As The lights dim and the black backdrop is lifted to reveal “EZRA” up in lights a sense of anticipation ripples around Colston Hall. The band walks on, followed by the man himself – looking as calm as ever as he strolls up to the mic. He puts his mug of tea down and casually introduces himself, “Hello… so my name is George Ezra and this is my lovely band… the first song we’re going to play for you is Cassy O’”. It’s this relaxed approach that Ezra takes that allows everyone in the crowd, of all ages, to feel personally welcomed. In a matter of seconds Ezra has managed to turn a show that’s sold 2,000 tickets into a very intimate affair.
Halfway through, the band leaves the stage as Ezra plays 3 acoustic songs including Bob Dylan’s Girl From The Northern Country, after which he cheekily quips: “I didn’t write that just in case you thought I was that good”. Throughout the acoustic stint, twinkling star-shaped lights behind Ezra mesmerise the crowd, as his unmistakable voice fills the auditorium with ease, sending the gig into a dreamlike state. The return of the band quickly brings the room back to reality as the tempo is picked up with Stand By Your Gun – much to the delight of one lone, middle-aged fist pumper in the crowd.
Whenever there is a pause in the music, the silence is quickly filled with a chorus of wolf whistles which Ezra shyly ignores as if he is embarrassed by the attention – something you would think he would have gotten used to in the whirlwind two years he’s been on the scene; yet despite all the blatant female adoration, Ezra remains modest throughout the evening, politely thanking the crowd after every applause.
The show ends with chart-topper Budapest, to which the crowd all join in with the infamous “oohs” before returning to play 3 final songs for his encore. George then proceeds telling the humbling story of how he saw the hall for the first time 4 years ago in a lecture and thought: “wow, who gets to play there” – it would seem, George, that you do. And very deservingly so.
By Stephenie Broadbent