What's the deal with… George Ezra?
Get the lowdown on this young singer-songwriter, tipped for success in 2014
Mon Jan 20 2014
Photo: Danny North
What are you listening to?
Did you hear the rain?
Yes mate, it’s been pissing it down.
Sorry, I meant, ‘Did You Hear the Rain?’, the recent EP by rising (though not damp) singer-songwriter George Ezra.
Oh, I’ve heard about him. He’s the ‘new Bob Dylan’, right?
Er… try the ‘new Jake Bugg’ for starters. Bristol boy Ezra has some of Dylan’s feel for breezy guitar and impressionist lyrics, but he’s a decidedly new-school talent – mixing up rock ’n’ roll fuzz with old-time stomp.
What’s the best song he’s written that’s inspired by an eastern European capital city?
That would be ‘Budapest’ – a catchy little ditty about leaving everything behind in the name of love.
Well, quite. Ezra has a touch of the Tom Odell about him, which bodes well for future record sales. Plus, he’s been tipped by the BBC as part of their Sound of 2014 poll. Catch him live if you want to see for yourself.
Only if it’s dry out…
Pack a brolly. This one’s worth braving the elements for.
The Bottom Line: Your new favourite singer-songwriter.
With a catchy hit called ‘Budapest’ and a further clutch of breezy, plaintive songs, the Bristolian singer-songwriter has made the most of a raw voice that belies how very young he still is. Cradling his acoustic guitar like a lifeline while he sings his heartfelt laments, Ezra is also blessed with top cheekbones and great taste in chunky knitwear and sensible shirts. He could become even bigger still.
- Critics choice
The gorgeous eighteenth-century courtyard of Somerset House hosts another of its annual summer gig series. With neoclassical beauty on all four sides it takes a special music line-up to live up to the setting, but luckily the Summer Series has got just that. Here’s the Somerset House Summer Series 2015 line-up: July 9: ChromeoJuly 10: Gary Clark JrJuly 11: PassengerJuly 12: ChronixxJuly 13: George EzraJuly 14: Nick MulveyJuly 15: Angus And Julia StoneJuly 16: James BayJuly 17: KwabsJuly 18: Belle And SebastianJuly 19: Jessie J Read more about this year’s Somerset House Summer Series line-up
- Critics choice
Disclosure, Rudimental, Sam Smith, George Ezra, Seth Troxler, Wu-Tang Clan, Annie Mac, Jamie xx, David Rodigan, Maya Jane Coles, Heidi + more.This new festival is an extension of Disclosure's Wild Life party series which toured the globe in 2014. It's now landed, as it were, in the glamorous setting of Brighton City Airport, where you can catch a superb selection of DJs and bands, all chosen by Disclosure themselves and Hackney crew Rudimental (both of whom will also perform live). There are plenty of top house and techno DJs – Seth Troxler, Maya Jane Coles, Jamie XX – poppier sounds from Sam Smith and George Ezra, plus the mighty Wu-Tang repping hip hop, with more acts to be announced. A very inviting new addition to the UK's festival calendar.
Kasabian, David Guetta, Sam Smith, Avicii, The Libertines, The Script, Noel Gallagher, The Prodigy, Stereophonics, Rudimental, Fatboy Slim, Hot Chip, Gorgon City, Jessie Ware, Alt-J, George Ezra, Jamie T, Paloma Faith, Idlewild, St Vincent, Labrinth + more. Scotland's biggest outdoor festival returns, marking 22 years of great live music (and just as many years of red-skinned Brits lying half-naked and drunk in a park). As ever, they're laying on a great mix of big name rock, pop and dance acts, with Leicester lad-rockers Kasabian, reformed indie shamblers The Libertines and former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher standing shoulder to shoulder with EDM head honcho David Guetta, punk-ravers The Prodigy and chart-botherers Sam Smith and Paloma Faith.
Disclosure, Rudimental, Caribou, Ben Howard, George Ezra, Wu Tang Clan, Nas, Mark Ronson, Grace Jones, FKA Twigs, Jungle, Hercules & Love Affair, Metronomy, Jessie Ware, Mark Ronson, Fatboy Slim, Everything Everything, Action Bronson, Madlib, Richie Hawtin, Annie Mac + more. No, not a Blur tribute festival but a huge two-day offering from a top notch Manchester production team offering a sterling mix of DJs and bands that leans more towards dancier endeavours – as shown by the presence of beat bigwigs like Disclosure, Rudimental and Fatboy Slim, plus electronica auteurs Caribou and James Blake. There's also majestic hip hop from two of the ’90s big hitters, Nas and Wu Tang Clan, and a smattering of electronic indie-pop from the likes of Metronomy and Everything Everything. It's located at the mammoth Heaton Park, several miles north of Manchester city centre.
Rudimental, George Ezra, Clean Bandit, Years And Years, Cast, Slaves, Circa Waves, The Bohicas + more TBA. Bands who've played Jersey Live in the past say they've received few better festival receptions. That endorsement, coupled with the lovely beaches and laidback vibe, should provide more than enough reasons to jet over the water for the festival's twelfth edition, and join what will no doubt be another year of raacous fun and an up-for-it crowd that could teach many moodly London audiences a thing or two about letting go. Soulful Hackney drum 'n' bass outfit Rudimental are one of the big-draws, as are dance-pop/classical crossover crew Clean Bandit.
Watch 'Did You Hear the Rain?' video
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