Review: George Ezra – Art Bar, Oxford

George Ezra. Photo by India Whiley-Morton

Following his chinwag with Thank Folk For That, the excitement surrounding George Ezra’s tour definitely trickled down into the live show later that evening, as he played to a delighted sold-out crowd at Oxford’s Art Bar.

The simplicity of George’s set could seem daunting when playing in a non-acoustic setting and often makes it tricky for artists to engage with an audience without a band to add to an extra sense of excitement to the show. However, this did not seem to be a problem for Ezra, as over the course of the night he managed to keep a diverse room full of people locked into the music. Within his hour long set he managed to get people singing along to the upbeat chorus of Budapest, whilst still provoking pin drop moments that showcased delicate fragments of his voice.

Having seen Ezra play at Bushstock last summer, the chance to hear Stand By Your Gun again was definitely a highlight of the evening – it’s one of those songs that captures the versatility in his writing and performance. This versatility is what makes him an admirable artist and shows that it is indeed possible to appreciate and be inspired by the blues, yet not hold on too tightly to its melancholy. There were distinct ‘moments’ where you couldn’t help but be taken aback by the intensity of his voice live – closing with a slightly different version of Did You Hear The Rain was a stunning moment in which Ezra blew away any previous underestimations of the power of his voice.

Goerge Ezra definitely puts on a very impressive show and it is set to be a very exciting year for him.We’d strongly encourage anyone to see him live at some point; you’d be in for a very superb and ‘petan’ evening.

Simi Abidakun