There’s something quite special about George Ezra. Whether or not you like his music, it can’t be denied that his voice sounds like honey akin to the great Louis Armstrong. Impressive, considering he is a 20-something-year-old youngster.
Set on the lawns of the Durbanville Race Course, the concert has a festival-like feeling to it, giving Ezra fans plenty of space to relax, sprawl on the grass and bust a hunger pang at the various food trucks.
While awaiting the superstar’s arrival we were treated to a number of supporting acts comprising of local performers – certainly no overture to the main performance but added some South African flavour to the mix.
To ease us into concert mode was singer, guitarist and songwriter Bongesiwe Mabandle and his two-man entourage. Donning colourful clothing and an enigmatic stage presence, Mabandle performance features a compilation of traditional music blended with contemporary hit songs. Numbers to look out for is the soulful ‘Isizathu’ (meaning ‘the reason’ in isiXhosa) as well a commendable rendition of Vince Joy’s ‘Rip Tide’.
One word best describing the six-piece band Hot Water is frenetic. Exuding copious amounts of energy and excitement made it impossible for audience members to not dance around and get into the spirit of the performance. Known for bringing together a myriad of music styles, the Folk-Rock-Pop-Township-Jive-Blues band brings to the foray an eclectic blend of proudly South African (and African) music. What’s more the performances are abuzz with movement from the get-go with its swaying, air kicks, dancing and teaching a couple of teenaged girls how to get groovy on stage.
Beatenberg, a firm favourite for many Capetonians, swooned the crowd with their catchy, singalong tunes. From the throngs of heartthrob teenagers to the more matured crowds – the local band caters to all tastes with their hit songs ‘Chelsea Blakemore’, ‘Rafael’ and ‘Southern Suburbs’.
The uproarious sounds from the crowds marked the presence of George Ezra, finally, his much-anticipated performance was upon us. Not only can the man sing, but he is completely at ease in front of a crowd, making it seem as if he’s having a chat with some mates at a gig. This certainly allowed for an intimate concert experience. While most are familiar with popular songs ‘Budapest’, ‘Blame it on me’ and ‘Listen to the Man’, Ezra’s incandescent performance enraptured the audience’s attention throughout and brought his unknown tunes out of obscurity.
One can safely say that a day out spent at the Durbanville racing grounds with a beer in hand and a friend in tow while listening to the mellow sounds of George Ezra is a day well spent indeed.