Live – Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran played La Maroquinerie in Paris as part of his sold out European tour on March 10th 2012. Support came from Passenger and Nina Nesbitt although due to my inability to navigate France I managed to miss them both.

Now, before I continue I shall let you all into a secret. I’m not a massive Ed Sheeran fan. In fact, I’d be hard pushed to say I was a fan at all. I enjoy one song from his mega selling album ‘+’ and when he’s played on the radio which, let’s face it, is alot I struggle to feel anything other than indifference. However the missus is a massive fan so that’s how I find myself in a 500 capactiy venue in the Parsian suburbs on a Saturday in March. Enough of how wonderful I am though, back to the review.

Opening with an extended version of album closer ‘Give Me Love’ Ed Sheeran started the gig to rapturous applause and a chorus of screams that threaten to drown out the meagre stage set up of one guy, one guitar, two microphones and a seemingly magical loop pedal. Luckily Ed is a master of these tools and uses them to not only make enough noise to cut across the packed and excitable crowd but also to silence any critics who suggest he needs a full band to make his sound large enough for the venues he’s clearly heading for. From where I stood, his sound was fucking massive.

The set consisted of his entire album ‘+’ as well as a few covers, first a duet with Passenger that made me regret not getting there in time to see him, and secondly a cover of Nina Simone’s ‘Be My Husband’. This meant the set had a nice mix of lively and slower songs and credit to Ed’s fans they behaved in perfect accordance. Respectful and quiet as he sang about pregnancy in ‘Small Bump’ or shouting along to ‘Lego House’. Ed utilised this energy and got the crowd to sing along at every opportunity, even recording the audience and playing it back through his loop pedal to form the background of ‘Homeless’.

Ed is a master of getting the crowd pumped, which is just as well because ‘You Need Me…’ gets close to the fifteen minute mark, encouraging the audience to gutturally scream, reassuring them that it isn’t a singing contest, but a shouting contest and leading them on several call and response exercises which only added to the ambience inside La Maroquinerie and created a phenomenal rapport amongst not only audience and singer, but also the audience themselves.

Ed Sheeran ended the set with a double hitter of world wide mega smash hit ‘The A-Team’ and a (very) extended version of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ that just blew me away. This encore is the perfect example of what Ed Sheeran really sounds like. Put to one side anything you’ve heard on the radio. ‘The A-Team’ loses it’s polish and sheen and becomes the emotive and powerful song that it always should have been and ‘You Need Me…’ transforms from pop’s limp wristed ode to hip-hop to a loud, self assured riot of a song. After humbly thanking the audience for a great show, his favorite of the tour so far, he left the stage, and I feel confident that not one member of the audience left without a smile on their face.

On stage Ed manages to do what many artists strive for yet few achieve, and that’s genuinely connect with the audience on a personal level, in short he makes you look at him like he’s your mate. You feel comfortable referring to him as Ed in a review you write about him, in fact anything more would be an insult to that beautiful night you spent together in Paris. This is one of the reasons Ed Sheeran is such an incredible live act.

It’s a shame that ‘+’ does not do Ed Sheeran’s unique brand of ‘Hip-Pop’ justice. The polished tracks take away his raw energy, his showmanship and the brutal honesty and sincerity of his lyrics. It’s too easy to forget that he is someone who genuinely worked  from the bottom up, constantly gigging, and does deserve all the success he has, because he sits so comfortably alongside Olly Murrs and his band of marketing engineered chums.

To summarise then, Ed Sheeran is a wonderful, endearing person who is a tour de force live. His gig in Paris felt very special and now whenever I hear one of his songs on the radio I’m not filled with a burning indifference, but instead I’m taken back to that sweaty room in Paris and can’t help but smile. I don’t need to tell you to go and see him live, he sold out 5 nights at the Hammersmith Apollo in just a few hours without my help but if you find yourself being dragged along to one of shows be prepared to enjoy it.




~ by justdip on 21/03/2012.

One Response to “Live – Ed Sheeran”

  1. […] constantly give back to the fans, something I admire and respect greatly. I saw her after the Ed Sheeran show in Paris where she stayed outside for at least an hour signing and taking […]

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