George Ezra at Bodega
The up-and-coming singer-songwriter stopped off at Nottingham’s Bodega during his 2014 European Tour.
Although George Ezra succeeds in writing captivating acoustic ballads complete with classic bluesy undertones, his live show failed to deliver due to some disappointing on-stage blunders.
The night began with an acoustic set from Sam Fender, who was quick to point out the irony behind his own name (Fender guitars, get it?). Jokes aside, his throaty and soulful voice matched with some powerful songs made a compelling support act.
As Ezra took the stage, you could sense an atmosphere of anticipation in the room. After being nominated for the BBC Sound of 2014 title, it’s fair to say a great deal of hype has been surrounding this young artist recently.
Ezra seemed surprised by his sudden boom in popularity too, commenting to the Bodega crowd that it was nice they weren’t all being paid to be there, as he was generally used to playing to bar staff in empty venues.
Though tipped for great things, Ezra’s performance style was at times lacking in flair.
His set was punctuated with moments of witty banter with the crowd, but when singing he seemed unaware there even was an audience; his gaze was mostly fixed to the floor and he rarely moved from one spot throughout.
Ezra attempted to finish his set with an intense A cappella version of ‘Did You Hear the Rain?’, but all drama he had attempted to build was quickly ruined by stopping suddenly in the middle of the song after realising how out of tune his guitar was.
A bit flustered, he tried to pick up where he had left off, but Ezra’s live set was ultimately dissatisfying.
The amateur gaffes may have made this gig a let down, but the quality of Ezra’s vocals is undeniable: husky, gravelly and mature – completely contradicting his youthful Peter Pan-esque looks.
Although he may have the catchy songs and unusual voice, more striking dynamics are missing from George Ezra’s live show.