Live Review: Rhodes, Rescue Rooms (02/04/14)

It’s a rarity to experience a still room at a gig. The occasion usually involves being sandwiched in between a group slurring the lyrics whilst sloshing their plastic pints of beer and a guy who fancies himself as a camera man, videoing the entirety of the evening on his iPhone. Rhodes‘ gig in the upstairs pocket sized stage of Rescue Rooms was quite different. The room was silent, phones didn’t leave pockets and the room was fixated on David Rhodes.

The reason for the crowd’s infatuation was Rhodes’ voice. Throughout the gig, Rhodes’ voice had been perfectly manipulated to make an amazing array of sounds. His vocals appeared to produce effects only possible with high-tech recording equipment. He could soar from a choir boy soprano to a gruff Louis Armstrong note in a heartbeat. Hearing such a naturally skilled voice was a mid-week treat to the handful of Nottingham locals lucky enough to have heard of Rhodes’ music.

Expect huge things from Rhodes

Learning that Rhodes first began playing the guitar last year would come as a shock to a well-trained ear. He picked at his acoustic guitar so naturally producing lullaby melodies with sharp, offset beats. The sound was a strange juxtaposition of soothing and unnerving melodies leaving his audience fidgeting for the next song. ‘Raise Your Love’, the lead track from his first EP, was met with fervent nods of approval. For this song, Rhodes swapped to his electric guitar in order to create swirling riffs and memorable choruses. The track, featured on Burberry’s recent catwalk show, flaunted Rhodes’ chilling and honest songwriting abilities.

‘Your Soul’, a song from the forthcoming EP Morning, seemed to be another crowd favourite. Zane Lowe also enjoys this song, proclaiming it his ‘Next Hype’.  The recorded track begins with subdued guitar strums and then floods into beautiful harmonies. Live, the song is stripped down and even more haunting. After the gig, Rhodes explained that he intended this song to be accompanied with a small band, however this was only possible on his sold out London gigs.

Hopefully, as Rhodes’ fame escalates and his venue sizes increase, a band (I’m envisaging a whole brass ensemble) can join him. Judging by Rhodes’ raw, unadulterated talent I don’t believe his next Nottingham gig will be such a pokey venue. Expect huge things from Rhodes, and in the mean time add him onto your ‘revision playlist’.

Rhodes’ new EP ‘Morning’ will be out on May 11th and can be preordered here:

Daisy Foster

…Daisy is listening to Dog Is Dead – ‘Teenage Daughter’…

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