Last month I saw Gary Barlow perform in the idyllic outside venue that is Sherwood Pines and, in my review, remarked on the abundance of fir cones crunched underfoot as the audience danced the evening away.
On Saturday night Sheffield gave its answer at the Don Valley Bowl with George Ezra the performer. This time however the crunch was made by plastic lager tumblers. Not as romantic admittedly, but the rest was the same. Fantastic entertainment, venue and good-natured fun had by all.
Ezra took to the stage in the second of the Leadmill’s ‘Live at Don Valley’ weekend spectaculars - the Friday and Sunday having seen Hacienda Classical and Ocean Colour Scene grace the 7,500-capacity outdoor venue.
And capacity it was, as tickets were sold out for this highly-anticipated concert weeks ago. Not surprising, as this unassuming young singer-songwriter is a terrific talent. His youthful paperboy looks belie a rich and deep velvety voice, and his songs have that unmistakable and unavoidable foot-tapping quality.
In a 15-song set and backed by a very capable six-piece band, the 25-year-old, who hails from Hertford, performed many new numbers from his latest album Staying At Tamara’s, but also all the songs we wanted to hear.
To get the crowd going Ezra kicked off with the lively Cassy O’ - which on looking at the lyrics I now understand is about a young lady rather than a scientific calculator.
And then came Listen To The Man, Paradise, then the song that launched him - Budapest, and encoring with Shotgun, one of the more recent singles from Staying At Tamara’s.
Ezra’s in-between-songs banter could be a little better, but it mattered not, as his boy-next-door quality probably enamours him more with the audience, especially the female contingent.
The Leadmill is to be congratulated on staging a well-ordered and catered-for night of entertainment on a thoroughly enjoyable balmy night under the stars.
LATEST: Due to phenomenal demand, George has added extra dates including the FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield, on March 22, 2019 and Manchester Arena on March 23.