Ed Harcourt Dazzles with an Amazing Live Set in London
On a dreary December evening, situated just off Notting Hill’s ever-changing Portobello Road, songsmith/producer extraordinaire Ed Harcourt set out to close his ‘Beyond The End’ album tour with an intimate hometown performance.
A far cry from the gritty guitars of his brilliant previous effort ‘Furnaces’, ‘Beyond The End’ is an intricate masterpiece, taking the listener on a winding journey of wolves and whiskey, whilst giving an insight into his classical influences, such as Debussy and Grieg.
Accompanied on stage by two thirds of the Dirty Pretty Strings (his super-talented spouse Gita and her sister Amy), composer Fiona Brice and a Christmas tree, the scene was certainly set for a stunning evening.
It did not disappoint.
With carefully constructed silent movies running on a screen behind the performers, part one (an instrumental run-through of the album) was nothing short of ethereal. The person sat next to me had a tear running down their right cheek at one point, and I couldn’t fault them. It was a moving experience.
Part two saw us go from the emotive to the enthralling, with Ed commanding the audience solo, armed with a guitar and a collection of loop pedals – the fierce ‘Loup Garou’ stomping through with its infectious hook. After several more hits from his back-catalogue, he ended the evening where his career began on ‘Maplewood’s ‘Apple of My Eye’.
From start to finish, it was a spectacular show from an artist at their peak of his powers. Ed is not only a great songwriter and performer. After the show he also had all the time in the world for his fans. Even after the bouncer had ushered everyone out of the auditorium, he continued to sign merchandise and catch up with travelling fans in the bar.
‘Beyond The End’ is available on all physical and digital platforms, courtesy of Point of Departure Recording Company and PIAS.
Words by Tom Bright