Borderline venue that night, I had to admit that for once Jac was amazing. Here we were at a sold out gig, with two free guest tickets. Ford’s supporting act were the surprisingly good Angus and Julia Stone, a brother and sister who had travelled from Australia to break themselves in over here. And then, sweet lord, it was David Ford, telling everyone who cheered to “keep it melancholy, alright?” It was the first time I’d seen him live, and he was better than I’d even imagined. Using everything he could lay his hands on to make musical sounds, he was a one man band with a difference, proving that music can be everywhere and that he actually didn’t need any other band members at all. Jac’s musical review is here. Word has it he’s doing well in America at the moment – let’s hope he doesn’t stay over there. He’s a bit of a secret on the music scene at the moment, and perversly I’d quite like him to stay that way…
And then the train drivers went on strike, meaning that I spent an uncomfortable 90 minutes in the back of a taxi with two Guildford-based indians who could barely speak English. It was worth it, though…