‘It makes a nice change to be playing to people who aren’t just paid to work at the venue…’
Well, we don’t think that George Ezra is going to have that problem again. The twenty-year-old Bristol singer-songwriter has built up a dedicated following through the release of his Cassy O’ and Did You Hear The Rain? EPs, and he was even selected as one of the five finalists in the BBC’s Sound of 2014 competition. His unique voice complements his bluesy guitar and soulful songwriting perfectly, and he’s one of the best new live acts around today. George’s sold-out show at Exeter’s Cavern showed us exactly why he’s one of the most talked-about talents in the country right now, as he rattled through an impressive set of strong singles and fan favourites from his two EPs.
Ezra strides onto the stage with the confidence of a man twice his age, before launching into set opener (name). Playing solo with only an electric guitar for accompaniment, the newly stripped-back arrangements suit his tracks perfectly and allow him to showcase his impressive vocal range. It’s his first-ever headline tour, but he’s already the consummate professional – when a young fan makes her way onto the stage mid-song to, urm, ‘smell him’, Ezra carries on until the end of the song before brushing off the invasion with a smirk and a shrug of the shoulders.
Set highlights include the stunning Budapest and the radio-friendly Cassy ‘O, but it was show closer Did You Hear The Rain that truly stood out on the night. Ezra’s soulful voice sailed across the cramped Cavern, and it genuinely stunned the crowd into silence – the sight and sound of such a seemingly timid young man belting out his words with such ferocity is something that settles in the mind, and we don’t think we’ll be forgetting it for a while.
His between-song chatter is endearingly sweet. Taking time to thank support act Fred Page (a clever little singer-songwriter with a whole bunch of great songs) and to introduce the stories behind the songs, Ezra’s awkward charm only serves to endear him to the capacity crowd and proves to all in attendance that (despite his talent) he remains a genuinely modest guy.
He’s about to head out on a massive European tour, before returning to the UK for his first-ever run of full-band dates and a summer of festivals. We can’t recommend his live shows highly enough – he’s a genuinely talented guy with a cracking voice, and his songs are radio-friendly melting pots of lyrical wisdom and clever instrumentation. We think he’s going to be huge.