REVIEW: Ethan Johns at the Brewery Arts Centre at Kendal

I did not know any of Ethan Johns’ own music before this gig but, as he is the producer of artists like Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon and The Vaccines, I had high hopes of his Brewery concert.

Unfortunately I came away a little disappointed. Support act Marika Hackman has a nice voice but, by her own admission, her songs are ‘dark’ and I felt in serious need of cheering up by the interval.

Ethan Johns is clearly a hugely talented guitarist and, while Surrey born, he sings like an American in an appealing voice reminiscent of Jakob Dylan and Tom Petty.

I liked his music but it was all quite low-key. Johns himself said he was missing his famly and feeling rather emotional that night and, while this might have added to the heartfelt nature of his vocal delivery, I kept waiting for something more upbeat.

This came occasionally, particularly when Johns strapped on his electric guitar and let rip with some bluesy chords, making complex playing appear very easy.

Overall, though, the evening did not quite live up to my expectations.


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