Sophie Fennelly reviews...
On Wednesday night, Etta Marcus kicked off her first headline tour at Hyde Park Book Club. With the sold-out show packed to the brim with eager fans, you’d be unlikely to guess that this was her first headline show. In fact, with many members of the audience sat on the floor by the stage before the show had even begun, it’s clear that Marcus has already developed a devoted and loyal fanbase.
The show was opened by fellow London artist, Hohnen Ford, whose first EP was released only a matter of weeks ago. Given the early stage that Ford is at in her career, her supporting set was relatively short, only comprising of 6 songs in total, but this was enough to showcase Ford’s immense talent and set the tone perfectly for the show to come. Ford is, in many ways, the perfect choice to open for this tour, as although her style is much more paired back than Marcus’s most recent EP Heart Shaped Bruise, her overall tone blends perfectly with Marcus’s music. Indeed, Ford’s set overall was very reminiscent of Marcus’s debut EP, The View From the Bridge, and having also, like Marcus, collaborated with Matt Maltese, it seems very much like Ford will be following in Marcus’s footsteps over the next year or so. As well as playing through her debut EP, Ford also treated the audience to a preview of two new unreleased songs. If these are anything to go by, Ford is certainly one to watch over the next year or so.
Following Ford’s set, the audience was brimming with anticipation for Marcus’s performance, and she did not disappoint. The set began with Marcus’s debut single, ‘Hide & Seek’, and she mostly played through her first EP for the next few songs, leading up to her solo acoustic rendition of ‘The View From the Bridge’. To the audience’s delight, Marcus invited Ford back onto the stage to perform ‘Parting Song’ with her. It was then, more than ever, that the way in which the two artists’ vocals complement each other was evident and left many in the audience, including myself, desperately hoping for an upcoming collaboration between the two. After this, Marcus stepped up the pace playing through the more upbeat songs from her latest EP, ending with the high energy ‘Nosebleed’ followed by ‘Crown.’
Finishing without an encore which felt appropriate due to her relatively small musical backlog, Marcus made her way out into the crowd to meet and speak to fans. Whilst it was impossible to leave the gig without an undeniable awareness of Marcus’s talent, more than anything, her humility, appreciation, and kindness towards her fans shone through. From wishing a fan whose dad tweeted Marcus a happy eighteenth birthday, to ensuring she replaced the drink that her band member Noah knocked over when walking through the audience, Marcus has clearly retained her modesty, consideration and warmth in the face of her new-found success of the past year. I know that I, for one, can’t wait to see what Marcus does next, and am eager to make it to her next concert.