Ferris & Sylvester, The Poetry Club, Glasgow, Tuesday 5th February 2019

Glasgow’s Poetry Club is a great place for an intimate gig. With a sold-out crowd of 125, it was the perfect venue for the second night of Ferris & Sylvester’s first headline tour.  The duo of Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester had a simple set up tonight, just the pair of them, their guitars, bass, tambourine, and drum. It took them a minute to find their feet on the stage but opening with one of their older songs ‘Save Yourself’ ,the bittersweet love song from their debut EP- ‘The Yellow Line’,  they immediately showed what the duo are highly capable of which and which they proved throughout the night as their set continued.

The second song was definitely a crowd pleaser, ‘Better in Yellow’, their most popular song from their 2018 EP ‘Made in Streatham’ was played but compared to the studio version it was stripped back as the brass that is quite iconic in the recording was not there, but hearing it live  gave a different vibe to the song, losing the pop elements really made the pair’s musical ability shine through. Throughout their set they played familiar songs which sat quite comfortably with their fans including the singles ‘Sickness’ and  ‘Burning River’, the latter had the audience participating in the Icelandic Viking War Clap. Yet the majority of their set was never heard before songs. The duo joked that they like writing songs about “arguing couples” although they claim that its something that they cannot relate to. ‘Vice’ was one of these songs following that “arguing couples” mantra but it had a nice warm feeling to it. In this song, as in the rest of the set, you saw the genuine chemistry between the two, constantly having fun with one another on stage.

The duo took on a Johnny Cash classic but added a bluesy twist to ‘Jackson’. They are definitely not aiming to be a June and Johnny copycat act, but they made the well-loved song feel new with the electric guitar replacing Cash’s iconic acoustic strumming. Between the two of them having great banter with the audience (and in Scotland that is key for getting a great set) this was a stellar performance and the pair quickly found themselves in their encore with a new song, ‘Flying Visits’, the only number that Ferris sang without her bass. You could tell she felt slightly out of her comfort zone without it, but her singing of the song was amazing. The song tells the story of unrequited love, not wanting a loved one to go, and the dream of a longer time together. ‘London Blues’ was the perfect song for closing the gig, I was originally worried that the song was not going to be making an appearance in the set. However, the duo was clearly saving the best till the very end, getting the audience to click along with them which eventually changed to clapping and cheering.  Hopefully a prelude to an album release?

Author: Elise Kennedy

Avid country music fan and journalism student at Edinburgh Napier University

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