An Audience With Tomás Ford
Tomás Ford @ The Tuxedo Cat – Red Room
9:45pm, Sat 16 Mar 2013
As I wait downstairs from the Red Room, I can’t help but chuckle to myself when looking at the other punters turning up: bizarrely, my head pigeonholes them all as conservatives, covering all ends of the spectrum: late teens with button-down shirts. Greyed parents with their adult children. Bald musclemen. Greasy clubbers.
But all of them were there to see Tomás Ford… and, having seen him twice before (in 2006 and 2011) with a total crowd of four (that includes me, twice), I was absolutely thrilled to have a crowd there with me.
Ford’s gear seems to have expanded – it looks like he’s creating his tunes with a raft (or at least multiple screens) of computers now – but his act is pretty much the same: raucous electronic cabaret. Correction: glorious raucous electronic cabaret. He manically roams the crowd, straddling seats to serenade and rest his sweaty form upon giggling members of his audience, encouraging them to move and groove with him… but it’s not until he decides to start crowdsurfing that they really get involved. And whilst some of them tried to dodge the implicit commitment to keep Ford aloft, he managed to corral us all into a single, sweaty mess, with everyone dancing (such as we could) and grinning like idiots… musclemen and silvertops alike.
And this was a completely new experience for me… I mean, I’ve always loved Ford’s musical creations – their harmonies and catchy pop sensibilities buried underneath a wall of dirty electronica – and his singing and sashaying presentation is exactly what I want from modern cabaret. But this is the first time I’ve experienced Ford with a crowd… and his management of us was sublime.
All told, Tomás Ford cemented his place in my list of must-see artists… the artists with whom I feel a genuine rapport. Because, quirky aesthetics aside, his work is Stuff I Want To Experience. That he shows so much commitment to the bit makes me feel confident that I’ll get to see it many, many more times in the future… and that makes me super-happy.
(153) An Audience With Tomás Ford: manic electronic schizophrenic cabaret genius. Love the man's work. #ff2013 #ADLfringe
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 16, 2013