George Ezra at Somerset House, gig review: Singer's brand of folk-pop is nothing new, but his voice is unique

Success comes from how Ezra manages to draw on his influences without appropriating them

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The Independent Culture

Above Somerset House, a tempest looms, and the threat of a torrential downpour lingers for the duration of George Ezra's slot.

It’s a noticeably short set, as Ezra only has the one album, but a bold version of Macy Gray's "I Try" suggests he could have covered a few more artists to bulk it out.

His particular brand of folk-pop is nothing new, but Ezra's voice is certainly unique, and he sings buoyant renditions of "Budapest" and "Listen To The Man" – the problem is that he’s been mis-marketed by a label keen to cache in on the Jake Bugg hype and push their artist as a similarly broody singer-songwriter.

Success comes from how Ezra manages to draw on his influences – Guthrie, Dylan, etc – without appropriating them. A John Wayne drawl and Johnny Cash bass-baritone belies his age and slender frame, and he injects a casual threat into "Leaving It Up To You".

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George Ezra performs at the Somerset House Summer series

Closing on "Did You Hear The Rain?", with its dark, "Feeling Good" intro and opposing sentiment; his cries of "Lucifer’s Inside" and the raging, stormy instrumentation make for an atmospheric finish.

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