June 3rd 2017
Today I have time to properly review the George Ezra gig that I went to last night. I explained briefly yesterday, but I surprised Alice with two tickets to his secret gig in Cardiff. She’d suggested that we get tickets when we heard about them two months ago, but I played it cool and pretended that I’d completely forgotten that they’d gone on sale.
When she checked at midday on day of release, they’d already sold out – but I’d already been in and bought us tickets. I managed to keep it secret until yesterday.
I’d made up a cover story to get her home early from work. I wanted to keep the surprise going for as long as possible, I’d planned to tell her only when we crossed the bridge into Cardiff and she realised we probably weren’t going to the IKEA in Bristol anymore (as was my cover story). Although, I figured if I waited until then to tell her then she’d be completely unprepared – she’d be in the wrong clothes, the wrong shoes, and she’d probably cry and ruin her makeup. So, I told her before she set off to Wales.
It was probably for the best, because she was wearing the wrong clothes, the wrong shoes, and she cried so it ruined her makeup.
The gig was great. It was in the Student Union – which isn’t huge – so it felt really intimate. I went to Cardiff University so the venue was very nostalgic for me. I felt old and envious when I saw all of the students, walking around Cathays (the student area where I used to live). It’s difficult to accept that that’s not our lives any more.
George was supported by a guy called Dan Caplen, who I’d never heard before, but get the impression that I will hear a lot more from in the future. He came out on stage in an Adidas tracksuit, sat down and played the cello and sang his set completely acoustically, with no backing band. It was beautiful.
George came out with a full band (including a brass section). He sang a mixture of songs off his first (and so far only released) album Wanted On Voyage, and songs off his as-yet-untitled upcoming album. I think he perfectly rotated the balance between old and new.
He started with two old songs, then one new song, then one old song, then two new songs, two old songs, one new song, and finished with one old song. There was enough of his well-known, sing-a-long songs to keep the crowd energised, but he also played a lot of previously unheard music that the crowd seemed to enjoy, even if they didn’t know the words. There was one song, a love song called ‘Hold On To Your Girl’, that made Alice cry. She also cried after the first song, a rousing rendition of Cassy O’. Alice cries a lot.
His live version of Barcelona was slower than the studio version, and his voice somehow got deeper during Listen to the Man. This video should work:
I think Alice cried again when the show ended. She really likes George Ezra, so of course I’m happy that I could take her to see him.