An evening of unadulterated joy as we welcome the coming of King George Ezra
A bona fide national treasure in the making, fresh from his success at this year’s BRITs, it seems like George Ezra can do no wrong. Last year’s Staying At Tamara’s doubled-down on the sheer likeability and charm of his debut and, more importantly, added some of the finest pop bangers of the last couple of years to an already impressive collection. Tonight, on what feels as much part of a coronation as a tour, King George wowed an audience that was truly all ages with a show that was for the ages.
Support comes from Sigrid, the Norwegian superstar who will surely be packing these venues out of her own accord very soon. ‘Sucker Punch’, her debut album, has just been released and it confirms much of the promise of those early singles - and tonight proves to be a dazzling taster. Songs like the title track, ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ and ‘Strangers’ are built for these sizes of rooms, the choruses soaring into the ether.
As an alarm clock sounds and the voice of Greg James heralds the arrival of one of 2019’s biggest stars, George Ezra sprints onto the stage with arms aloft. What follows for the next eighty minutes or so is pure, unadulterated joy that only the best pop music can bring. The hits come thick and fast, from opener ‘Don’t Matter Now’ onwards. ‘Pretty Shining People’ brings the first huge singalong of the night, while ‘Paradise’ is like one big cherry candy, so sweet and sugary is the rush that it brings.
There is something for everyone tonight. ‘Hold My Girl’ brings the phone lights out, ‘Sugarcoat’ is a delight with its subtle ‘Graceland’ vibes while the trombone solo during ‘All My Love’ shines a light onto George’s superb band. It’s hard at times to tell who’s having a better time, such are the smiles on and off stage before party time really begins with ‘Blame It On Me’. The night finishes on ‘Shotgun’, of course, the track that is fast becoming an anthem. Tonight, it barely needs the band to be on stage such as the volume from the audience as they take it for themselves. We are now unmistakably living in the age of King George Ezra.