By Poppy Tohill
Artist: George Ezra
Date / Venue: Monday August 4th, Huffer Basement, Auckland
As I arrived at the Huffer basement on a sunny Monday afternoon, the room was already overflow-ing with happy industry folk and competition winners, enjoying and making the most of the free doughnuts and coffee provided whilst awaiting the arrival of UK's newest and hottest singer-songwriter, George Ezra, the man behind the popular hit ‘Budapest' you're more than likely currently hearing all over the radio at the moment.
Without further a do, following a great introduction, the man himself walked out from (funnily enough) right behind me, and took to the stage, to an appreciative and welcoming audience of all ages, who showered him with the applause and cheers he deserved.
Beginning by thanking everyone for coming, Ezra laughed and admits that he wasn't actually ex-pecting anyone to be there.
Briefly making a 24 hour stop over in New Zealand, to showcase some tunes from his recently released album, ‘Wanted On Voyage,' he kicked off his short and sweet set with the upbeat, foot-tapping rhythmic album opener, ‘Blame It On Me.' From start to finish, his guitar and deep baritone vocals echoed throughout the room magnificently.
Filling the audience in on the story behind recording the next track, ‘Leaving It Up To You,' with his friends, and choir of ‘beautiful girls', he apologised for not having the choir with him, stating we'd have to pretend he was the choir. From the upbeat tune before to the sweet and slower track following, ‘Leaving It Up To You,' showcased Ezra's more delicate and quiet folk song formula. Pretending to be the choir, he went on to sing the melodic backing vocals and falsetto chorus, quickly joking and adding, "that was the choir folks," before continuing on.
Next was the ever so popular and of course crowd favourite, ‘Budapest.' Explaining that you can buy a special ticket in Europe which allows you to travel around any country within Europe, he joked, admitting that Budapest was actually one of the only places he really wanted to visit, which he never made it to. Warming the crowds hearts with his great banter and may I admit gorgeous accent, he went on explaining to the crowd how hard it is to explain to a room full of Hungarians that the song Budapest actually has nothing to do with the city.
With the sing-song lyrics and the enticing foot-tapping beat and rhythm of the catchy single, it's hard to resist, as members of the audience proved as they head-bopped and boogied away.
Drawing his set to an end too soon for the liking of most, he treated us to the most outstanding performance of the sonically sinister, ‘Did You Hear The Rain?'. Beginning completely acapella, his voice once again resonated, remaining his most powerful, stand out feature, before another up beat rhythm began, convincing you to nod your head around once more.
Unfortunately, as he left the stage, it felt as though his whole performance had flashed by far too quickly, but what we did get a taste of was without a doubt profusely enjoyed by all, as I left seeing only smiles on the faces of the rest of the happy showcase goers.
I suspect this is definitely not the last we will be hearing of this talented young man, and immensely hope that this is certainly not the last time we will be seeing Mr George Ezra in New Zealand.
Be sure to check out his album, ‘Wanted On Voyage,' now so we can show him not only is he wanted on voyage, but he's also wanted in NZ.