George Ezra and Soak at Dingwalls
At 8.45pm Soak comes on stage. Who is Soak? Little we know about this new musician – a couple of hints can be found on the artist’s Twitter account but the rest is left to imagination. That is until Soak arrives to perform and, in spite of the tomboy looks, reveals herself in all the delicacy of her voice.
Her appearance and attitude are those of a 17-year-old girl who acts tougher than she probably is. She tells the crowd that she titled one of her tracks Blud – spelt that way because it makes her feel like a “gangsta”, and that explains a lot. Truth is that she has ethereal vocals that remind of distant lands; as she sings she echoes as if she was in a desolate valley. It’s a pity that most of the people at Dingwalls keep chit-chatting throughout the set.
By the time the main act of the night approaches, the venue is a almost packed. Both the intense look and his verve captivate the audience immediately – George Ezra is alone with his guitar and as soon as he starts singing there’s a weird feeling that his peculiarly deep timbre does not suit him. Ezra is only surfacing in the showbiz world but he’s already quite confident, his presence and skills can already attract a good amount of people.
The young man from Bristol sings the night away, delighting everyone with his bluesy sound. Raise a hand who hasn’t taken inspiration from or who hasn’t been compared to Bob Dylan. In Ezra’s case, it seems Dylan was indeed fundamental in shaping the boy’s taste and orientation in music. Ezra does have, however, a sound of his own. Songs like Blame It on Me or Listen to the Man slide away with ease. Cassy O’ and the hit single Budapest are obvious pleasers with their faster rhythm and their crowd-friendly choruses.
The only down point of the gig, ironically, was the audience – appreciating the show but unable to enjoy it without completely stopping the idle talk or avoiding moving around the venue.
A slower version of Angry Hill is even more hypnotic and Did You Hear the Rain? from Ezra’s eponymous EP is powerful. It is Blind Man in Amsterdam, though, executed as an encore, that really shows the musician’s talent. Ezra is not only good to listen to, he is also funny and entertaining and definitely one to watch out for. Soak, who shared the stage with him, is interesting too.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina (except Soak’s by Nicole Engelmann)
For further information and future events visit George Ezra’s website here.
For further information about Soak and future events visit here.
Watch an acoustic performance of Angry Hill here: