“Sweet dreams all met with derision this train, it was armed for collision, It’s a shame, it’s a shame, it’s a shame”
I’ve got a lot of these sorts of posts now. Ones where I write about a song I have played the arse out of over the years but know nothing about the artist who recorded it or where the song came from. This one has a recent ‘happy ending’. I know where I first heard State Of The Union and it’s really uninspiring and corporate. State Of The Union was an Apple iTunes free track of the week some time in the early 20th century. I heard it. I liked it. I really liked it. Especially the lyrics. So I kept it. And I made a mental note to check out more of his work. Well. To say I have had a backlog of stuff to listen to might be an understatement. State Of The Union is 14 years old at this time of writing and I finally got around to listening to more of David Ford’s work. And. He. Can. Be. Brilliant.
“Foot down for the alienation, look on as your love, its gets lost in translation to a language that nobody understands”
It turns out David has been strumming and singing and leading a band of minstrels around my part of England for 15 years. He’s won awards, been nominated for best record of the year more than once by more than one national publication and he’s considered by many to be a genius, innovator and supermensch. I’ve just missed it.
I’m on board now. He’s got a directness. A perfect hybrid of Frank Turner and Brian Fallon while being a contemporary and possibly influence for both. The furious muso you could take home to your Auntie Beeb. He knows how to place a swear word for maximum effect in a wordy polemic played on an acoustic guitar. He’s got a nice line in hats and checked shirts and while everyone’s been locked down and doin’ nowt he has flooded his YouTube Channel with sessions, podcasts, new songs, do overs, jams all sorts of stuff that just swallowed me up in one of the deepest rabbit hole dives.
There’s two versions of the song I have know for years linked below. Firstly the studio album version as given away to download. It’s a great track. Joe Pug, Miles Hunt, Billy Bragg. They’d all approve of the version of State Of The Union from the brilliantly titled I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I Caused.
A furious raging at the tainting of the light. The song point fingers, flecks spittle at the fuckers responsible for it all going to hell and licks its wounds while pouring itself and the listener another stiff drink. If that doesn’t sound like the sort of company you want to be keeping at this moment in time, I assure you there’s bucket loads of bonhomie and catharsis in there too. This song may be a teenager by now but it could have been written some time between Nov 20th and January 6th.
Secondly, there’s a live from his man cave video just below that. David appears to be doing Ed Sheeran’s Glastonbury headline set a decade before it happened in a shed in Kent in black and white. Only with a better song and cleverer looping tricks. Watch the way he goes from one instrument to another building the cacophony of righteous ire and clanging fuzz. I should have been all over this.
“How they love you so cold and so vicious with friends like these, well who needs politicians, the first one, its always comes free they tell you heroin takes like ice cream”
I’m on it now though. I’m burning through the videos of his live show at The Convent. I’m listening to the series of duets with the beautiful voice of Kathryn Williams. I’m listening to Milk and Cookies and What’re You Drinking and The Lockdown Sessions, the Springsteen covers and I’m hungry to see this motherfucker live. He is the real deal. I guess I’ll just have to settle for buying a bunch of his record for now. He hasn’t put anything out you can buy since 2018. I really hope I’m not too late on catching up on my homework. Stay in the game Ford. I’m positive he will, you see this guy is literally born to do it. a considerable a talent. Sitting there all this time right in front of me. Hidden behind his David Gray exterior and his Damien Rice paper thin wrapping of BBC Radio 2 approval.
“Take you seats for the final calamity, don’t you look serious, hell, what can the matter be? Another day and the rot’s getting faster and all the machines started killing the masters”
Oh and I’m including this fan filmed performance of Hotel California too so you can get the feel of the guy.