Review by Sophie Small
There is nothing better than going to a gig with no expectations and walking out with a smile on your face.
Jerry Williams, a 19-year-old singer/songwriter from Portsmouth, entered the stage at Camden’s Barfly with a shy confidence. Her look and voice is kind, honest and grateful for the crowd before she’s even started. As it got going a recurring theme of Jerry’s soft voice, folk pop riffs and heavy drum sounds uplifted the crowd and made me feel like I was in the middle of the meet cute for the perfect love story.
I like to stand at the back of a gig and watch the crowd as well as the artist. This is even more interesting when you’re watching someone prior to the headline act as most of the crowd will be there for the headliner and the reaction going through the set will speak volumes for the artist. Jerry’s gig was a prime example of watching an audience grow with an artist’s performance and it was a pleasure to watch the crowd (including myself) learn more about the singer/songwriter and reactions to each track amplify as a result.
The first song that really got me into the set was a song that saw her strip back the rest of the band and perform an acoustic solo ‘L Song’. Her lyrics were clever and meaningful, which was a theme that ran throughout the set and her presence on stage was captivating.
My favourite song of the gig was a song from her latest EP called Boy Oh Boy and judging by the crowd I don’t think I was alone. Simple hooks through the chorus got the whole crowd singing along and some startling electric guitar sounds built up through the bridge and chorus leaving everyone spirited.
One of Jerry’s tracks, ‘Left and Right’ was another crowd pleaser from the set and was co-written with Newton Faulkner and his brother Toby. The track had a strong bass, Newton’s signature guitar picks and poignant sounds.
The headline act, a 5-man band called Victoria, had an impressive quality of sound and put on a great performance. The energy they put out from the stage carried through into the crowd and had them jumping, singing and clapping along. Performance-wise it was a great show but personally for me the songs were a bit too repetitive and after the second song I felt like I’d heard them all.
Not having listened to any of Jerry’s material prior to the gig, I went with an open, unprejudiced mind and it’s safe to say she has a new fan in me. For an artist so early on in their career, Jerry has managed to find a distinctive and charming sound but with an array of tracks each different and with their own story personal to her. I fully recommend taking a look at her new EP ‘Cold Beer’ and keeping an eye out on what’s to come.