Live Review: George Ezra, Clwb Ifor Bach, 16.02.14

20131127-181956-376597Armed with the modest means of just two guitars and a collection of skillfully crafted songs, George Ezra embarks on his first headline UK tour. Ezra satirically humoured Clwb Ifor Bach’s crowd by suggesting that his two guitars granted him ‘professional’ status, yet it is clear that Ezra can captivate an audience despite such an economical production. Support came from Geordie powerhouse Eva Stone, whose impressive vocal acrobatics and honest tales of love and heartache immediately commanded attention. The purity of Stone’s tone exudes confidence, and her blues injected acoustic tracks proved to be a complementary prelude to Ezra’s set.

The raspy bellow of George Ezra’s voice was astounding from the audience’s perspective, as the rich sonority and maturity of his tone is remarkably delivered from a twenty year old’s body. Nevertheless, Ezra’s tracks are not lacking in youthful exuberance, which was clear from the offset through the dynamism of opening number ‘Blame It on Me’. Ezra fully exploits his vocal power by indulging in the flowing melodies of ‘Benjamin Twine’, accompanied by intricate guitar picking. Ezra juxtaposes the strength of his voice with glimpses of fragility, evident in his crowd-pleasing single ‘Budapest’ which showcases moments of delicate falsetto.

‘Did You Hear the Rain?’, the lead track from Ezra’s debut EP, brought his set to a climactic end with a haunting acappella opening verse.  The song conjured a dark intensity, driven by the dynamic bass line and Ezra’s gritty vocals, roaring the final refrain ‘Oh Lucifer’s inside!’. There is an organic authenticity to Ezra’s work which sets him apart from the rest, as his understated production in fact heightens the intensity and honesty of his performance. The simplistic delivery of Ezra’s refined songwriting flourished in the intimate setting of Clwb Ifor Bach, and his voice alone can leave a lasting impression on the audience. Ezra has been hailed as one to watch for 2014, and his live performance undoubtedly justifies his growing popularity.


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