George Ezra in Usher Hall, Edinburgh

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Photo: Christian Van Lauwe / Photo: flickr

As of late, more and more big-name artists have been making their way to Edinburgh on top of the usual Glasgow tour dates, and it’s not hard to see why. A fantastic old city with some beautiful old venues to boot truly makes for a brilliant place for live music. George Ezra is the latest in a long line of artists to play in the capital following the release of his sophomore release, Staying at Tamara’s. It was yet another fantastic experience, as a packed out Usher Hall saw the 24-year-old folk rock sensation play songs from his new album as well as the familiar classics that fans have come to love.

Opening the show for Ezra was the supremely talented Lily Moore, an artist of similar vein to her headlining counterpart, with a soothing yet powerful voice which reminded me of some of the great female artists of the late 2000s like Duffy and Amy Winehouse. Coming away from a concert, it can be incredibly easy to forget about the supporting act, but Lily Moore’s performance will certainly stick out in the memory as one of the best supporting artists I have ever had the pleasure of listening to and I’m sure, much like how George Ezra started his career supporting Sam Smith, that this artist will go on to great things.

As the venue filled up even further, excitement for the main act began to build. With not a seat to be seen in the grand or upper circles and barely enough space to stand on the floor. George Ezra emerged and started off with the song that really kicked off his music career, “Cassy O”. From the off it was plain to see that the crowd was just as up for it as the animated Ezra, whose enthusiasm for performing was plain for all in the audience to see.

To add to his fantastic vocals and a stunning backing band, Ezra was very talkative, endearingly telling the story behind each and every song. As he kicked off with the first of his new songs, “Get Away”, he described how he travelled to Barcelona and stayed with a complete stranger and, over the course of his time in the city, wrote this new album, one which he describes as “really for forgetting about all the things going on in the world.” A sentiment that resonated with the crowd as he then moved on to one of his classics, “Barcelona”.

Cycling through songs, Ezra went back and forth between old and new with every song from his debut album followed by a song from his most recent. Never neglecting to share a little story or joke with the adoring crowd who, by the way, sung every lyric without fault and weren’t glued to their phones. In fact, everybody in the auditorium appeared to be having as good a time as the artist himself, with people dancing to the more cheerful songs and embracing their friends for the more downbeat.

The concert finally drew to a close following a raucously-received encore which included Ezra’s most popular song, “Budapest”, after which I slowly filtered out of the concert hall and onto a bus back to the bubble, immediately listening back to the album which has won such deserved critical acclaim in recent weeks and reminiscing about a wonderful concert experience which will without doubt remain firmly in the memories of all of those in attendance.

 

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