TIM DE LISLE GIG OF THE WEEK BY GE­ORGE, HE’S GOT IT!

...and next year he’ll win a Brit

The Mail on Sunday - Event - - MUSIC -

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Pre­dic­tion, al­ways a mug’s game, is prob­a­bly even mad­der at the mo­ment, but here goes any­way: in 2019, Ge­orge Ezra will win his first Brit award. And fully de­serve it.

When he broke through in 2014, with Bu­dapest, Ezra was a 21-year-old with an old man’s voice and the air of a one-hit won­der. Now, af­ter mak­ing the song of the sum- mer in Shot­gun, he’s one of Britain’s princes of pop – sun­nier than Sam Smith, more charm- ing than Ed Sheeran.

Ezra has two Bri­tish tours com­ing up, both sold out. In Cologne, he packs the 4,000-ca­pac­ity Pal­la­dium, an ob­long cousin of the Round­house in Lon­don, in­dus­trial but con­vivial. The fans range from about seven to 70.

It’s not easy to spot Ezra when he comes on stage – as the are­nas beckon, he may want to in­vest in a video screen – but ev­ery­one can feel his pres­ence. The man ra­di­ates bon­homie, and so does his sound, bol­stered by some barn­storm­ing horns. Breezy and in­clu­sive, it’s like the trips abroad that he loves to sing (and talk) about. He’s the poet lau­re­ate of Airbnb.

There is a thread that runs from Bill Ha­ley to the Beach Boys to Martha And The Van­del­las to Mad­ness to this man. Fun, fun, fun, as Brian Wil­son put it: snappy rhythms, cheery cho­ruses, a tonic for the whole fam­ily.

To this mix, Ezra adds lyrics ad­dress­ing the many anx­i­eties that plague his gen­er­a­tion, pop stars in­cluded. Songs like Pretty Shin­ing Peo­ple take a clas­sic flavour – bit­ter­sweet – and give it a con­tem­po­rary twist. No won­der peo­ple like them. georgeezra.com

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