Ferris & Sylvester

Ferris & Sylvester – The Lexington, London (11th Feb 2019)

“There’s nothing like a home show.”

Issy Ferris couldn’t have said it better.

On Monday, the 11th of February, the folk/Americana duo played a home show at The Lexington in London. This was part of their first headlining tour, which serpentines through all the major cities in the U.K. as well as Dublin.

The Lexington in London was their sixth stop. The Lexington was hot, humid and packed with people holding pints and wearing wolf masks that they were given at the door backwards, strings wrapped around their necks. Issy’s dad was working the merch shop in the back. One kick drum and one foot tambourine decorated the otherwise empty stage.

The Lexington is a small but dynamic venue. Gigs are held on the first floor, above the pub. Besides a small bar serving drinks for gig-goers, the rest of the space is completely black and completely open. There are upper and lower standing areas as well as some seats. The tiered nature of the space helps everyone in the crowd always have a good view.

Ferris & Sylvester opened with Save Yourself. It was a pleasure to have the concert open with the eerie, distant-sounding echos of Archie’s metal finger pick. The crowd instantly focused on the band, whose charisma is so profuse and inviting on stage that it’s hard to look away.

Their set had a much rawer, deeper garage rock sound to it than is common in their recorded music. The sound was rich and full, and both Ferris & Sylvester stunned the crowd with impromptu funk guitar solos and intensely passionate singing. Everyone was 100% on board, rocking back and forth and wildly applauding after every song.  

Their set was also filled with loads of unreleased songs. Upbeat rock songs such as Good Man and Bread Winner got the crowd banging their heads. A slower song, Flying Visit, had the crowd delighted by it’s gentle and delightful lyrics.

Flying Visit is sweet like Forrest Gump and will undoubtedly become an instant romantic classic when released. The song is full of charmingly specific requests and remarks like these:

If you’re gonna stay, then you bring your suitcase and you make it ten days cause I hate these flying visits.

I’ll show you upstairs to your blow up bed. You know you’re my best friend, don’t say it’s a flying visit.

You can hear them play Flying Visit live at the BBC Music Introducing Session at Maida Vale Studios in London here.

The group playing Sickness

Sickness was the last song that they played before their encore and is where the wolf masks came in. Ferris & Sylvester created a drunker, more crammed-in version of their recent music video by having the entire crowd wear paper wolf masks over their faces. The result was exactly as they predicted at the start, “f***ing weird and f***ing cool.”

Perhaps coming as no surprise, they closed with London Blues, leaving everyone in a great mood, determined to make the most of the warmer-than-usual February night in London.

Ferris & Sylvester’s capacity as a chameleon band is impressive. Their slower country and folk songs like Save Yourself and Sometimes channel country greats like Fleetwood Mac and Emmylou Harris. Faster, garage rock songs like Superhuman and Good Man seriously channel The White Stripes, and more cinematic Americana/folk songs such as Burning River have the epic, grand sounds of The Lumineers and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. They put on a great show at The Lexington and will no doubt wow the crowd again at their next London show on the 30th of April at the O2 Academy in Islington.

Set List:

Save Yourself
Better In Yellow
Good Man
Burning River
Bread Winner

Flying Visit
London’s Blues