This lad has talent. Forget The Voice Final and all that guff. Want to see a real talent own a stage? Go see Rhodes.
Venue: Red Room, Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Date: April 2, 2014
Chances are this will be the first you’ve heard of Hitchin-based loner Rhodes. Choosing to exist using his surname alone, he’s almost excluded himself from search engines that return information on the Greek Island and the ancient wonder, neither of which tell of Rhodes’s warm melodies, searching vocals and inherent moodiness.
Sheepishly entering the stage at the Red Room equipped with just a weeping guitar, it’s clear that Rhodes is about to appeal to our aching senses and tug at our soppy heartstrings.
As minimalist as his name, his sparse, distanced songs float on a zephyr into a category called alt.folk.
His haunting vocals and ethereal guitar make for a mysterious listen. For anyone who carries a torch for the bruised melancholy of Jeff Buckley should take note; his smooth and ghostly vocals project a poignant reminder to the legendary artist.
In fact his opener, Run, sees an echoic guitar marrying perfectly with his Buckley-esque vocal wobble. It, like many of his songs – Breathe and Darker Side are Anna Calvi flexing her masculinity, Raise Your Love is understated and captivating simplicity at its most beautiful – exhibit a rueful tale of lost love, loathing and self-doubt, which knit together sublimely.
On a par with the likes of contemporary artists such as Josh Record and Nick Mulvey, although plaintive and thoughtful, he’s also both emotive and powerful.
Like the Colossus of Rhodes himself, he’s an enigma and a mystical being, and destined to be a wonder.