Ferris and Sylvester – Battersea Arts Centre – Live Review

Folk and Blues duo Ferris & Sylvester made it clear during their recent London show that they are a band not to be missed. Singers Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester are riding on a high right now after releasing new single London’s Blues to great acclaim and are set to release a new EP entitled Made in Streatham at the beginning of February.

Kicking the night off with their unusual twist on a love song, Save Yourself, it was clear that we were in for a brilliant night of musical talent. Friend and trumpet player Andy Watt’s talent took the song to another level, whilst managing to compliment the slide guitar and soothing harmonies of the duos voices.

One of the most memorable songs of the night was The Room. As soon as the harmonica tune started the audience started to relax with the music. Although a song about life not being easy at times, watching the musicians on stage was a real treat. With adorable side glances and smiles to each other it was clear they really did have “something good we can hold on too” in each other and their carefully crafted music.

Doing two covers, the first Shakey Graves’ Dearly Departed and the second Johnny and June Carter Cash’s Jackson, highlighted where their individual backgrounds in folk and blues music collided. Dearly Departed gave them the chance to fight – “It comes naturally to us” Archie joked and the audience clapped along with glee.

Early previews of songs from the upcoming Made in Streatham EP gave a sense of excitement for what is to come from this promising band. In one song Issy Ferris sings: “sometimes I forget where I am when I’m with you”. It seemed very fitting for this magical, intimate, fairy-lit gig.

We also got to see a rockier side to Ferris & Sylvester. Song Superhuman was heavier and more recognisable in the country genre. This was followed by Burning River, written after a trip to Iceland – “the country” Issy playfully clarified. This song was built upon claps recorded on a loop pedal and emphasised the beautiful folk voices. Better in Yellow saw the biggest audience reaction with the whole room seemingly singing along. It was a real celebration of fun.

Closing the night with London’s Blues the energy in the room was incredible. Lead by a strong drum beat the songs lyrics seemed to resonate with the audience who wholeheartedly danced along, enjoying every moment.

These London inspired songs seem to provide a fitting and accurate soundtrack for the London of today. And one things for sure, the London audience could not get enough.

Review and live photos by Bryony Jewell

Purchase The Yellow Line EP by Ferris & Sylvester here

Pre order Made In Streatham – EP by Ferris & Sylvester here


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