Rhodes at The Waiting Room
Like Plato or Moses, Rhodes comes with only a forename and, to start with, a few followers. Hailing from Hitchin (just north of Knebworth, home of occasional, enormous outdoor gigs), the singer-songwriter has come to a corner of North Hackney to launch his forthcoming EP Raise Your Love, due out on 28th October 2013.
Tonight’s venue, The Waiting Room, sits below the Three Crowns, a pub located on Stoke Newington high street. This evening’s support comes in the pixie-sized shape of Abbey Bowden who exhibits enough vocal prowess and natural charm to suggest that you’ll be hearing from her again one day. Her gentle cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game is the highlight of her brief acoustic set.
Rhodes takes the stage and is greeted by the sold-out crowd with fervent cheers and applause. The lushly plucked, reverb-drenched, arpeggios that open Run are enchanting and recall Kings of Convenience. However, whereas the Norwegian folk duo can share vocal responsibilities, Rhodes has only his own to carry the songs – and he’s more than capable of doing so.
What impresses most is the breadth of his raw vocal talent, notably evident in Worry: he’s capable of being tender and heartfelt one moment, wild and husky the next. Now, of course, whenever a male solo artist displays any talent for lingering vocals and melancholic guitar work, it can be all-too easy to hastily throw in a Jeff Buckley comparison. But, there is definitely something in the way Rhodes holds his notes that warrants an association with the late, soulful Californian genius.
The most affecting number in the set is Always, and the concert’s remaining half dozen tracks resonate so strongly that the inchoate Rhodes has no option but to oblige the forceful request for an encore. While the singer may only be 12 months into his musical career, the quality of his upcoming EP (showcased live tonight) suggests the following 12 will be greatly anticipated by many.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information and future events visit Rhodes’s website here.
Watch the video for Run here: