Artists: Ed Sheeran
Review by: Nick Lavigueur
WITHIN seconds of Youtube phenomenon Ed Sheeran arriving on stage the power of the internet was clear for all to see.
Š With little mainstream coverage, bar a two-song set on Jools Holland earlier this month, Sheeran has fostered a massive underground following of people who think they’ve latched on to the next big thing.Š
The 20-year-old folk-rap sensation arrived to cheers and immediately did something different.Š
Instead of launching in to a well known favourite he implored the crowd to sshhh and played his opener without amplification, all the time smiling like a lunatic.Š
His infectious enthusiasm has clearly gripped the youth of today, keen to discover the next big thing before anyone else.Š
While the lyrics and the frames of reference are naive no one can deny Sheeran offers a cracking voice and the ability to engage a crowd.Š
A natural story teller, his between song banter is as entertaining as his crooning.Š And while some of his tales seem a little twee one has to remember his tender age when judging his stories about going for a bike ride and feeling inspired to write a song and his frequent references to ‘Uni’ , the night bus and sleeping on sofas.Š
Performing solo with just a guitar, a couple of mics and a loop pedal, Sheeran demonstrates his lyrical skills, frequently flipping between classic folk singing and strumming and high tempo rapping.Š
Yes it’s derivative but you have to confess no one’s done it like this before. Add to the mix some Rodrigo Y Gabriela style guitar showmanship and the kids are hooked.Š It’s not rebellious but it’s a bit edgier than McFly.Š
The highlight of the gig is when Sheeran stretches his voice with his cover of Jamie Woon’s Wayfaring Stranger.Š
If he ever writes a song this good himself it will be a number one.Š
A hint to his talents is the second best moment of the night when he sings a song he says he wrote aged just 14 when one of his friends was killed in a crash.
Š Wrapping up the gig with a three-song encore sung without amplification on top of the bar, Sheeran has the crowd eating from his palm.
Within nano-seconds of him being ushered to the merchandise stand almost the entire crowd has formed a queue to shake his hand and ask where he’s going drinking that night.