“Who the fuck are you?’ asks one ignorant onlooker, with the impertinent indifference that is so commonly witnessed in a support acts audience. Soon though this ennui turns to a hushed, but focused, silence as Rhodes begins to win over the initially hostile crowd.
What’s more, David Rhodes (aka Rhodes) achieves this feat without the use of tricks or gimmicks; rather he relies solely on the beguiling combination of a single guitar and unique voice and it is this skill that makes him such a compelling artist.
Having seen him perform a few month earlier at Bristol Birdcage it is encouraging to see how tunes that seemed so at home on that most intimate of stages work just as well in this vast arena.
Hitcham born Rhodes is still dressed head to toe in charcoal black, bar a small silver pendant. And the 24 year-old continues to exude that Jamie XX kind of cool – thoughtful and urbane – and has a very softly spoken and modest stage presence.
Starting with the beautifully dark “Run” with its sensitive delay drenched guitar picking and searing vocals the track exhibits Rhodes exquisite vocals that recall Anthony & the Johnsons or Jeff Buckley.
The sound is stripped back from the Charlie (Noah and the Whale) Fink produced version from his debut (‘Raise Your Love’ EP) last year but loses non of its rapturous intoxicating brew. Like teenagers with a schoolteacher crush the crowd stand or sit and stare transfixed in awed silence.
Standouts of the evening are “Your Soul” – think Foals after-party, “Worry” – very early Coldplay, “Raise your Love” –Sin E era Jeff Buckley.
By the conclusion it is clear, to even the vilest hecklers, that Rhodes is very much at home in this kind of environment and sooner rather than later will be returning to watch on in horror as disbelievers berate his support.
Rhodes Home EP was released on Sunday – get it here.
Words by Kevin McGough
Photos by Will Fahy
Review: White Denim - a rare breed of airtight live performance at O2 AcademyRead more
Review: The Wave Pictures' faultless musical engine purrs at The ExchangeRead more
Album Review: Busking Beyond Borders - David FisherRead more
Review: Alela Diane concludes European tour with polished St George's performanceRead more
Review: Snail Mail at Thekla - earnest indie rock for a new generationRead more
Review: 'The King' - entertainingly novel, if slightly misfiring, doc on the life of Elvis PresleyRead more
Review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Paul Weller at The Downs FestivalRead more
Preview: The Downs, Bristol returns with most impressive line up to dateRead more
Review: Echo & The Bunnymen top nostalgic bill for opening Skyline Series showRead more
Review: Bristol Comedy Garden '18 is in full bloom on final dayRead more
Review: The laughs return to Queen Square as Bristol Comedy Garden '18 opensRead more
Review: Cracking into the live music monster at Dot To Dot '18Read more
Preview: Dot To Dot 2018 - Our Top 5 PicksRead more
Review: Undersong at Barton Hill Settlement, MayfestRead more
Doug Hream Blunt brings his unique funk to Mayfest @ The Cube with some new friendsRead more
Review: Drenge host boisterous Grand Reopening at The LanternRead more
Review: Czech National Orchestra deliver Jaws in Concert at Colston HallRead more
Review: Score - an enjoyable celebration of Hollywood's unsung heroesRead more
Review: Fredo's post-snowpocalyptic sell-out at Marble FactoryRead more
Review: The Mavericks' kick off European tour with sparkling Colston Hall performanceRead more