The first and last time I listened to George Ezra was in an airless tent at the Latitude Festival in 2014.
It was rather a non-event, though that probably wasn’t his fault — I’d been drinking for two days and overnight had been stung on my eyelid by a mosquito, and thus resembled Quasimodo.
In short, I was not in the mood for new experiences.
So, in the spirit of second chances, I gave Ezra another shot. Not his baritone, troubadour music, but his podcast, George Ezra and Friends, in which the 25-year-old musician shoots the breeze with pals from the biz.
Seemingly, his friendship group is an extraordinary one: Ed Sheeran was the guest of honour in the podcast’s inaugural episode, and other stars who popped up in the first series include Craig David, Sam Smith and Lily Allen.
This season he’s already hung out with Ellie Goulding and Niall Horan. Though those of an indie persuasion might be seduced by episodes with Slaves’ Laurie Vincent, or Ben Thatcher from Royal Blood.
Ezra is an enthusiastic, ebullient host, a puppy with a really deep voice, and has a knack for self-deprecation (“I’ll stop waffling!”). Episodes are unstructured. “I’ve not planned that much — I’d rather see where I end up,” he muses as he chats to Sheeran.
Like teenage indie kids that take themselves too seriously, the podcast is very much about the music: Ezra is interested in how his pals made it rather than the titillating details of their love lives or rock’n’roll misdemeanours.
This will be music to the ears of nerds, though there’s enough to pique the casual listener.
George, all is forgiven.