Tuesday, 8 July 2014

On a Voyage to See George Ezra Live


So I'm not going to pretend I'm achingly hip and knew who +George Ezra  was a year ago when no one else did. I heard Budapest on the radio with everyone else. I bought it, then I bought the album, Wanted on Voyage, then I watched him on the TV at Glasto and knew I needed to see him live. 

I googled tickets and lo and behold...

Last Thursday, I got on the train to Kingston (WTF  haven't been there at night since I frequented Oceania) with my younger, musically more forward friend RB having purchased tickets to see George-ous at a student, live music nightclub called McClusky's. 

We obviously drunk too much rose before, slightly intimidated by the brash sun-worshipping, cider-swilling students that sat around us - not a care in the world - on the Kingston riverbank. 

The gig started at what time, 1040! That's late for a school night and how would we get home to SW11 when the trains stopped running at half-eleven... Night bus it seemed. 

Once George came on stage though, everything stopped. I had known that the album was great... song after song after song that had an addictive riff, a poetic lyric and Mr Ezra's deep, haunting yet joyful vocals powering throughout. But live was a different story... 

The room shivered as he played through his set, with just enough wry, mischievous chatter between. And what a treat to be so close, a mere four people back, we saw him in all his pretty, blonde, cheekboney glory adjusting his guitar strings, his voice enfolding us. 

Favourite songs of mine including, Blame It On Me, Leaving It Up To You and Cassy'O - about a watch by the way - were all played as well as obviously Budapest. The one everyone knew. 

It wasn't a long set, but it was perfectly executed. Consummate professional he is. "I'm leaving straight after this," he said, "straight on the road". Touring the UK, Festivals and then continental Europe towards the end of 2014. I did get the sense he was a little weary...not of the playing but the travel. 

Ne'er mind because the music makes up for it. Ezra reminds us of Dylan crossed with a 60s soul singer. He's folk with a dirty, dark edge in the lyrics. I fucking love him.

Buy the album (or stream it) and see him before he books the big venues. This boy needs a field or a small gropey club with a sticky bar.

We loved it all and happily got the night bus home when he finished, leaving the students to their shots and sex-searching... 

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