Rhodes at Elektrowerkz, London, 26th April 2016


Elektrowerkz is a stunning venue and intimate in the extreme. It was built in the late 19th century and once played host to the horses that pulled trams for London Transport. These days the bar is housed in an old tube carriage and the cobbled floor glistens with spilled cocktails rather than the sweat of the workers that used to work here when it was a metal works. The various areas can be hired out for everything from fashion shows to movie production. It’s a beautiful place that was the perfect venue to host Rhodes, born David Rhodes, as he showcased some new material alongside some favourites from his wonderful debut album, ‘Wishes’.

Performing to just 200 lucky fans who snapped up tickets within hours of their release last Wednesday, Rhodes took to the stage with just guitarist and vocalist Tommy Ashby in attendance. Earlier on Tommy had provided an excellent opening to the evening, playing his own music to an appreciative audience who enjoyed his set so much they leapt upon the opportunity to take his CD home, especially when Tommy offered them as a gift. I’m sure everyone would have happily paid such was the quality of his music.

Rhodes has been a busy man promoting his first album all over Europe and this was the third time I had seen him. I first saw him at the Barn on the Farm Festival last year where he played a superb set on the main stage before being lucky enough to catch him again at KOKO last year. They were both very different concerts, with an artist that just keeps getting better and better, and last night was no exception. Rhodes played a stripped back gig of eleven songs starting with a mesmerising version of, ‘Losing It’, before moving into, ‘Close Your Eyes’, and, ‘Better’, before trying out one of his new songs, ‘Wildfire’. He seemed apprehensive beforehand but sang wonderfully and the capacity crowd cheered loudly.

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From there Rhodes played, ‘Your Soul’, before his second new track, ‘Propeller’, which was greeted with the same enthusiasm as his first new song. After that this excellent artist played a song very personal to him, ‘Breathe’, which he feels sums up the sentiment of his debut album and clearly means a lot given the heartfelt performance. There was an eerie quiet as Rhodes sang his songs which would then explode into cheering at the conclusion of each and every one. Cries of “we missed you” and “good to have you back” show that the love for this singer is strong and fans can’t wait to hear the new material Rhodes has been working on during the last months.

Rhodes started to draw the evening to its conclusion by singing crowd pleaser, ‘Raise Your Love’, before singing his third new song, as yet unnamed, but called, ‘Flying’, on the set list. It was a beautiful song and along with the other two new songs only serves to whet the appetite for the future music from Rhodes. The phrase “beautiful voice” is one that is generally banded around but in the case of this young man it really is true. So mesmerised were the crowd that there was almost a pause before applause for each song as they waited for the hairs on the back of their necks to settle. The evening came to a close as Rhodes sang, ‘Turning Back Around’, and, ‘Morning’. As said before, this was the third time I have seen this artist and I can’t wait for the next time.

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