Having already seen Ferris & Sylvester once before when they were supporting Jade Bird at The Haunt back in November 2018, I felt very excited. Back then, they had managed to captivate an audience that did not seem to have heard about them before. This time around, Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester would be playing in front of a crowd that had come specifically to see them. I expected them to win over the audience easily. It turns out that this was easier said than done.

The pair came on stage on their own and started out with playing the soft and mellow ‘Save Yourself’. They immediately managed to soothe the audience with their dreamy vocals. The pair’s chemistry was evident, and they were charming the audience throughout. They did the same thing in the second song of the night ‘Better in Yellow’. Issy’s vocals stood out and seemed way grittier than in the studio version of the song.

The next two songs are yet to be released, but both revealed that the pair is unstoppable when it comes to songwriting. Especially the song ‘Good Man’ stood out. It was drenched in a heavy beat and a catchy guitar riff. At the same time Issy’s and Archie’s voices seemed to have more edge to them and at times almost came across as spoken word like. The pair would shout ‘HEY!’ several times throughout the song which created an almost angry twist to the tune. I couldn’t help but try to sing along, even though I had never heard the song.

After having performed the newer songs, Issy and Archie decided to try to get the audience involved. They asked us to do ‘Viking claps’ whilst starting to play their song ‘Burning River’. Although the task was easy the crowd did not seem to want to do it. A few reluctantly copied the pair as they started the song, but then stopped as the verse began. I can only imagine how well it would have worked had the audience been willing to participate, but instead, the atmosphere turned slightly awkward when only a couple of people felt like clapping along.

This did not bring Issy and Archie down though. Throughout the evening they kept being their charismatic selves and chatted easily with the crowd. The tune showed incredible vocal skills from both Issy and Archie, but especially Archie impressed me with his falsetto, which I do not recall having heard before.

As the evening drew to a close Issy and Archie played ‘Sickness’, one of their newer releases. Their live version was haunting and a perfect way to end their set before the encore. The way the song slowly builds up to the grand chorus left me with chills running down my spine. The night ended with the pair playing a very intimate version of ‘Flying Visit’ followed by ‘London’s Blues’. These two songs illustrated Issy and Archie’s musical abilities. They are capable of capturing an audience even when they do not seem easy to win over. As their support act William Poyer said, these guys are without a doubt going to blow up very soon, and I am very much looking forward to seeing them on a bigger stage where the crowd won’t feel too awkward to clap along.

Categories: Arts Music

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